I admit that I am not the brightest spark in the plug J but I am a quick study. It doesn’t take me long to figure out what is expected of me and how to accomplish it with minimal pain and even, sometimes, a little joy. So when I started on this journey to wholeness I quickly discovered the pattern that my Lord uses in leading me through the dark places into the light. First comes my grief as I recognize that the Lord is getting ready to reveal something from my past that is going to hurt. No anesthesia is offered. Then comes physical pain as my body tries to run and get my focus on something other than the revelation that is about to take place. When I stand up to the physical pain and declare my intention to move forward, inviting the Holy Spirit to finish what He has begun, actual mourning begins. Again, no anesthesia. The very interesting part of this process is that the grief and mourning occur even before I am fully aware of what issue we are addressing. For me, the patient, it’s kind of like exploratory surgery – I have no idea what we will find when He opens me up but I’m trusting the surgeon to do what is best. Some time after the mourning begins comes the revelation, the AHA! moment when a long ago memory surfaces and replays in my mind. Again, I get to choose. I can hit the ‘Stop’ button, the ‘Fast Forward’, the ‘Rewind’, or I can let it play out. I choose to let it play because I want to be finished forever with this event that is part of the painful, paralyzing past. Eventually my surgeon and I talk it through and we both decide that the best course of treatment is forgiveness and healing. The entire process is not quick and leaves me exhausted, but it doesn’t cost a dime! I know people who have spent years in ‘therapy’ and are no nearer to being well than they were when they started. They fill their bodies with prescription psychotropic drugs and spend at least an hour a week with their therapists.
The Holy Spirit is so gentle. Revisiting the past and reliving the pain, shame, degradation, and fear of those moments is not something I would do if there was any other way to be well. There isn’t, and the Holy Spirit is only doing exactly as I have chosen. He would never force Himself on me or force me to do something I do not want to do. I have a choice – be a zombie or be alive. I chose life and that path requires some time in the furnace of affliction. Again, something I chose. What is so interesting is that with each new revelation I get to choose again – go forward or stay where I am. I choose.
I decided long ago that I wanted the Lord to correct me right now, in this life. I don’t want to leave anything left hanging that He is going to have to deal with at His judgment seat. I also don’t want anyone held accountable at the BEMA seat for something they may have done to me so with each revelation of cruel events I have buried deep within I focus on not only forgiving the perpetrator but asking the Lord to forgive them as well. True freedom comes from asking for forgiveness not only for yourself but also for those who have hurt you. I know I am truly free when I am able to pray good things for those who have caused so much pain in my life and mean it!
I prefer to stand before the Lord right now and receive His correction, His surgery, than to pretend I don’t need it and then end up surprised at the BEMA seat. Judgment. Even the word makes me cringe a little. Yet I know it is part of God’s character and that He is the righteous judge. He does not judge harshly or have a bad day and lash out in anger. His judgment is right and true and exactly in keeping with the circumstance He is judging. How I wish I had been that kind of parent!
Today I am one step closer to wholeness. God is gracious and merciful and I am so grateful for what He is doing in my life. There is a wonderful side-effect to the process my wonderful counselor uses. As the bad memories are dealt with the good memories are able to surface. When I buried the bad I threw the good in with them. Now they are free too!