The following is a glimpse of my journey through healing. I am a young adult, trying to navigate life in this world that can often bring pain and loss. I'll be honest, it can be hard at times. I'm still learning. What I've come to understand is that I'm not alone, and no matter the magnitude of the storm that finds its way to my doorstep, I can have hope.
I'm asking you as the reader to step into my shoes for a brief moment and read my perspective of a difficult season. Not for the sake of personal recognition, but as a conversation starter. Have you ever felt this way before? Have your decisions hurt someone around you, causing pain or confusion? What if we all stopped for a moment and decided to deal with what is really going on inside? What would the world look like then?
I invite you to journey with me...
One day at church after a whirlwind of hurt, I sat slouched in my chair with my arms crossed and my attitude strong. I refused to listen, so I daydreamed about life beyond the four walls that surrounded me. All of the sudden a phrase caught my attention. The pastor asked if anyone had been hurt before. ‘Heck ya’ went through my mind, as I rolled my eyes. Practically everyone in the congregation raised their hands in response, well, except me...because I was on strike.
The pastor brought up another question. ‘Where was God, really think about it, where was He in the midst of all your hurt?' My first reaction was to think to myself, 'nowhere.' But after a moment of raging anger streaming through my body, I heard a soft warm whisper, ‘I was there Rachel.’ All the anger built up in me began to subside in a way I can't really explain with words. Assuming that it was God trying to say something to me, I quickly responded, 'No, you were not there, I was all alone.' I sat there actually wishing with all my heart that I had evidence God was there through my hardships, but I couldn't see it through my pain.
I resolved to continue my protest and daydream, counting down the minutes until I could leave. My thoughts took me back to the day that I found out my Dad was unfaithful to my Mom. 'Where were you God, when I sat on my bed for days on end in tears with my heart broken, where were you then?’ I thought back to when I was living out of a suitcase, or when someone stole all our money, 'WHERE WERE YOU THEN?' 'Where were you when my parents lost their jobs and most of our friends scattered, plummeting me into a depressive state?'
Suddenly, as if I had been nudged kindly in my soul, I felt that soft gentle whisper saying again, ‘I was there.’ Tears that I promised would never see the light of day rolled down my weary face. I saw Him sitting on my bed wiping my tears, holding me and making sure I was never alone. I saw Him standing beside me everyday as I packed and unpacked my suitcase. He held my hand when I stared at a wall for hours on end wondering if this was all even worth it. I could see Him working in my parents life and marriage as they gave their hearts to recovery. He was there through it all, even my anger filled stone cold heart couldn’t deny this amazing encounter. 'He never left me,' resonated deep in my heart, like a song I'd longed to sing, but was unable to utter the words...until now.
I wrote this after reflecting on some of the darkest times of my life.
Times when I didn’t care about anyone, much less myself. I isolated from everyone and everything. It was not until I finally realized that God was with me no matter what, even in the lowest points of my life, that I allowed change to take place in the deepest part of my soul. I began ever so slowly to allow Jesus access to reveal His pursuant love for me, despite the things that I, or others around me had done. Once that sunk deep down into my soul, I started a journey of healing. Not just with me, but healing with the people around me. The broken relationships, the misguided perceptions, and the destructive patterns began to heal in the light of His love.
I'll be honest, there were and still are times I'm scared to be vulnerable. It's not easy letting others know I'm not perfect. But I made a decision to push through. I talked about what made me angry, sad, or confused, and I mended relationships that I thought could never be fixed. I saw my parents and family restore in a process that took one day at a time and it gave me confidence and peace to take on the battles that came my way in the future.
Now, standing on the other side reflecting, I thank God for allowing me to walk through that season and for helping me become a better me. I may not know you, but I do know this, life is difficult, and sometimes just down right excruciating, but if we are open enough to walk with others in our pain, realizing we are not alone...we can change the world.
As Maya Angelou once said, “The price is high. The reward is great.”
Rachel Craft, who is a university student studying to be a professional Christian counselor, is inviting youth and young adult girls to open their hearts and journey with her for a unique online healing and growth experience starting Summer 2018. If you would like more details, inquire through our Contact Page.