“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world… But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of the rebel soul.” – C.S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain
Have you ever had a random painful memory of the past? Have you thought about why? Have you noticed what do you do afterwards? From what I have experienced, when God is the one who brought up a memory of the past, my human nature, out of fear and shame, not only dismisses the pain but also denies it. As I have learned when a memory surfaces, that it is sometimes God screaming “Stop…look!” What begins to happen often after stopping and looking, is a softening of my heart, and with tears, affirming that the event mattered, that it hurt and has left me deeply wounded. The time presents itself where I need to make the frightening and painful decision to surrender all fear and enter into the smog in order to forgive myself and the people involved. When I enter inside the heavy fog, I hear screeching lies saying “You deserved this… or you are an idiot, a failure, you will never be good or pretty enough, you are pathetic and insecure, no one will ever understand you, or no one cared…” I also see the sad truth of my heart’s condition at that particular moment. I see with some memories whom I wrongfully gave the authority to validate me as a woman. But with the squinting of the eyes and the tuning of my ears, I see God being my Braveheart Warrior passionately cutting open those horrid lies and speaking truth.
As the haze of deceit evaporates, God is then able to be what He truly desires to be for me… my “intimate Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6). It becomes clear to see His truth and His grace in that past memory. I find some understanding in the confusion; questions are being answered. Any validations are now being transferred over to Yahwh. I also learn, depending on the memory, a new perspective on how my selfish actions may have wounded someone else. The sharp reality that I, myself, am a factor of someones else’s foggy forest is not a nice reality but a needed realization in order to repent and evoke change. Any sins I committed in my heart and/or wounds and hurts which I inflicted on others are being taken to Him. Forgiveness is sought after (in a relational sense) and I begin to walk the path of repentance. (All my sins have been forgiven and paid for already on the Cross; positionally I am forever redeemed.) It is His masculine protection and His never-bending faithfulness that become the conquering flag in this fortress, waving Victory, Life, and Truth. Psalms 119:71, 81 says “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes… In your steadfast love, give me life.” It is only after that I lay a hold of all of His revelation, tears act like springs of healing water that rush into my heart cultivating and watering a deeper and intimate relationship. Psalms 119:136 says “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.”
If God is the one bringing up the memories of the past, go hike with Him into the smog; be not afraid. If you are not sure if its God, hear the tone of the voice of the thought. Is it condemning and filled with regret or is it filled with grace and gentleness? John Eldridge says that “we will not find healing in the midst of the Matrix.” Be still and vanish any distractions and tune into His voice, open His Word and allow God’s Holy Word to become your counselor so that He can mend the broken branches in your heart with words of truth, grace and love. This is one reason why the Sabbath’s rest is so delightful; it allows for Psalms 23:2-3 and 119:24 to become such a glorious verisimilitude in one’s life: “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul,” and “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”
As for me, I know it will take more than one eerie hike with Him and at times, lots of tears, but there is progress and I am glad that He is with me every mile, saving all my tears in a jar (Psalms 56:8) as we walk through the thick murkiness of my past.
I wish to give credit to the Ministry of “Ransomed Hearts” and the authors of “Wild at Heart” and “Captivating.” They have been a staple to my growth, healing and understanding of Yahwh’s Warrior Heart for me.
Faith is exactly this—getting through the fog because you know God is leading the way! Amen!
Very true! Makes a change to see soemnoe spell it out like that. 🙂