Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reflective Wednesdays

After reading the beginning chapters of my memoir, my mom said something to the effect of, "Susie I'm so sorry you had to go through that terrible break up and mission trip when you were 23. I wish I could have done something."

I quickly corrected her, "Mom, it was awful but I wouldn't have it any other way now."

See that climactic scene in my story, if you will, began a wide, long turn in my life with God. The pain then opened me up to the beauty now. 

In the movie Shadowlands, C.S Lewis reflects on his own suffering losing his mom as a boy and then his wife, "Why love if losing hurts so much?  I have no answers, only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I was given a choice, as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety. The man chose suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal.”

To which I say a resounding amen! 

In many ways my heartache and the onset of depression and anxiety created a turning point in my spiritual life.  God illuminated and took the young, broken places of my heart (the girl) and drew her through the suffering into a new life of truth, acceptance, forgiveness, and awesome beauty (the woman). 

But becoming an adult required accepting suffering.

I remember during this season being given a vision of Jesus holding my hand down a dark, windy staircase, the candlelight and his hand my only companion. The image was Him saying, "We are walking into dark places but remember I have you, I am with you, you are never alone."

During this time Psalm 23 was my ongoing prayer and guide:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

In the suffering Jesus was saying, "I am with you. Yes, here, even here I have prepared a place for you. Sit with me. Eat with me. Let me display my splendor in this place."

See, the place he was saying he wanted to display His splendor was my shame.  The very places I had covered over and recoiled away in self contempt and condemnation he was saying, "Yep. Here, here is where I rejoice to be with you!"

And truth is, just last week almost 15 years later from that initial image, he was continuing to shine his light in a similar heart space. Things are different now, the suffering isn't as intense as that initial period of my life, however the light is still continuing to dissipate the darkness. And every time I am awed. Awed at this grace! This friend! This Savior! This Journey Companion!  Who holds my hand, flickers his holy light, and says over and over, "Come follow me! I will show you the path of life!"

So friends, as we reflect together this Wednesday, how is Jesus holding your hand, flickering His light, and guiding you down the windy staircase?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Almost everyone who has gone through loss and pain be it physical or mental can find joy if they seek Jesus.

So many people I have talked to who have gone through a tragedy, loss or illness have told me this.

I hope you continue to come even more into His light and joy Susie!