Where to begin? I have no elaborate words or visions to share. Though I have indeed had plenty of visions and revelation from the Lord, it’s all so overwhelmingly personal and recent that I’d rather keep them in the treasure chest of my own heart a little longer before I share.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I started reading “Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest” by Bonnie Gray last week. This journey truly has been an awakening of the soul and the first few days back into myself were not pretty. Memories resurfaced and past trauma was relived.
Merriam Webster’s definition of trauma:
“A very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time. medical : a serious injury to a person’s body.”
Trauma is so much more than merely an injury to the body, it can also be a lasting wound on the soul inflicted by words, abuse, experiences, people, self, and so on. Through many different traumatic experiences from childhood up, over the course of life my soul was slowly chipped away into a million little pieces. So many, that after surrendering my life to Jesus in 2014, I just shoved all my broken pieces to the side. I put my “new identity in Christ” label on the pile of rubbish that was my past, walked away, and over time almost went total amnesiac. Not realizing the rotting stems and flowering perverted truths that were springing up from my buried past. Let me just add this, we do become new creations in Christ, and I do not argue that truth. I am a new creation and have a new identity in Christ, but that offers me freedom from my past not stuffing it into a forgotten drawer. Being a new creation in Christ means every part of my mind, every cell in body, every broken piece of myself is intended to be touched by Christ and therefore made new. Needless to say over the course of reading this book, I have explored the depths of my pile of rubbish. Picking through the vast dirty, gut wrenching pieces of myself and every. single. time. Jesus looks at the same dusty, broken piece of me that I keep at arms length and yet He holds my broken piece like an infant, rocks me back and forth, and tells me He loves me..even there. Especially there.
As for the traumatic memories, the ones cutting so deep that I couldn’t even remember them, those the Lord gently brings to the surface of my mind. As I watch, feel, and completely experience these memories in the present time again, the anxiety weighs on me like an elephant sitting on my chest. Heart pounding. Throat constricting. Mind screaming for me to stop. I cry. I curl up in a ball. I feel it all deeply. And then something odd happens. The memory ends, and suddenly I see it replay again only this time Jesus is in my shoes. Jesus takes the words thrown at me, Jesus experiences the pain with me, Jesus receives all the trauma that I did. It feels wrong to watch Him, my perfect Jesus, be in these terrible places. But still He stays no matter how wrong it might feel or how much I wish He didn’t have to see this. He stays put, shows me the holes in His hands, and tells me,
“This is why. I died for this moment. I died to take this from you. I rose again and I want you raise up with me.”
And then the overwhelming reality of the true depths of Christ’s love for me totally shakes me to the core in every single one of those memories…Until finally I can feel warmth spreading. Beginning in my fast beating heart and radiating outward, towards my loosening chest like a knot being untied, releasing the breath I had been holding. Warming down my legs and arms, up my neck and anointing my mind like oil. I am being healed. Thank you, Jesus. I am really, genuinely being healed to the core of my soul. More than just loving me at my darkest, Jesus loves me. All of me, and all of the sudden that feels more real than it ever has before. As Gray puts it,
“We are free to remember”
Through Jesus and the words of knowledge from Gray in this book, I finally feel the freedom to remember my past and not shut down or suppress. Freedom to look through my own memories and not fall into depression, bad coping mechanisms, isolation and shame. I can be all of me with Jesus, every broken part restored through His healing touch. And I believe this is the rest for my soul that I’ve needed all along.
I can not recommend this book I referenced “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” by Bonnie Gray enough. It’s worth the trek into finding the real you. Buy it here and begin your own journey to spiritual rest!
Now I would like to take a second and tell you all about an amazing organization that is playing a role in healing people world wide, Starling Box.
“a quarterly nonprofit box of ethical products made by human trafficking survivors and at-risk individuals”
Based in Los Angeles, this organization supports companies that hire human trafficking survivors to create ethical products which you would receive quarterly in your Starling Box, then they donate all of the proceeds to organizations that fight human trafficking. Finally, Starling Box raises awareness on the hard reality of human trafficking and encourage people to buy more ethically. Starling Box will launch their first subscriptions very soon, and you won’t want to miss this opportunity to make an impact! So go check them out via their blog, Instagram and their website!