This truth resonates with me today. My desire is to extend this truth to the only person still living who hurt me beyond measure. While much healing has occurred, I recently realized that more emotional baggage needed to be discarded out of my life from this old relationship for me to fully live in today. The process began about 2 weeks ago.
I knew that I needed to thin some files to make room for new ones in our home office. While this may not seem like a very large task since I keep fairly up-to-date with such tasks, there was a section in a drawer that had never been touched since it was created. Fifteen file drawers neatly organized alphabetically and the folders in the “Legal” section were bulging a bit too much. I had been in car accidents, named in the will of a few different parties, and survived a divorce with much accompanying paperwork telling the grueling details. The latter one was taking up too much space for my current lifestyle.
The Lord had convicted me many times in the past of discarding the “Divorce” section: the remnants of pain from divorce. I got rid of a few things awhile back but not enough such that I could still recount the many hurts, injustices, losses, and pain with the remaining documents. A sick badge of honor was left intact should I ever need to tell the whole story again. In holding onto more than the final court decision, I was burdening myself in more ways than I realized. Conviction came again when I was pleading with the Lord to heal me of a serious illness. At first it seemed so unrelated that I put it off once again. Then I decided to respond differently: with obedience. With trust. With faith. With swiftness.
I felt nothing after the folders fell into the recycling bin. Whoa. After all, maybe some good can come from the papers chopped and shredded into something more useful, eh? Within a day I had forgotten about all of those files and memories altogether. It is only in the writing of this blog that they have come to mind as I attempt to illustrate the power of letting my Jesus Who loves me and knows me so well lead me into His place of righteousness. Only He evens the score, makes things right. Only He redeems the hurt by filling it with His love. Only He will lead me into using the past for His glory should He choose to. Ahhhhh. Another measure of healing has come into my life by letting go of all of “the evidence” of sorrow. My Jesus transforms sorrow for His good. I am sure of this.
Now comes the next step: finishing the task of cutting off any energy that goes to feeding the pain from this great loss in my life. This is an ongoing practice. My former spouse left 11 years ago! So why did my curiosity cause me to check on his status periodically on the internet? I could justify it a million ways and virtually all of them drained my joy in today. So gently with the encouragement of another believer in Christ, I moved away from such nefarious activities completely. Decreasing the frequency further was not enough. Only by cutting them off have I found freedom!
Gratefully, all of this stuff has nothing to do with the love I receive from my intended beloved, Steve. He is an amazing man of God, after His own heart, whether or not I choose to love him with baggage or without. Oh yeah, I am blessed beyond measure! The second part of the admonishment from my friend was that I needed to get rid of these behaviors to be free to fully love Steve. My focus needed to be unhindered by pain from the past, especially that which I did not realize I was stirring up by dabbling in past hurts. What a dumb thing to do! My Jesus knows and holds my heart on all of these issues. My Jesus is leading me to himself more and more to become the woman He intends for me to be each day and in doing so, moves me closer to Steve within the covenant of marriage He ordained. Incredible.
The final step in this process (call it what you may: healing? letting go? letting God? joy?) is to lovingly dedicate Craig’s life to the One Who created Him just as he is. Oh sure, I have prayed for Craig hundreds of times. With a different kind of love I profess that the message of the cross is all Craig needs to come into the fullness of life. The message of redeeming grace is all Craig needs to find the answers to questions he once asked, he challenged, he doubted with, he ran away pursuing. The message of love, Christ’s everlasting love, will transcend everything he has ever felt in a finite earthly existence. And the love of our Lord will be perfect. The message of the Bible, that Craig used to profess in Sunday School classes so eloquently, is the only great read he will ever need to find joy and meaning.
And so Craig, I lay you before the Throne of Grace. I pray that you will look up and see the eyes of heaven open up to you and bring you the true desires of your heart in a relationship with Jesus Christ. In Him you will find nothing less than every good thing. I do hope you will find every good thing. I have. It is waiting for you as well.
In the meantime, I step away from this odd chapter in my old life. My life was restored and love beyond measure has entered into my heart. I am grateful for so much and a lot of it is in the form of one who is tall, blue-eyed, athletic, handsome, winsome, and loved and respected by many. Tonight I have the privilege of celebrating an accomplishment in the life of my intended beloved and I am honored to be there at his side as he accepts recognition for his achievement. I still know the greatest achievement stands above it all: his surrendering to the Lord, Jesus Christ brings true victory! Now that is something worth celebrating. JJ