... sitting in a comfortable swivel chair as the counselee in a counseling room at Restoration Care Counseling in Orlando, Florida. With a complete loss of perspective I was at my wits end and, as far as I was concerned, asserting my last ditch effort to pull myself together. I had been through this routine before, three times to be exact, but this time was different. I immediately sensed that the two women sitting across from me were not going to tell me what others had, “You seem to have it all together … there’s really nothing more that I can do for you.”
Neither had formal counseling degrees. And I knew that when I took my seat in their office. Yet, there is no doubt that God chose these two ladies to minister to me. This was their life’s offering to God. It was on their own time, expecting nothing in return and they listened with deep compassion as I shared with them detail after detail of what brought me to their office.
“The last two years I have been on the most difficult journey of my adult life,” I shared. I continued on, highlighting different experiences and events of our business loss, job loss, enormous financial loss, material losses, consequences faced because of other people’s decisions for my life, realities of deep betrayal and lost relationships.
“When this journey started,” I went on to explain, “I thought for sure that God was orchestrating the events, as painful as they were, to set me up to take my part-time ministry to women, to full-time. But, not only did my ministry not take off, for the first time in a decade, it virtually became non-existent, almost as though God put me on a shelf and at this point, I’m not sure He will ever take me off that shelf.”
I sat there in tears as I wondered aloud how I had missed the mark by so much. Who was I to think that God would actually orchestrate or allow such events just to use me?
When I was done sharing what brought me to their office, one the counselors, with her pad of paper in hand began to ask some probing questions about my family and other aspects of my life.
I began to pour out the details of my life.
One of the ladies perceptively pointed out how nonchalantly I shared some of the most heart-wrenching moments of my life, in a mechanical, factual manner. It was obvious that my life had been marred with some extreme coping skills. Skills that I quickly learned after my mom died. I was one month from turning six when she died. Within a couple of days of her funeral I was told that I couldn’t talk about her or cry about her anymore. I quickly learned to push down my emotions and press on. Each event (abandonment, abuse, rejection, loss) after my mom’s death seemed to validate and build on that same skill.
It didn’t take long for these two ladies to realize and suggest to me that the two year journey I was on was to lead me to their office so that God could empty me of myself. By bringing to light the broken areas of my life that had for so long stayed safely hidden, God could pour Himself into every crevice of my heart and soul to ready me for the ministry that I had been passionate about for so long.
At the end of the four-hour long session one of them said, “Shelly, right now your story is bigger than life, but when we’re done here, your story is going to be much less significant, and GOD’S story for your life is going to be bigger than life.”
No doubt I was exactly where I was suppose to be. It was my last ditch effort to pull myself together, but it was God’s sovereign plan orchestrated from day one of that two year journey to bring me to a place of healing. Leaving no stone unturned, I would finally be set free from captivity, not just for my own wholeness, but so that God’s glory would shine through His story for my life.
A captive set free radiates God’s splendor, and this daughter was now on a journey of being set free from the chains of the enemy … chains of hurt, pain, rejection, loss, betrayal, isolation and abuse. I can assert the words that Joseph proclaimed to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” For me, what the enemy devised to try to crush and destroy my life, God meant to be a living tapestry of beauty from ashes, healing my brokenness and bringing freedom from the chains in my life that for so long held me captive.
Isaiah 61 describes the reason Jesus was sent to this earth:
"... to heal the brokenhearted, to free the captive, to comfort all who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, joy for their mourning, praise for their spirit of heaviness!"
And He does this when we bring the shattered pieces of our lives: hurt, rejection, loss, sin, betrayal, voids, abuse, our painful memories, and lay them at the foot of the cross. Sometimes it really is that simple. We fall on our faces in the presence of God and as we honestly pour out our complaints to Him as Psalm 142:2 suggests, He becomes the healing balm for our brokenness. As we forgive and release those who have hurt us so deeply, and repent of our own sinful choices while allowing God’s instant forgiveness to pour into our heart and mind, we will experience a freedom and healing as never before. The greatest healing in my life has come from applying some key Spiritual disciplines, some of which I'll be sharing in one of my next Blog posts.
However, at other times, we need help from mature, godly people to walk with us as we pursue healing. Sometimes the wounds and brokenness are so deep that it takes someone with profound godly wisdom and insight, or a godly counselor to come along side you, walk through these deeper areas of your life, and help you bring your brokenness into the healing presence of Christ. I'm grateful God gave me that, as it forever changed my life. I'm not the same woman today as I was when I started this unexpected journey. And He's continuing to change me as I continue seeking Him with all my heart and soul. I am living proof that there truly is nothing too broken where God's healing power can not reach.
Questions: 1) Do you have a healing story you can share with us? If so, we'd love to hear it! 2) Are you in need of healing for your life and you think you might need help in getting there? If so, there are numerous options available to you. Email me and I will gladly pass on some referrals to you.