I have spent the past several years learning and growing in God's Word. When the Scripture jumped off the page at me to study and learn for myself, to question the things I am being taught, and to seek out the truth and answers for myself according to His Word and His counsel; I did. I pray and seek His Word. I dig into the Bible, I study passages and sometimes just one sentence. I brake down the Hebrew and Greek words to better understand what I am reading. I use the dictionary more now then I ever did when I was in school. I look up words that I think I know the meaning to just so I can learn more about each word. God put this hunger in me that is only satisfied by time spent with Him!
We had some hard issues as a family to deal with over the past couple years and I thought I was doing well bringing everything to God. Praying over everything. Seeking His guidance for each situation. And then BAM! You know how it works, I'm sure you've been there. You just feel like you are getting your feet under you, you just found the life boat and are no longer sinking. Your head is above water! Then there is an attack. Something that blindsides you; you didn't see it coming. We have a real enemy, who sits waiting, who knows our weak spots and will use them against us at any opportunity. The Bible tells us: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 NASB. Even when our attack appears to come from another person, it really is in the spirit realm that we need to battle. We need to keep our focus where it should be, on God, on where God places us and wants us to be.
I learned another weak area in my life recently. We all have weakness, we all have areas we try to hide, cover up, and pretend aren't there. Areas we thought we dealt with but really didn't heal from. It is what we do with this knowledge, this new information, that matters.
While dealing with so much hurt, this out of no where shock that hit me like a ton of bricks, I felt like I was being constantly beaten. No, not physically, although some of the blows did cause physical reactions in my body. I was in constant prayer to help me show kindness and forgiveness in this situation. It felt as though the more kindness I showed the more hurtful the situation became. The more forgiveness I offered, the more hurt that flowed my direction. One night, after I had spent the day crying out to God for wisdom and discernment and for Him to give me His strength to continue to be His vessel, to continue to offer forgiveness, and to continue showing kindness; one of the people the enemy was using to hurt me sneered in my ear "...just keep smiling..." The hate in that persons eyes and voice I pray I will forget. This one moment brought me back to years and years ago, a place of hurt. Hurt I thought I had left behind. That night when I got home I cried out to God again. I prayed for healing and for my heart to forgive. I cried big tears and had a very sleepless night.
God reminded me of Hannah. You can find her story in 1 Samuel 1. God reminded me of how Hannah cried out to Him and how Hannah ran to God in her hurt. Hannah would seek out God time and time again. Hannah went to God for comfort. Hannah knew that God was the only one who could heal her hurt, and God reminded me that He is the only one who will heal my hurt as well.
I wish I could tell you that I instantly felt all better and that it was over. However, healing takes time, God's time. The next few weeks I would hear this comment in my head over and over. I would immediately stop smiling and the hurt would come rushing back. But then, when I listened for His voice, for God's voice, He comforted me. God whispered to my soul: "You have a beautiful smile that I created!" "I love your smile!" "I have used your smile to make others feel happy when they were having bad days." "Your smile is part of who you are and that smile has a purpose in your life." God is so very good! He is loving and full of grace toward us.
Friends, God is wanting to comfort you. God wants us to bring our hurt, our disappointments, and our troubles to Him. What the enemy wishes for harm, God will use for good! Romans 8:28 says: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Do you know? Do you know that God will cause the pain in your life to work for your good if you continue to love Him and lean into Him. You can trust God to be faithful. You can trust God to hold you together and love you.
If you are in a season of hurt, a season of healing, a season you wish would end; I encourage you to run to God. Pour out your heart to God. Tell God everything that is on your mind and heart and then give it all to Him. Continue to love God with all your heart and soul and mind. Continue to seek Him no matter what. One day, you will look back on this season, and you may just be able to see God's hand. We may never understand the why of things this side of heaven, but we can feel God's love toward us. We can learn to lean on God and God alone.
When we allow God to do the healing we come out stronger than we were before!