I’ve taken some time working on this post because it’s something that’s been lingering on my mind and in my heart for a long time. I finally began working on it last week but needed a fullness on it. Even now, I seek it as I type.
Also, I know you noticed it when you peeked into my vault and I bet you can’t wait for the marriage post that’s highlighted in my drafts. That one’s needed more brooding. It’ll come.
Anyway, I watched The Shack again last week, can’t remember exactly when, but it was something else. I watched it when it came out and felt I should watch it again for some time because I’ve been aggressive with my healing, which is what this post is about, by the way, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
The Shack, man! The Shack! Bless God for that movie/book/story. Such a blessing. As I watched The Shack, I couldn’t help but think about how of all the things Jesus could have done on earth, He spent the better part of His life before ministry as a carpenter like His Father. Not making a spiritual pun but Jesus always did what He saw His Father doing. The layers on that are very Outer Limits.
All the same, it’s obvious to assume that Jesus would give IKEA or Odds & Ends a run for their money (because The maker making is a slam dunk) but it’s likely He wouldn’t. Jesus spent days learning from His father how to make beds, chairs, shelves, tables, spoons, coffins, carvings, boats, even bowls and such but I’m sure many probably disagreed with His idea and perspective of beauty. Maybe He liked to keep original dents on some wood when making items. Maybe He didn’t always smooth out certain woods. Maybe some things He made seemed bent and twisted but if He’d lend you His eyes, you’d see what He saw. Maybe… But the bible doesn’t get into that (why Lord! Why????).
And as someone who works with their hands, I understand the connection of makers with what they touch and create with their hands. I believe it’s the same with farming and gardening. There’s a lot that goes into furniture. There’s designing, measuring, cutting, sanding, painting and dressing it (upholstery) even before you style it. With gardening, there’s digging, planting, watering, pulling out roots and harvesting. It’s messy. Let me tell you, if you’ve ever had to stay in a workshop for some time, cut wood or sand it and have had the unique pleasure (uh, not really) of inhaling sawdust, then you know what I mean. But that’s what Jesus took on while on earth.The Maker of the universe and anything beyond it came to earth as a maker. I love that! Click To Tweet
Remembering that about Jesus and remembering the work of the Holy Spirit when I was watching The Shack made a particular scene speak loudly to me.
I’ll just let the video sum up what I’d have laboured to write.
Right? If I ended the post here, trust me, that video would sum it all up. The Shack itself would sum up this post but I’ll still go ahead.
It’s no secret that my hurt and anger has shown through the last few posts, understandably so. You’ve seen the nectar and sweetness but you’ve also witnessed the poison – the bitter root of loss and being on the receiving end of tart words and actions because of it. It’s been troubling to me. I’ve known this, that the poison was spreading, since I wrote openly about grief here, but I wasn’t sure why. I said I was learning to forgive, and that is true, but I’ve also been learning the reason why I’ve been mad. My good friend Mary helped me discern this by sharing Dawna de Silva’s sozo sermon on love, power and a sound mind posted below. She’s such a treasure and her website is a vault of gems.
The rest of this paragraph will make more sense if you’ve watched the video above. You see, I’ve teetered in between control (wrong power based on fear) pushing away love and a sound mind when I’d shut people out and I’ve overemphasized on love and removed power and discernment/sound mind from the recipe because I was afraid of losing friends, especially one in particular. And what that has resulted in is me venting here on the blog (the place where I’ve felt I have a voice) because I honestly don’t know how to confront my friend. It’s been hurting me inside. Every single time. And I’m angry because I haven’t been able to use my voice and say, “When you do this, when you did this, when you said this, I hurt so bad.” I’ve been afraid that saying this will be the equivalent of signing on the dotted line of severing the ties to our friendship so in the end, I’m keeping the friendship and dying in the process. And I know it’s not healthy. I know I’ve forgiven but the trust and the boundaries are down and I’m maxed out.
Still don’t know how to go about it. Still don’t know how to say what I said on this and this post to her in certain forums. Loss is lonely. And I’m not clinging to it; I’m not clinging to my pain but I can’t pretend I’m 100% whole. It’s a process. And it’s been hard being in certain forums because I clam up and can’t say what I really want to say which is what I’ve said here countless times before.
I don’t feel acknowledged or considered.
Not beyond a sharing which I end up choosing not to do. I’m happy for those with kids, those who are pregnant and for others’ journeys but man, has it been a bullet to the heart every time I’d be there! Every time. Not because they have kids and I don’t, but because I’m not too sure where my story fits in the group’s collective one about growing their families. And sure, I should speak up, but I’ve been avoiding to do so because I don’t want people walking on eggshells around me or feeling that they have to mute or dial down their joy anytime I’m present. You get the quagmire? I want to be acknowledged and considered but not at everyone else’s expense. How do I do that?
So instead, all this pent up emotion (or unresolved remains of the last encounter plus new ones from new encounters) swell in me and I’m a raging volcano by the time Sunday is over. And it sucks. Because truthfully, I don’t feel like there’s room for me. Not now and maybe not ever because everyone’s going in that direction (kids and parenting) and I’m uncomfortable with a lot and I suck it up because I don’t know what to do only to erupt later on and I just can’t.
That’s where I am. I want God to heal me whole. Because that root is still getting mixed with nectar so it’s not killing me or anyone else but it’s also not healing me or anyone else. God’s been telling me a lot lately and I’ve been taking His counsel in stride. I know I’ll be better and do better because I’m getting better. That’s the thing. Healing needs you to take medicine. That’s where I’m at with the whole thing, something this sermon by Bill Johnson illustrates.
“So produce fruit that is consistent with repentance [demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin].” John 3:8 AMP
What fruit has/will my forgiveness/repentance have?
That’s a legit good question and I’m working it out with God. I have a few ideas. Just last week, two nights in a row, God told me to keep praying (I’m certain it was about this but also other things I won’t get into here) and to not avoid people. That’s a big part of the fruit because peopling has needed so much grace for me. Oh, and get this, God told me this a few days before a weekend full of peopling. Boy, did I wake up with a long face. Haha! But I showed up. I peopled, not too well on one in the beginning but better after and I peopled great the day after.
Why did I say yes, even if my heart strongly said no? Well, because I need to heal and I don’t know how. Also, God knows best and well, I like to keep things interesting when God says to do something I’m not into. So I did the thing. Yaaaaay! And I’ll need to keep doing the thing which will involve me throwing in the bin the idea I’ve entertained for months to switch off my phone through the holidays till sometime next year. Oh boy. No promises. More grace Jesus!
Will I use my power? It will be in my best interest for me to. Will I people this festive season? Yes, though I’ll let myself not make the first move for some time. Baby steps.
As someone at a key position of influence in my church community, I can’t let what’s ailing my heart ail others. That’s why I took a back seat. But I’m working on it as best as I can. Doing the best that I can and learning to use my words. Hoping to practice that this holiday. Words like, “Please understand that what you said/are saying hurts me. This is why.” Or, “Please allow me to not do that/decline the offer/I’m okay, thanks.” We’ll see how that goes.
But watching The Shack helped a tonne! I know I didn’t follow through with something I saw myself do but I’ll hopefully do better next time.
Back to Jesus. In The Shack, the main character said he feels the most comfortable and at ease around Jesus and Jesus said, “It’s because I look like you.” And I was like, oh God! Yes! Jesus looks like us but He also looks like God. He was the template for humanity.
Flesh. Blood. Spirit.
And I can’t help but think that we are makers just like Him, the only difference is what we’re making and why. I want to be an instrument of healing. I know (believe me, I know) of the good that will come out of this terrible thing that happened to Dave and I. But I want to be more whole. That’s why I’ve pushed paused on book editing or much else concerning the book. I don’t want a good thing to be defiled by the little poison that God is rooting out with His nectar and new perspective.
Dear God, has it been some trip this year!
But I’m changing. I know what He has in store for me next year (just here shaking my head in part anticipation, part are you serious?), and I’m allowing Him to make me over for it. If I offended you this year with what I said here, I apologize. There was a lot of truth to my words but my words were heavy on the pain. I’m sorry. I needed to say it here because I didn’t feel there was another place to say it. Please forgive me. I’ll keep the words as they came and not edit them out because I needed everything through this process to be as truthful, and authentic, and as messy as it came. I know someone who’ll need it will appreciate that so I hope you can understand.
Make me over.
That’s my heart for this holiday season. Frankincense and myrrh have healing properties. And I know I talked about it on this post but I’ll get back to it again because it’s worth repeating. Frankincense and myrrh trees are bruised and cut into for their aromatic sap. The deeper you bruise them, the more fragrant the sap. How I ironic, right?
Even more ironic is that these were the gifts the wise men brought Jesus. At the time, the frankincense and myrrh that they brought Him was more valuable than the gold because of their healing properties and fragrance and also because harvesting them is quite a process. I believe Mary kept those gifts in preparation of Jesus’ burial. And in every place He was bruised, their healing salve covered His wounds to add fragrance to His decaying body. Also, the irony of perfuming a body set to rot isn’t lost on me.
But that’s what’s needed to be made over. Acknowledge your wounds. Acknowledge your scars and your rot. Jesus gets it because He was there too. I want this down time to show me more areas where I lack the awareness of God’s love directly or through others.
Which is what my book is about. It covers the things and places we think God dodged us out of His promises and shows the beauty of the scars we wear. Perhaps God saw that I needed to live through the book before/as I write it and this year (a bit more than the previous years I talk about in it) I know the beauty and purpose God gives to our scars.
I can’t wait to talk about it or for the book to be in your hands but I know it’s changing me before it hopefully changes you.
So will you let Him make you over? He is kind through it and everything God thinks, says or does springs out of love. The process and what you discover about yourself might hurt, but what was once bitter and poisonous can have tremendous healing properties.