What God Has Been Rescuing Me From
We all love a good story! We are surrounded by them with movies and books, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, even commercials! The ones that get the most likes, views or best reviews are the ones that tell a great story.
From the time we are little children we hear, “Once upon a time, long long ago in a kingdom far away, Tale as old as time….. and they lived happily ever after”. These stories inﬂuenced our dreams and played a part in forming our ideas of what we want, need and expect in this life. How many of us dreamt as little girls what our lives would be like when we grew up? We’d have a wonderful husband, perfect job and perfect children all living in our beautifully clean home.
But as we grow up we ﬁnd that things aren’t exactly as we had dreamed or planned. Everyone has a story; the problem is it’s not the story we had written in our heads and on our hearts, because we are not the One who has written our story!
This is what God has been rescuing me from, this idea that somehow I could take the pen and write my own story, a better story! A story where diﬃculties are overcome and I get to live the last half of my life in the ‘happily ever after’.
You see something in my head said that by the time I was 50 certain things would no longer be so diﬃcult, the prayers I have prayed for the passed 30 years would have been answered. I thought I would have overcome my insecurities and learned to be a patience and gentle person; conﬁdent and always able to hold my tongue. But… that is not my story.
See when I write the story it goes like this, “If I read this book, take this class and be mentored by this person then I will be able to change me and then the diﬃculties in my circumstances and relationships will change too! That “if__then__” mentality says God owes me something, that’s me trying to control everything, to rush God’s work of sanctiﬁcation and it is a very frustrating way to live! Sanctiﬁcation is a slow slow process! Philippians 1:6 says, “being conﬁdent of this, that He who began a good work in you will see it through to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” I’ve known this verse for decades but I kept believing that if I did everything right I’d see completion before He called me home! I have to continually remind myself that “until the day of Christ Jesus” means I won’t be ﬁnished while I am still walking on this earth.
This is the lens I view my life through; if I get things right then I will be loved. This idea of needing to get everything right runs deep, I grew up feeling I had to be perfect or things were really bad. Love felt very conditional. God has been showing me this is why my greatest needs are to be loved, valued and accepted for who I am right here, right now.
God does His work from the inside out, that’s why He’s put His Spirit in us. I was trying to work from the outside in and it doesn’t work! This is one of those things I know in my head but have a lot of trouble getting my heart to believe sometimes.
Certain things can trigger past trauma you’ve experienced, and when it hits they can take you right back to feeling like you’re that little child with those same feelings. I have experienced this many times in my life, but it hadn’t really been a problem for years. Jesus has already done so much healing in this area of my life so I was really rocked when it happened to me this spring in such a big way that I couldn’t shake it. I was that little girl who felt unloved, unworthy and invisible all over again.
God has put these needs to be loved, valued and known in all of us. They are relational needs, because He has created us as relational beings. In this broken world we keep looking to people or things to ﬁll what only Jesus can really fulﬁll! We are living in the ‘already but not yet” and it’s hard.
We struggle; internally with our insecurities, and externally with our images and how others perceive us.
The last few years have been really hard. The Lord, who is my greatest Teacher, has been teaching me to release and accept these things that haven’t happened as I had written them. He’s taught me to grieve where I’ve needed to grieve and to relinquish my pen and the idea that it was ever MY pen anyway!
As the Lord has helped me through these struggles I have gone on a good walk/talk with a special friend and honestly poured out all that was going through my heart and mind. I have asked for prayer from trusted people the Lord has blessed me with. I have shared what God has been doing along the way with wonderful friends and family. All these things have helped because my problems didn’t remain in the dark, they were brought into the light where the enemy of our souls loses control.
God wrote the story, it’s His story! In Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, he writes, “If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, speciﬁcally, into the story and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorms as though to say, “Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.””
Everyone has a story. It lies beneath the surface oftentimes but eﬀects all that we do and how we view those around us. It is important to know your story, to bring it before Jesus, into His Light. His light will bring healing to the hurts and visibility to the treasures hidden below the surface. When we know our own story we will be better equipped to discover the stories of those around us.
The hard things we experience and endure in this life are the very things that great stories are made of! I am ﬁnding peace in accepting this story that God has written and placed me in. He has made it glorious in ways I could never think or imagine to write and best of all in His story He gets all the glory!
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a ﬁrm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40