Immanuel: We don’t walk alone…

Beauty is found in all sorts of backdrops…some captured in the rarest of surroundings. When I was younger due to some hard circumstances I couldn’t see it.
But healing has a way of restoring beauty and allowing us to see beyond the damage of it all…

When life seems like it’s falling apart its hard to clearly see the value of things.

As I recently sat across from my counselor and walked through the first childhood memory I hold, I was reminded of something very beautiful I’d never discovered because the wound that has occupied that space obstructed the gift inside of it.

I’ve always known wounds eventually find healing but it seemed some of the ones I have, never fully found theirs.
It wasn’t until I recently realized that although some horrible things happened to me, I survived them.
Yes, they’ve taken a great deal from me but they didn’t get all of me!

I survived and am even thriving despite their injury.

Sure there is a remnant that still exists and that I am sometimes daily battling but truth is that is what makes me whole…

When we moved to Dallas 8 years ago, I was pretty worn out and beaten down in life. I had recently dealt with a couple of bouts of the shingles and even went through some PTSD from watching a stranger die that I couldn’t adequately save and was finding myself struggling with some anxiety issues more and more.
I was tired and the last thing I wanted to do was restore anything.

But God….knew what I needed and what He needed of me.

So upon moving here, not only were we tasked with restoring a church and given a house in need of it but there was some restoring within my own soul that needed tended to.

So when I was recently researching what the name of our street means {because writers like to do quirky things like that} I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn it means…’someone crippled by a broken bone…’

I read those words over and over to understand them better and yet the thing that kept standing out to me is how we can become crippled by a bone that has been broken and hasn’t found healing.

That was me!
I didn’t have a broken bone, but I did have a shattered heart that I was trying to limp through life with.

Brokenness can be crippling when we don’t aid it to healing.

And our hearts are a peculiar organ… they not only house the central pumping of our blood which finds its way to all our organs, but our heart also houses our emotions.

I’ve watched some very strong men undergo open heart surgery and come through the healing of their organ quite different. I remember a doctor warning my Mother how my Dad may come through his open heart surgery a little more emotional and he did. 
Funny but it changed him forever…after his surgery he seemed more sensitive and compassionate.

Isn’t it strange that even an organ such as the heart is so complex and functional yet when it goes through the physical trauma of surgery it comes through it a little bruised and wounded itself?

We often recognize the effect physical trauma has on our bodies but ignore the way it affects us emotionally.

Traumatic events suffered as children have a unique way of following us into our adult years…

That’s where I spent many years of my life…not realizing the anxiety and ‘stress’ I was experiencing actually resulted from years of childhood pain.
In fact it wasn’t until several years ago that I realized the connection between the two…

Since then I’ve spent the days in between tending to the healing of my heart…making room and squeezing it in my life.

For much of my life there was too much clutter in my heart for me to be who God created me to be.

Seeking healing allows us to clear away the messes and make room for new beginnings.

But making room in our heart to heal doesn’t just happen.

I’ve had to be intentional about it.
I’ve had to be honest about it too.

Because honestly it’s not something I want to talk about.
I don’t like to admit that conflict makes me cringe and all I want to do is fix it or run from it.

I don’t like admitting that the trauma of that one day has caused me to kick and scream when I’m held down.
That I’ve looked over my shoulder for years in the dark because I was petrified someone would sneak up and attack me. 
Forget the shame I told myself because of what I thought for years I let happen…I was four….

I hate admitting I can’t control the immense feelings that well up in the secret places of my soul when I feel overwhelmed or threatened. 

I don’t like to tell about how this affected my trust in God and how I tried to control so much of my life. 

I can’t describe the guilt I slung upon my back as our sons were growing up worrying about how much of my brokenness I was passing on to them so I spent many years raising them from the burdensome place of fear and ‘not-enough’.

I don’t like how out of control I can feel in the middle of trying to remember to breathe and counting my breaths. 

And even though there’s still triggers that come and threaten my peace and tighten my chest…the healing is happening.

I’ve found when I get brave and admit these things even in the most sacred and holy places, that there’s a whole crowd of others out there struggling through their own kind of hard. 

And so today I knew I had to push through what I don’t like to find ample words and write them down, because there’s you who are reading this whose nerves are wavering between aching and finding hope and you need me to be honest….to tell my story so that you might find the words to speak yours along side of mine. 

You like me…
need to know you’re not alone in the anxiety, in the pain and in the healing.

You need to know…if you keep walking on that broken bone it’s going to cripple you.

Because God knows you need healing.
He knows who you are out there…
and He wants you to know
-He sees you walking around in the dark and He’s there with you. 

He needed me to speak these words for reasons unknown to me…
Because there’s something to be said about what is real and authentic…

And that is exactly why He chose to send His son to us—
to be WITH us!
He came because He didn’t want us to go through life alone…He came to pull us out of our houses and out of our shame and into the warmth of His light and His presence.

And so many may miss Him because beauty is found in the rarest of surroundings…even in the cruelest of places, even in a damp and wet manger…because God knew we needed someone who would forsake His throne to be here with us, so we would no longer be alone. 

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