Seven summers ago I found myself riding a camel through the Sahara Desert. It was an incredible experience. Being from the United States I am used to wearing scarves around my neck. They are a beautiful accessory and I love them! On my journey through the Sahara Dessert, I discovered that scarves are not only beautiful, they are practical. Without my scarf I would have been miserable. I can still remember the feel of the sun bearing down on my head. I can feel the sting of sand being whipped at my face by the blowing wind. I can’t tell you how grateful I was to have a scarf to cover my head from the sun and veil my face from the wind.
This summer, God has been doing a great work of emotional healing in my life. I have been made aware of the walls I have built around myself. I have come to the unpleasant realization that I have been wearing a mask for so long that I wasn’t aware I was wearing one. It had become a part of me. I have been hiding beneath the safe coverings of a veil in an attempt to shield myself from the ugly things in life. I am not who God has made me to be. I’ve been pretending. I’ve been living a lie.
To say this realization has been disconcerting would be an understatement. I feel naked and exposed. I feel like a fraud before God. I feel angry. I feel deep grief at the years that have been lost. I feel forgiven. I feel free. I feel hope for a better tomorrow. I feel.
I can’t tell you what a relief it is to allow myself to feel. I’ve been denying my feelings for so long. I’ve been stuffing them inside because they were too frightening to deal with. I’ve been hiding them because I didn’t want to make God (or myself) look bad. I have pretended for so long and so well that I believed myself. I truly thought everything was okay. I didn’t know what a mess I was. But now I know. I’ve been given a second chance at life. Today is a new day with Christ. The old has gone, the new has come!
Friends, if my words resonate in your heart, I want to tell you that there is hope. There is hope for so much more than what you’ve experienced so far in life. God loves you and me too much to let us cope forever. He will do the painful work of emotional healing in our lives. I know it’s terrifying to even think about thinking about our emotions. What if they’re too much? What if I open that box and more than I can handle pours out?
If God says that now is the time for you, He will help you. He will be even closer to you than the mask you’ve been wearing. He will help you understand what you are feeling so that you can talk about those feelings with Him.
Second Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT) says:
But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.
As I turn to the Lord in raw honesty, the veil is unwrapped from my face. I let the sun beat down on me and I close my eyes tightly as the wind whips the sand in my face.
Emotional growth is not easy. In fact, it may be one of the most painful things I will ever do.
As I ask the Lord to reveal areas of my life that I need to acknowledge and deal with, a sense of freedom comes over me. I don’t have to hide the pain anymore. I can learn how to be the woman God created me to be.
How do we learn to be the person God has created us to be? I struggled with that question for weeks before it occurred to me that I don’t have to do anything. It is the Lord who makes us like Christ and changes us into His glorious image. As we become more like Christ, we become the person He has made us to be. It’s a beautiful thing!
Learning how to thrive emotionally isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a process and it will take time. I’m at the beginning of my journey; won’t you join me? We can learn together!
© August 12, 2014