“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
She provided a safe place for my vulnerability so I confided in her. I poured out the contents of my heart. Perhaps, I was looking for validation. Perhaps, I sought comfort. Quite possibly, all I was searching for was a listening ear. What I got instead, was a reality check in its purest form. She lifted my chin, looked me square in the eyes, and said sternly, “It is time to get over it. Let it go. You have to move past it.”
I was not expecting her to give me such a definitive, borderline-insensitive response. I was used to her telling me that it was okay to not be okay and reassuring me that my feelings were natural. Her demeanor was different though. It was as if she knew that I was in the midst of an intense spiritual battle and I was on the verge of taking a loss. She wasn’t going to sit by and watch me lose.
Truthfully, I agreed with her words. I was ready to release everything that had me bound. Not because I was so strong or brave, but because I was tired. I was exhausted from carrying around the hurt from my past. It was so heavy and it weighed me down. I feared that it would kill me. If not my body, it would certainly kill my spirit. The problem was, I didn’t know how to move on from it. I didn’t know how to let it go.
My pain had become a part of me. I had gotten so used to being hurt that I began to define myself by the many experiences that had broken me down. Abused. Cheated. Rejected. Abandoned. Betrayed. Denied. Unappreciated. Belittled. Despite the smile that I plastered on each day before leaving my home, I wore those titles like invisible name badges. They belonged to me. I belonged to them. It made no sense to me to let them go because each season of my life brought more of the same…packaged differently, but with the same sting. Still, I heard her words to me…and I prayed desperately for the strength to release my past.
One sleepless night, He spoke to me. He whispered in my ear, “I’m here. I never left even when you couldn’t feel me. Follow me…one step at a time. Move when I say move.” I wanted to argue with Him. I wanted to ask Him why He didn’t speak to me sooner. I needed to explain to Him that I could not move. I couldn’t leave my pain behind because I was responsible for it. It was mine. I needed it and it needed me. After all, it defined me. I wanted Him to understand that if I could have moved on from it, I would have moved already. I tried so hard to scream and shout my protests at Him, but when I tried to speak, no sound came out. Instead of moving my mouth, I moved my feet…one step at a time. Sometimes, I moved them quickly. Other times, I moved so slowly that it seemed that I was standing still. But I kept moving. I moved forward…and I’m still moving forward.
Chances are, my “it” is different from your “it.” However, the message is the same. Your pain has purpose and God is more than capable of guiding you out of the pains of your past and into your purpose in Him. You just have to be willing to move your feet…one step at a time.
Lord, I admit that I am broken and I trust in You for full restoration. I know that I cannot be defined by both You and my past. Help me to release the strongholds of my past hurts and walk into Your purpose for my life. Help me to give my pain a voice so that I may use it to glorify You. Remind me of the promises that You have made for those who believe in You. In Jesus’s name…amen.