(If you are new to this blog you may wish to read Part I of this story, just scroll down to locate it)
Speaking of boxes, remember the one filled with hatred towards him? I came across another box recently…oh, how God cleans out one’s heart that has relented to Him. But this box is different, I’m not even certain when it was created, in fact I didn't even know it existed within me. Perhaps it was delivered to me by the evil one, probably when I wasn't keeping proper watch over my heart? I’m so sorry LORD that I did this to You for so long.
I had unknowingly placed my Rescuer in a box, limiting what He could do. Not limited entirely, for my Father is boundless. He is the beginning and the end, my Savior, no one can box Him in. Although one can box up what is expected of Him. In my prayers I tell Him what I need, as if the One who created me wouldn't know my deepest desires. I beg Him to just move in my life and I am surprised, if not taken back, by tragic events? Was Jesus’ death on a cross not tragic? Just as I have been wondering what in the world my Lord is up to, don’t you think the disciples wondered the same as they stared at Jesus suspended from the cross? Why such brokenness, why so much bloodshed? His redemptive plan had to be as such for His people had hardened their hearts toward Him, just as I had. I foolishly believed the devil’s lies, that I could hate him and still love my God. That I could choose to not forgive him even after my Savior willingly laid down His life so I could live forgiven. Oh, the deception!
This him I spoke about forgiving was really just a boy when my heart broke from what I thought were unforgivable acts. Even though I forgave him only a few days following my accident the painful event was still burned into my memory from 14 years before. What does a person do with memories that pop back into front and center even when you don’t want them to? I think one of the worst tortures of life is having to relive painful events over and over, powerless to make them stop invading new moments. A certain name is mentioned or a familiar smell and it can all come rushing back. What then? Where is the power and freedom of forgiveness in that?
Well, for me, there wasn’t proper freedom and I would suppose it would be much the same for others. But all hope is not lost, not with Christ in the picture. My God is so good, He didn’t lead me to forgive to be left torn open, no, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Christ desires to be in on every moment, every memory, after all it is purely about Him. In His love and mercy, He gently led me to a safe place with Him. Ideally I would have let Him do this years ago and saved myself so much heartache but my hesitancy was overcome by a wonderful mentor that helped lead me back to my Father. She calls it going to your safe place with Jesus. The best way to describe it is when I relax my mind, pray to Jesus and ask Him to meet with me, I always find myself with Him in a field. I close my eyes and slowly the picture comes into focus in my mind, but it took practice, which is what I had been doing this past summer before my accident. While reading this some of you may be saying, wow that is a great imagination you have there…visualizing yourself somewhere else, sounds a bit like a relaxation exercise. And, honestly it felt a bit like that at first. To some, this may be really difficult to grasp, but I believe we are all created in His image, so my creative mind is also a reflection of His creativity. Remember that box I’ve been trying to remove from around my God? I am choosing not to limit Him and His work in me.
So this field I go to with my Savior feels safe. The sun shines warm and a breeze moves the grass. In the distance I see mountains, and there is no worry that anyone else will arrive, its just Jesus and me. A few weeks ago, my mentor suggested it was time to let Jesus into those painful memories with him. I knew I was going to be with Him with the intent of inviting Him into my painful place, but I was scared. I had been avoiding this moment for years. The days previous I had begged Him not to let me see it all again, for fear it would tear my heart apart.
We prayed and then I closed my eyes and was with Jesus. My mentor asked me what it looked like and I described the familiar place, only this time a storm was rolling in. Dark, luminous clouds were quickly approaching and the warmth from the sun was absent. This had never happened to me before and it felt strange. Fear crept in and my voice was shaking. Oddly enough, Jesus did not feel absent, I had not been abandoned. My mentor continued prayers of protection and then she asked me what I looked like in the field. I looked down at myself and I told her I was covered in blood. More prayers ensued and then she claimed in Jesus’ name over me for release from a spirit of defilement. And then it began to rain, warm droplets of water from Heaven. I looked down to see all the blood wash away, my bare feet covered in streams of raindrops. All the words and prayers spoken during that time I don’t recall, I just remember being washed clean with Jesus. My mentor asked me to ask Jesus about the painful memories. This was hard to release even though I was safe, I feared what I would remember, but God is good. No new memories came, just the painfully familiar room, the place I couldn’t get away from because he was stronger than me. My mentor asked where Jesus was during the memory and I could see Him nearby. She had me ask Jesus questions and I just remember Him telling me He only let it go on for so long, there was a limit to the damage that could be done. And then I asked Jesus if I could go home and beyond Him the room opened to our field. Christ took my hand and led me out. We were home in our field and I had on a perfectly white dress. Christ’s bride has been redeemed. Set free. And I was happy so Jesus and I played in our field. Afterward, my mentor anointed me with oil, the only one on hand was Spikenard oil. I asked her about the oil specifically and she read me a verse:
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.
I loved how the verse spoke of Jesus’ feet since I had seen my own feet washed clean when I was with Jesus. I asked her the scripture reference. She replied that it was from John 12:3. Ah, yes, why wouldn’t God be complete in His restoration of his daughter? The scripture for me was from the book of John and his name was John. Of course, God wants me to see His fingerprints all over my life. Now when someone references from the book of John I no longer feel pain in my heart but a reminder of Christ’s endless love for me. How cool is that? Oh, how my Redeemer makes me smile….
Seeing glimpses of His heart for me,