Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.
~Psalm 119:66 NIV~
You can be certain that whenever you are confident that you finally have everything under control, something is coming up that will just completely pull the rug out from under you. If you’ve been paying attention to all that God has been telling you, your recovery will definitely be more swift; however, it isn’t often that I find I’ve been paying attention like I should have been.
For years, I’ve worked on understanding the things that have happened in my life. I went through therapy to try and get a grasp on the issues presenting from my childhood. I found while I was sitting in the therapist’s chair that I had, in fact, begun to stockpile one bad experience on top of another until I had a stack of unhappiness that was as high as it could possibly have been. It’s amazing to me just how solid the foundation of this kind of junk can be and how deeply rooted that pain is. If only we could get the good stuff to take that kind of hold in our lives.
From years of depression and anxiety, I had begun to put together a pattern of reactions that only perpetuated the pain. So, in trying so desperately not to feel the sadness I was feeling, my actions generated more of the same. As in Ecclesiastes, I was toiling to no end and only reaping more and more emptiness with what I had sown. This realization should have hit me when I was dealing with being raped by a close friend, but it didn’t. There was no clearer example of how my choice to act out to regain what I perceived as “control” was only making things worse. You cannot take back what was lost by continuing to give what you didn’t want to let go of in the first place. It’s like emotional hyperventilation.
Sadly, I was a virgin at the time of the rape and my answer to this violation was to begin seeking conquest after conquest until I felt like I could dictate when, where and with whom I would have sex. Instead of making me feel “strong;” this behavior only served to increase my anger and frustration when my true personality attempted to assert its own need to value intimacy in relationships that were nothing more than drive-by encounters with individuals who either weren’t ready for or had no intention of being involved in anything more than a “hearts-off” interaction. And so, when I would want the time I spent with them to be more meaningful that what I had originally intended it to be, I was left disappointed and even more angry than I had been to start with. And even though I spent years processing all of this anger in therapy, I didn’t realize that until I was reading a passage about emotional healing in my Bible the other day. What I read said that sometimes, God will bring a certain situation back around to you and will allow you to “re-experience in varying degrees the hurt stored in the memory.”
I had to think about that for a moment and when I finally got what I believe He was trying to tell me, I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. There have been so many times when I’ve experienced those feelings of rejection by going into a situation with an inflated expectation or by imagining somehow that I have a solution to a problem that only God can fix. And so, instead of leaning on Him as I should, I do what I do and try to make things happen. I make myself crazy trying to figure out or anticipate the next step when I have absolutely no way of knowing or controlling the coming response to my actions. And I fail to trust God in perhaps the most important area of life; in loving others. You just can’t make someone love you in the way that God loves you.
It makes sense that I would have these issues with trust; however, it doesn’t make sense that after so many attempts at getting it right I would still be having so much difficulty letting go and letting God. If I know that He is in control and I know that He will never leave me and I know that without Him, I can do nothing, then why can’t I accept the fact that sometimes He just isn’t going to give me all that I believe makes sense. If He sees the whole picture and He knows that our responses to one another’s actions may be hurtful at times, then why doesn’t He shield us from this? Why put us through what seems to be emotional torture? He isn’t doing this because He wants to hurt us. God only wants us to learn how to love. He wants us to accept one another as we are and to call on Him for the things that He wishes to provide for us. It is when our expectations of one another become tangled up with what we should be expecting from God that we find ourselves at a place of confusion. When we believe that someone else is going to be able to fulfill God’s role in our lives, we will experience disappointment. It doesn’t matter if we are trying to heal old wounds by “reliving” a past hurt. It doesn’t matter if we believe that God, Himself has given us the guidance to take certain actions within a relationship. If we are seeking God in man, we can expect to be let down.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
~Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV~