I’m reminded of a time I wandered these streets.
I was a very different person back then.
I longed to be seen and valued and to be fully known.
And when I left this town I was hoping to find all of this.
But what I found is…these things should never be our quest.
Instead they’re the beauty we find when our soul’s healing and it’s finding it’s rightful place in this world.
Last week as I walked these same steps as so many times before, I found something surprisingly new and powerful about its path.
I found strength and confidence as I walked its pavement.
We’re always cautioned not to hold on too tightly to our past.
To forgive ourselves….to not live in its footsteps…to let go of the bitterness or pain.
But there’s something scary about letting go of it all.
Yet when you get on the other side of all of this, there’s something beautiful which happens.
You realize what the enemy intended to kill you with, God used to shape your life.
I remember for several years after I moved away, I would return back home and I secretly hoped I wouldn’t find even a hint of my past.
I was ashamed of how I’d lived back then and I didn’t want even a reminder of who I was.
I made choices driven by insecurity and unmet needs… and I hated who I was.
But last week, it felt so freeing to walk those same sidewalks knowing my identity is drenched in Christ.
Knowing I no longer am ‘known’ for who I was because who Jesus is shaping me into today is… a new creation, a new person.
And honestly this is what drives me to reach out to brokenness when I see it…
It’s what leads me to check in on friends and family when God lays them on my heart…
You see, it takes compassion to look into one’s own soul and hand out grace.
Joe picked New England as his finale trip following all of his treatments.
He loves my hometown and loves my family who live there.
And honestly its because of him and God working side by side, that place has found redemption.
You see, for years he always made a point of getting me back home.
He saved paychecks and shifted his desires to make new memories with me there. He knew that place was worth redeeming and he knew it would restore me at the same time.
So year after year he got us back there, whether this meant driving thousands of miles through the night, staying in sketchy hotels or hours upon hours of boys getting stir crazy in the back seat…his pursuit remained the same.
It was always to heal brokenness and re-make memories with family…
And although this trip was quieter and a bit slower this time, it represented so many of the same intentions.
Except this time it was for him as well…
You see, this time Joe was the one we went there to restore.
And even though, rest does some funny things which we aren’t always ready to uncover, there’s something healing in setting aside sacred time to heal.
As we returned to all of our ‘favorite’ places, although they each were just as beautiful as we’d left them…there was something harder about them.
Because this is what happens when we’re still healing…
Just because the hardest of days are behind you, doesn’t mean there aren’t more ahead.
They’re just a new kind of hard.
And as I pressed in harder to God, every time I caught glimpses of the work which is left to do…
I was reminded to not forget…
To not forget the miracle which has already taken place.
To not forget to choose worship over worry.
To not forget how far we’ve come and that healing doesn’t happen over night.
And most of all that it’s okay to not be okay all of the time…
This is why we have places like this to go to…
Because inside these spaces we carve out time to rest and to heal.
So many times we are pleading to God for the healing, wanting this thing to go away.
But what if this THING is what God is shaping us with?
What if it is what God uses to remind us he’s got a plan for our healing…a time to for it all to transpire…because none of this is a surprise for him or something he can’t deal with…
And in the depths of our sweetest of worship, it’s here we find we were never alone, but in it all, he’s been with us every.step. of the way.
And this morning in the darkness of the early morning hours, my eyes fell upon this familiar passage…
‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.‘
The word for ‘Almighty’ in this verse can be interpreted as the Hebrew word ‘enough‘.
Isn’t that a beautiful picture of God?
Our God is enough for us….enough healing…enough strength…enough for us to need no-thing else…enough to be content and enough for us to truly embrace rest…
In our days when we search endlessly for more….God is truly enough!