“I’ve learned the hard way that pushing pain aside is not the same as pushing past pain.”
|My New Year’s intent this year is to be real. Authentic. Honest. The truth is, I always thought I had this down. I though I was quite genuine and forthcoming, but – no. God has shown me that, for thirty-three years, I have not been real about my feelings. Perhaps, not even about my motives. I have hidden behind an illusion of ‘okay’ as in I’m okay. Just fine. This is okay. This is fine.
So basically, I’ve possessed more cash-register honesty than real honesty and if I’m not being real with myself, then I can’t be real with other people. God calls us to come from behind the facades of ‘alright’; take our hurts and our issues to Him for healing so we will be equipped to share our strength, our hope, and ability to encourage others. This is impossible if we refuse to be real, if we have not yet admitted our own struggles.
I believe the church is getting slightly better at this admittance, but sadly, there’s a long history of finger pointing and failure to look within the body. There is a long history of fake within the church. There’s a reason that so many of us often hear that those outside the church would rather not come in.
There’s a reason that so many friends I share recovery with will state that the God of their own understanding is Love and they’ll follow this statement up with the assurance that this is unlike the God of the Bible. That God they believe is not a God of love. I hear these people talk about the True and Living God they know and have a personal relationship with. I know the God they’re talking about. They do not. It’s not because their God is different than the God of the Bible, it’s because the body has not properly given skin to God, has not effectively communicated His love. People are asking, “Will the real God please stand up?” Sisters, we have got to stand up as representation of His love. But we can’t tell the truth about God if we withhold the truth about ourselves. I’ve learned the hard way that pushing pain aside is not the same as pushing past pain. I’ve experienced the catching up of it and the chasing down of it because one way or another, God is going to make sure that pain grabs my attention. Not to hurt me, but because He knows that this will draw me closer and that it’s the only way to get me past it.
God instructs us to “be still and know” that He is God. I stumble a little on the ‘still’ part. He’s going to talk and I’m going to be forced to listen. ‘Still’ can equate to a whole bunch of feeling, a whole bunch of sitting in the pain – something I’m really not too good at. I’d much rather push that pain aside and pretend I’m getting on with life. Sometimes I don’t want to feel or even acknowledge. The reasons for this are many, but the core reality, is that while I’m shying away from the healing, I’m robbing others. I serve the God of the Universe, the One who makes all things new. How awesome is that? How much does God want to heal me so that I might aid in the healing of others?
Stubborn human that I am, I, too often, forget that ‘stilling’ a moment or giving it up to God brings relief. Release. Healing. God is the one person I can go to, drop my defenses, and be real with. That’s where I’m starting this year. I’m asking God to take my fear of pain, my fear of admittance. I’m willing to allow Him to use both to mold me, to make me new. If I’m real with myself, then, and only then, can I demonstrate to the hurting the realness of God.