Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Journey of Thorns

Am I the only person that has ever been convinced that I wasn't MY own problem? Satan wants to trick us into believing that everyone or everything else is the problem, and not ourselves. We cannot live a successful life, especially Christian life refusing to believe that we may be our problem. Satan doesn’t make his entrance in our circumstances loudly. He is quiet, and sneaks in, in our vulnerable moments that we refuse to allow God to take care of (even unintentionally).

He sees an open door that we haven’t fully shut and begins to dig a comfy spot to take root in. As those roots grow they spread, and they spread deep. Deep in the places that we have suppressed. Deep in the places that we try to forget. Deep in the places that we mentally block out of our minds as though they never happened.

So many times something that started off so small grows into something so significant. My marriage is a good example (for me - not because it's bad, because it's NOT!). Every time I withhold any ill feelings towards Chris (because bless his heart I love him and want to slap him sometimes, too 😂), even over something so minor and insignificant, it always grows and spreads into something more. Simply because I didn’t confess those things, or talk them out of my emotional system. They stayed there and took root. 

I’m not talking about sin in our lives; I’m talking about brokenness, and unconfessed emotional damage that we allow to build up on the inside. Those things that start out very insignificant to our lives as a Christian. However, if we allow them to grow and spread, they will eventually play a significant role in our Christian life. They will affect every single part of us and every part of our lives. They will distort our focus. They will confuse our purpose. More importantly, they will affect the way we restore or destroy ourselves and those around us.

One of the hardest  things I have ever had to deal with is humility. Thankfully we have a God that is gracious and just and full of mercy. Someone asked me recently how I was okay with opening up and sharing so much of myself on my blog. I kind of laughed.  To look back on who I was versus today who I am becoming is night and day. I was VERY secretive about everything in my life. Not that I had anything to hide, I just did not open up to people about anything. What was on the inside of me stayed on the inside. I had even convinced myself that I was something that I wasn’t. I suppressed my emotions because I was too darn prideful to admit that I had any. I was too prideful to allow God to pluck those negative things out of my heart.

I have been married for 11 years, and to this day pride is something I still occasionally struggle with. It has taken me (longer than I would like to admit), to open my heart and receive those things that Chris was/is trying to tell me, instead of rejecting him in my prideful spirit. Sometimes love is tough, even as a Christian. We tend to only like to think of God as rainbows and roses or mean and against us. While roses are beautiful, we all know that there are thorns on those bad boys that will prick you and hurt you. I am in no way saying that God is out trying to hurt you… keep reading.

I am also in no way perfect in this area, but understanding what I’m about to tell you has brought out all of those good things that I was suppressing, too. 

When we suppress the negative things in our life, it also suppresses the positive things that God wants to bring out of us.

The enemy blinds us to that because he knows our what our potential is when we allow God to crack us open. In order for anything to be “cracked open” it has to be punctured or severed open. The process is painful, and it hurts... especially our pride (ugh). 

But beneath all of that pride is humility, grace, forgiveness, restoration, healing, joy, peace, LIFE.

Going through these last couple of heavy and intense months with my dad I had some choices to make. I had NO intentions at ALL of being so open with my dad’s journey. There was never a thought in my mind to do that so vulnerable and exposed. But I made a choice, and in that choice, things happened without me realizing it. I could have either suppressed those emotions or expressed them. 

Suppressing them would have only allowed anger and bitterness to take root. Expressing them blossomed into something more than I could have ever imagined.

The saying, “Every rose has its thorn” couldn’t be truer. This journey hurt and it was painful, but it was also beautiful. I don’t know your journey, but if it is painful maybe God is trying to crack you open, too. The enemy wants you to remain the victim because he knows on the inside is a victor. You choose what you will allow yourself to be.  


6 comments:

  1. Lindsay, That was beautiful. I know God is trying to crack me open & restore me. I've had a very long, difficult 4 years & I know that I too hold too much inside & don't let it be seen. Four years ago, my husband left & 3 months later, Daddy passed away. I've dealt with many emotions, but tried to keep them hidden from as many people as possible to appear like I was strong & "had it together". God is doing an amazing work of restoration in my life right now. It's crazy to see all the things He's lining up to "crack me open" & restore me. Yesterday, I got an apology, from someone who hurt me very deeply, that I never dreamed I'd receive, last night pastor started a series on restoration, then I went home & watched the video Reggie posted of your dad's sermon "it's only temporary", then your blog post today. Wow, God! I get it!!! Crack this nut open so You can do your work! Thank you for this post!

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  2. You are AMAZING! Thank you for consistently being so real. I needed this right now!

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  3. You are AMAZING! Thank you for consistently being so real. I needed this right now!

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  4. You are a prolific writer and I am so grateful for your openness to allow some of us into a small portion of your heart. This is a true gift and you are using it to bring Glory to the One Who matters! Thanks, Lindsay, for being "you"...filling your own shoes! You may not believe it, but I was once a shy, quiet country girl from Oklahoma who never spoke out (you can quit laughing now). May God continue to use you is my prayer, because He will and He does use those quiet girls from Oklahoma.

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