Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. – Psalm 43:5
I woke up this morning haunted by yesterday’s battles and disappointments. Safe to say that I just couldn’t get a grip on myself. This frustrated me (as usual). The Lord started coaxing me to let it go… I began trying to stop covering up my pain just because logic and reasoning tells me they’re minuscule and minor. After all, so many people face worse disappointments than I just did – so many people are hurt and feel pain far beyond what I can even imagine. ‘I should be stronger than this!’ ‘You better not start crying!’ – I told myself. Why couldn’t I handle these minor hurts?
I battled myself for a good half hour, blankly staring ahead – not seeing anything around me because I was navigating my mind. Then the waterworks started. I started to let go of it… my pride, my strength, my reasoning. I was hurting. Sure, they seem so tiny and the pain is barely anything in comparison to what another person faces… but the Lord wanted me to give them to Him still, however small they were. For so long I’ve covered up my little wounds with little callouses, so I wouldn’t have to feel them. I’d reason with myself stating ‘I don’t know what true abandonment feels like, so why am I feeling this – it’s wrong to feel this when so many people face REAL abandonment’ – I was just putting on some scabbing myself. ‘I shouldn’t be angry with that person, that’s uncaring’ – more scab pseudo cover up. Every tiny instance I would feel some sort of pain or hurt, I would cover it over with my logic… then I turned the callouses to the back of my heart so that I could fool everyone around me and try to hide them from God… I needed to be stronger than to give into a little pain, crying is for sissies when it’s over something so little.
When the walls came down, so did my pride – I started bawling. Past hurts, pains, and disappointments surfaced. I understood now that when I started coming closer to God, He didn’t just want the parts I thought He could see. He wanted ALL of me… including the callousy, hard, creepy dark parts – including the hurts I think are so minuscule. He wanted this!?! Why? So that I could be broken and open. So that He could show me HIS perfect love through my little pain… that even though it is small, He still wants to heal it and cover it over with HIS blood, love, and forgiveness. He has to heal these wounds so that He can show me that He can heal the big as well as the small. That He sees me precious and worth loving in every area, great and small. That just because He is a limitless all powerful God, does not mean He doesn’t care for and adore the seemingly small areas of our hearts and lives. When He asked for all of me, He meant it – ALL. Revealing how His love is perfect and powerful, His way of healing is beautiful and not hard. His way of healing is gentle and softens. That He wants to hear my hurts, He wants to heal them. That it is okay that I am weak, because strength that is pride is not strength at all. That He does desire brokenness no matter how small, because He can come to the rescue then. That He does not despise a contrite and broken heart/spirit (Psalm 51:17, Isaiah 57:15, Isaiah 66:2), He revives those who are lowly and downcast.
I can now stop pretending. Stop trying to fool people that I’m not hurting. Lay down my pride. It isn’t being selfish to pour your heart out to God… for so long and in so many areas I was thinking it was. That I had to be stronger for Him. That I couldn’t give into my fears or hurts, because that was somehow weak and unrighteous. Who am I to think I can be righteous outside of Christ anyway? That I’m somehow strong on my own?
I’ve now allowed the Lord to begin His process of opening my wounds… the ones I’ve not given to Him but have covered over with more carcass instead. I’m a little raw at this point, feeling some things I didn’t think were still there… but I want to remain broken but open. My heart is wide open for the Lord to come in and handle things His way. No more of my pride, reasoning, or pseudo-strength. I’m re-learning real, transparent, vulnerable surrendering again. It’s a little nerve-wracking… but I trust Him! He knows what He’s doing, and His ways are far better than mine.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:17-18