Just got back from FallCon with CSUF’s Intervarsity. Honestly, I think I was really scared to go this weekend.
I had been feeling this horrible lonely feeling of complete isolation. It had been a while since I trusted God with anything. It had been a while since I went to Him for anything. I almost wasn’t going to go this year. I thought I could come up with the deposit (at least part of it), but I couldn’t, and a friend of mine from my small group ended up paying my deposit, and I received a scholarship for the rest of the cost.
I think at this point, I wasn’t completely convinced. I suppose I knew that God wanted me to go so I could learn more and be in a better relationship with Him and fix the one we had, but I didn’t realize that God wanted me to go so that He could bring me healing and show me what I’m worth in Him.
The theme for the weekend was “The Jesus You Don’t Know,” and we talked about a compassionate Jesus, a warrior Jesus, a fatherly Jesus, and a Jesus who meets us where we’re at.
I had realized how broken I was and how much healing I needed. As far as whether or not I was going to ask for it, I really didn’t know. Like I said before: asking for healing means cleaning and disinfecting the wound and having it sting like crazy. On Saturday, we looked at the Pharisee Simon and the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair, and the question was which one we identified with more.
I actually identified with both, and therefore stayed in the room to pray rather than reflect in the other two. I am a broken and sinful person, and I know this, but at the same time, I have the pride to turn my nose up at other people. I talked with Joanna during this time, and she reaffirmed that I really needed healing.
When we met up in small groups out on the beach, my mind drifted off to the thought of asking for healing. I wasn’t ready for it, but I felt like if I didn’t ask for healing now, I would break apart. It was the last strand, and my weak link was about to snap. If I didn’t ask for God’s healing, I would’ve died… my heart would’ve turned completely to stone and shattered.
That evening was one crazy night of tears. It was a powerful message that was delivered by our speaker, and we were all given a piece of rope with a few knots on it. We looked to the Mark passage that dealt with a house divided and the strong man. I remembered last spring we had a REALLY long debate over who the strong man was. Well, the way our speaker laid it out, it made sense for the strong man to be the enemy, and Jesus tied him up to plunder his possessions. He told us that “plunder” was used here instead of “steal” because “plunder” is used when it comes to a war.
He then challenged us to realize the things that the enemy uses in our lives to bind us and keep us in that house. I thought long and hard and came back to the thought of how badly I needed healing. The pain from my family, people at church, my mom, my father, etc., as well as things that fall on the lines of addiction, temptation, lust, etc., as well as things that fall on anger and wrath. I stood for the “family drama” part, untied my knot, and declared that Jesus has tied up the strong man and set us free from his house. It felt like the next two categories, I needed to retie the darn thing and untie it again. O.o
The Healer I never knew sent a friend who put his arm around me and prayed so vigilantly for me that I couldn’t help but cry some more. And the Healer I never knew, moved me to put my arm around him and pray for him in the area he needed prayer the most.
Yet while we are free, we still often choose to stay in the house because it’s just easier to believe the lies sometimes.
At this point, I got an image in my head again. It had been months since the last time. I pictured myself walking back to that cliff with the great view where I had interacted with Jesus many times before. No one is here, and I turn around and take a scan. As I’m turning back around to face the cliff, I’m tackled and hugged tightly, and a voice says to me, “I’ve missed you. Welcome back.” At this point, I begin sobbing and holding onto Him for dear life as the strength gives out in my knees.
I then get the image of being chained up. Shackles are on my wrists and ankles, and they seemed to kinda fade in and out. Then big huge chains wrap around my entire body, and these chains glowed with a fire that threatened to consume me. Behind me, the source of these chains is a dark figure enshrouded in a great fire. The presence was menacing, and I was scared to death. It seemed as though these two had a stare down, and I had no idea what to ask Jesus or how to ask Him to remove these chains. As hard as I tried to imagine them gone, they stayed. Until Abner reminded us that when Jesus hung on the cross, the strong man was forever tied up, and I needed to ask Jesus to remove my chains. In one swift motion, He grabs the chains and breaks them from me. The presence of that ominous figure is still there, but not as eminent… he is hiding in the shadows and looking for reasons to convince me to let him bind me up once more.
Meanwhile, Jesus takes my hand and kisses it. And the Pursuer I never knew invited me to dance with Him. I stepped on His feet, and He danced with me, whirling me around, and telling me that He has always been chasing after my heart the way I have wanted someone to.
I danced with the King.
Abner told us to ask Jesus to show us where He was in our struggles and heartaches. As I asked this, I saw an image of my friend Armando as he rushed to pick me up from my mother’s apartment that evening those couple years ago. I saw an image of his garage that I stayed in for a month. I saw an image of Rachel’s house where I stayed for another few months. I realized that during that time, I was never without a roof over my head. I had always been bitter about these times, angry that my mother never defended me and forced me to the point where I had to live in a garage and inconvenience people I hardly knew, but it never occurred to me to see it in this light. The same things I thought were a result of an awful event that transpired between my mother and I are the things that Jesus showed His amazing love to me through.
There are a lot of areas where I am still susceptible to being tied up again. Mostly in healing and learning to forgive. I have trouble letting go of things, and I have major trouble learning how to forgive people. Some of these people have hurt me indirectly. It was not an accident, but it was not directly to me. I don’t know how to reconcile the hurt I feel from the “betrayal,” in a sense, from my mother and the relationship that we are trying to build now. I don’t know how to forgive those at church whom I feel have been judging me as a result of my mother’s actions. But most of all, I don’t know how to forgive my father for leaving us when I was two, and who said to me through a lawyer when I was eighteen, “I don’t want you. I have no responsibility to you. You are not my daughter.”
And in my desire to be pursued, I constantly live in a dream world, but even those temptations are real. To write stories of a girl I wish I could be who lives a life where she somehow saves someone’s world and falls in love in the process. To write these things and sometimes confuse them with reality. I will go mad one day if I continue this. To want to be pursued so badly by someone that I would leave behind the one who has pursued my heart from before I even had one.
And anger goes with that blurb on forgiveness. I’ve tried to convince myself many times that I’m over what my father did to me. Yet, I’ve written poems, letters, lyrics, and stories that revolve around a monstrous father. I’ve written so much about a girl who overcomes adversity in spite of how horrendously she is treated by her father. I write “I hate you” over and over and aover again without literally penning these words down.
I have condemned my father. Many, many, many times, I have condemned my father. But how do I forgive Him?
God’s love truly is amazing. For the amount of hate that I have toward my father, God exceeds that amount in love for this person. How is his amazing love so perfect? So perfect as to love a man who hurts His daughter because he is His son. So perfect as to love this man even though he has broken His heart. So perfect as to love this daughter that was left behind and wrap His wings and arms around her to ensure her that He will never do to her what her earthly father had previously done to her. So perfect as to build up this daughter of His and teach her how to love others the way He does.
So perfect is His love.
And at this point, as I’m back on the mainland and back in life, I’m not quite sure where to go from here. One thing’s for sure….. I have a midterm in 9 hours that I’m still cramming for, but I still felt that writing this entry was much more important than cramming for that midterm.
I’m terrified to keep walking past this point, but I don’t want to be numb again. I shut myself off so much that everything I did for the past months was routine and habit. I wasn’t praising God or loving on others. I was simply doing something that I physically knew how to do. So many emotions just cancelled each other out, and it got to the point where I thought it was just easier not to feel. It was just easier to let things happen as they happen. I feel like my soul has slept a long sleep these past months, and today and last night feel like my first couple breaths of air after being awoken from a long coma. It’s like the sun’s rays are just reaching me and pulling a smile from my heart.
It’s like…… I’m finally feeling again. And with this, I know that I will inevitably feel pain again, and as much as it terrifies me….. I think I would rather feel the pain that tells me I’m alive rather than the numbness that makes me wonder if I am.
God is truly amazing and, as always, full of surprises. I’m excited (and in all honesty, just a wee terrified) to see what’s going to come around the corner. But always, always thankful that I’m not walking alone.