I am confident of this very thing…

I find that my best writing comes out of one of two things: pain or growth. Which, in reality, are two important aspects of life. Growth usually springs forth from pain if we will allow it. At times, when we are in the middle of the pain, all we can think about, comprehend, or perceive is the actual experience. The grueling emotions, the turmoil, the disgust, the anger, the emotional, physical, or psychological hurt. It is all-encompassing, like darkness when clouds obscure the moon and stars and the heaviness of the night weighs on us.

It often takes time to overcome the burden of pain but if we can hang on, we will learn something. And that, my friend, is when true growth occurs.

So, as I was saying, it is usually pain – when I am in the thick of it and searching for understanding – or growth – which follows the pain – when I am enveloped with the art of writing.  I don’t want to forget what I have learned in the experiences. I want to share it. I want to point others in the right direction in the hope that they will crawl out of the darkness a little quicker than I did. Yet, I find myself reminded, often, that pain sometimes has layers. It has to be peeled away, piece by piece.  Just when we think we have overcome a particular pain and moved on, it appears subtly again. Another layer revealed to be dealt with.

Yes, growth occurs with each layer removed. However, the desire to have it gone completely compels me to act against it. The psychological and emotional baggage that comes with pain wrecks things. Ruins them. It has crippling effects that carry over too long. Last night I had dinner with friends and we got on a topic that brought up a past experience. A painful one that I thought was over and done. Yet, I reacted in a very negative way and said some things that I should not have said. And, later, when I thought about it, I was shocked to find that there is still healing to be done…still…after all this time.

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it, wondering why it still affected me the way it did and asking God to fix it…fix me. It’s the same thing I ask often – break me and remake these parts that aren’t right. I want to be well. I want to be whole. I want to get past the baggage. And then, for the first time in a long time, I heard His still, small voice whispering in my soul: It’s okay that you are not okay, not perfect, and at times broken. Fixing you would be about you. Maybe what I am doing is not about you. I see the bigger picture. I work in the weakness. It is a process. Do not give up on the process.

This morning, I am looking at things a little different. I will still ask Him to fix me but I will be okay with a, “no” or “wait a little bit longer” answer because I know I am not forgotten. To Him, I am not unimportant. To Him, I am loved and His own.

Guess what, my friend, so are you. Of this, I am confident.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in your will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  ~ Philippians 1:6

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