Day 20 Love is Drawing You Out of Hiding

This is my nineteenth blog post for the Write 31 Days challenge, which I signed up to four days late. It is also a #RaRa (Purposeful Living) Link-Up and a #TellHisStory Link-Up

Psalm 32 (NIV)

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
 You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
    which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
    or they will not come to you.
Many are the woes of the wicked,
    but the Lord’s unfailing love
    surrounds the one who trusts in him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart.

Soon after my first therapy session for PTSD, in which the traumatic memory cocoon that had held me captive was broken open, I attended a church service that spoke of God’s unbelievable sovereign timing. The co-pastor of my church gave a musical sermon, where he sung and played his guitar. One song after another spoke of the transformation God has been working in my life. He spoke and sung of hiding, hiding the pain, the guilt and the shame. He spoke of fleeing from feeling the emotions pulsing through us, pressing them away and in so doing placing ourselves on an island, far from community, love, physical and spiritual nourishment. He spoke of learning to accept the love that is held out to us, the call to come out of hiding, of learning to let God walk us through the pain in our lives, rather than praying that He would take it from us.

He also spoke of his work as a physio and how the only person who he was never able to help heal from an injury, was a Christian who asked him to pray for God to remove it, rather than to trust our co-pastor that healing would come through trusting him through the pain. And that story brought it home in a big way.

Somehow, I think I expected as a young Christian that pain should not be a part of the journey. Wasn’t our God a God of healing, of strength of power? And now I hear Him saying: “But Anna, if I take it all away, how can you learn to lean on, feel safe and become confident in my strength, in my healing, in my power? And how can others see my strength, healing and power in the transformation I am working? Have I not called you to take up your cross, to give witness to your weaknesses, your limitations, so that My strength, My power can be revealed?”

How many times have I berated myself for being angry, being deeply hurt by what others have said, done or not said and done in their silence? How many times have I attempted to play God, to make myself believe I shouldn’t feel exactly what I am feeling because it is bad, wrong, ungodly and in so doing become despairingly depressed. But, as our co-pastor told us today, God wants us to face up to our humanity by admitting exactly what we are feeling, however horrendous we feel that may sound. For as he rightly pointed out, God sees it anyway and the more we also become real with others who are trying to walk in faith, to admit our shortcomings to them, the more loved and accepted they will feel in our midst, the more our community will become a community, rather than just a large group of individuals standing next to each other on a Sunday.

And this is something I also saw in my therapy session. I saw and heard God calling me to be angry, really angry, to be a toddler throwing a full tantrum. He was showing me and telling me: “You are my child, I am your Father. You are a sinner, I am your redemption. You are broken and hurting, I am your wholeness and healing. You are a ball of anger, guilt and shame, I am the one who will hug you tight, soothe and pat your little head until the anger, guilt and shame subside, and not just once, but every single day. Be real and I’ll become more real to you. Reveal your true self and I’ll show you just how awesome and all-powerful I am. I will turn your ashes into life, your brokenness into mended beauty, your loneliness into a grafted-in part of my Body, my Father’s Large and Beautiful Body of Love, Grace and Acceptance. And the smaller you get, the more childlike you become, the more My Radiance will shine, the more My Fragrance will be released, the more My will will be done until My Kingdom will be revealed in all its Glory.  Didn’t I say, let the little children come to me, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven?

Come to me, my child. Come sit on my lap, come rest your head on my shoulder, come and surrender all and I will show you just how far and wide and deep my love is for you.”

Isaiah 43 : 19 

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

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13 thoughts on “Day 20 Love is Drawing You Out of Hiding

  1. We were talking about this very thing in our home Bible study group his week. Out facilitator, my sweet hubby, said that sometimes God allows the trial so that He has to care for us that much more. Your heart here resonates that all the more for me. Thank you for your honesty. I am enjoying your #write31days series. And your photos are gorgeous! Have a blessed day!

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    1. Your husband sounds like a man full of wisdom. And I am sure his words must have blessed those present. Thank you for your encouragement here. I’m enjoying reading yours as well….it is bringing greater reflection.

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  2. This is so good. Keep writing. You are doing holy and good work. I really enjoy your words. So much mirrors my own stories. This topic is one I learn again and again. I hide, and He draws me out over and over again. I am good at hiding. But I think that why He made me a writer. Because writing is vulnerability.

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    1. Oh yes, I’m good at this hiding too: I started writing because I wanted to be able to express to God what I struggled to do with words out loud. Now, I often look back at what I’ve written (I wrote this several months ago) and I see how God has shaped my words…often the words pour out of me and it is as if God is speaking to me, encouraging me, convicting me, teaching me, comforting me. I hope you keep writing too because your words have been a real blessing to me.

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  3. This certainly made me think. To be childlike in all its many simple facets. I believe I may need to ponder this for awhile. A hard place to come to, yet… with so many benefits and so much peace. God bless you for sharing what God lays on your heart. It has been a huge blessing to follow your blog and see you following after God.

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      1. To lean in on such a loving God is such a blessing, yet I often forget to tap this abundant grace. I am so thankful for him. And that he has opened so many doors and blessed with friends, new and old alike. Bless you.

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  4. Anna,
    This is absolutely beautiful…what a testimony that we can be raw and real with God and He will NEVER turn His back on us. He will hold us through our anger and as you said He will walk us THROUGH the pain and not leave us stuck there. I have found that in the journey through the pain that I have been drawn into a deep, abiding, and loving relationship with Him…a relationship I never dreamed could be possible. Praying this for you right now!! May His grace fall thunderously upon you…be blessed.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Bev. God truly blessed me in reading your testimony last night.Thank you also for your prayers: He is answering them and powerfully (see my new post for today: https://joyofthespiritwithin.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/naming-breaking-releasing-praising/). Yes, He will NEVER turn His back on us. God bless you today and may He yet draw your precious son into His deep Love. Praising Him in anticipation of what is to come!

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  5. Thank you for reminding us that God is with us even when
    we are not acting perfectly. Just today an incident happened at
    a big box store and I lost my cool. Even though the anger
    may have been justified it would probably have been better to
    approach it differently. The thing is I knew I was overreacting
    but I reacted badly anyway. Thank God for His love, mercy and
    grace.

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    1. Oh yes, we so desperately need that grace, daily! “Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.” (Romans 3: 23-24). Oh how easily we forget this gift of grace and berate ourselves afterwards, when all He asks is that we come to Him to accept the grace He is holding out to us “the utterly incapable”!…we are just like Adam and Eve: Hiding in the garden as He’s calling us. May God bless you with the peace of His Mighty Grace today. Thank you for dropping by and commenting.

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  6. Wow the first in Isaiah! Powerful! During those times when I am weak, He is working in me and instead of being down and out and defeated I should rejoice in that He is working! Amazing encouragement!

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