I was right. There’s still more to the “healing” series I was working on a few months ago, I just hadn’t gotten to a point where I could write about it without bursting into tears or fighting God about what the right words were.
I’m wounded. I am wounded and I am furious, but it isn’t an adrenaline rush of emotions that puts me on my feet and gives me strength to fight.
It’s more like a tsunami crashing over me that pulls my feet out from under me and leaves me to drown in church parking lots and on busy highways and bathroom floors.
I’ve never really been lied to before. Not like this. Little white lies, yeah, who hasn’t been the receiver of a few of those? And who hasn’t given them?
But I was lied to about big stuff and I didn’t even know, or maybe I did but I didn’t let myself see it because I was head over heels in love.
I would’ve believed anything he said just because it came from his mouth.
You never know you’re in the middle of something bad until you’re outside of it looking in. Or maybe you do, but you can see the good too so you decide to put up with the bad for the little bit of goodness that’s in the situation.
I’m a hopeless optimist. I always choose the good, even if the bad outweighs it tenfold.
God uses painful experiences to grow us,
For a while I hated him for that. I hated that he was using what happened to teach me things. I hated him for letting all that happened to me happen.
I’m a little bit stubborn. And prideful, because I ignored that voice that said, “No, you got yourself there. Now God’s gotta figure out a way to use your mistakes.”
Like my friend Joy would say, it was a “hush moment,” except I didn’t hush. I drowned him out.
Stubborn. Prideful. Arrogant. Oh, James.
Even now it’s a struggle. There’s the temptation to go rewrite that, to say that I didn’t hate God, that I was just angry. Confused. Hurting. Broken.
It’s kind of amazing how quickly God can take hold of a person when he or she is honestly and earnestly seeking him.
Here’s the story, one of the oldest stories in the book: Boy meets Girl. Girl falls in love with boy.
Then it gets interesting.
Boy says he falls in love with Girl. Girl believes him, because she’s innocent and gentle and always, always trusting.
Boy breaks Girl, but only after she gives him her heart and soul and everything else within her that was any good.
When he’s gone, all that’s left is a shell on the ground, shattered and scattered pieces glinting in the hot white sunlight.
Everyone warned me.
And by everyone, I mean everyone.
My parents were concerned. My friends, too. They never told me outright that it was a bad situation, but they made comments. They told me in small, subtle ways that they were worried. I think my Pastor may have said something at one point.
I laughed, told them that it was fine.
It really wasn’t fine. At all.
I think the scariest part of having been manipulated is that you’re not aware of it as it happens. You have this person you love and they’re telling you things, planting seeds of new ideas and opinions in your brain. And you let those seeds grow. You water them with belief and let them grow up into deep rooted trees with leaves that whisper through the woods sprung up in your mind.
I thought things that I never would have thought, things that were wrong and unbiblical, but I didn’t let myself listen to reason until that relationship had been broken. Even now, I have no idea why I gave myself over so completely to someone who apparently cared very little.
Now is difficult.
Now is insecurity. About the red scars on my chin and the weight I carry in my thighs and my uncontrollable laugh; about my hair, how it’s dry and frizzy when I wash it but oily when I don’t. There are insecurities about my opinions, about their validity and whether those around me will find them foolish when I want them to be insightful.
Now is fear. Fear of wasting time and fear of not being good enough and fear of losing the people that I’ve come to love so deeply that sometimes it feels I might drown in my own affections.
Now is a little bit of bitterness and a lot of hurt and some confusion.
But Now is a paradox because Now is also peace, in my morning quiet times; Now is love and adventures with that small group of people that I am clinging to so tightly. Now is exhilarating and it is laughter and it is healing.
It’s learning to trust again, and it’s remembering how to love and how to be Sunshine.
It’s a difficult lesson, but it’s worth learning.