Wounds and Scars – refined through pain.
Growing up, pain was an unwanted acquaintance who lived next door.
I hated his guts. I often wondered why he had to be so close – we were defenseless against his visits.
“Close your doors!” I could almost hear you say, but he’d always take us unaware. He would come in at subtle unguarded moments while watching other families live in affluence while we had to manage almost all the time or the time we were thrown out of the house with all our belongings for not being able to pay the house rent. How could we have known the Landlord was coming that day? What could we have done anyway? Things weren’t rosy at all.
I grew up watching my Dad struggle to make ends meet. A very hard-working man, he did his best to provide for his family; truly we never lacked a meal.
He was a very jovial man too; if you met him in the day, be sure to get a good laugh. But quite reserved in the night. He seemed sober over many things he couldn’t control.
I heard he was once a very wealthy man. Perhaps, these were memories recorded in my early days before my brain began to recall events, as the pictures tell the story but I have no record of such times.
Nonetheless, I knew my Dad had a taste for quality judging from the way he made purchases and the schools we attended. None of these was a ploy to measure up to a certain life standard; he was a very stable man, thick in his skin and able to give comfort even in his woes.
Slowly and gradually, he tried to rise again as things began to even out as we grew older. But again, another visit, and he was taken down right before our eyes.
This wasn’t painful on the spot. It was terrifying and puzzling altogether like we were observing a horror movie scene. But the moments after were inevitable.
The tears flowed freely in the dark. There were so many questions and not a single answer: Why? What? How? The timing…For what offense? Where is God? Could there really be a God in heaven…I had asked at the time. It didn’t look like it. It was too dark to see.
But He answered. He did show up. Then, I knew that God speaks to His creatures here on earth, although situated far away in heaven, as we’ve been taught in Sunday school.
Still, I had a loss to bear. It was a lot of adaptation emotionally. The sudden separation, a teenage girl still trying to find herself, an adult world I did not understand…I threw tantrums in defense, but I got the opposite of understanding.
In the fight to make sense of all these, I was dubbed stubborn, disrespectful, and all things that broke me up inside. So, I cried to the Creator again. And He answered. He showed me that I was his masterpiece, loved and accepted by Him – all of me. So I could lift my head, again. Only that I still had a lot to heal from that weren’t obvious.
I still depended on others for affirmation – a void my dad filled unnoticed and left open in his demise. Shortly, I got it in a romantic relationship. It seemed everything was good for a season and I was settled. But not long, there was another visit. This time, I fought to keep him out. I didn’t win…and there was a separation.
I was tired this time. If I was doomed to live with pain, it was easier to accept than fight it all my life. For as long as I had known, I was a prey at his teeth, dancing to all his whim against my hopes and wishes for comfort and warmth. I had not asked for love. But I teased with it and denied, as with every other thing. I was not to raise my hopes on anything again. I was done.
Then came a proposal.
I received it in the mail of Scriptures at the peak of my frustration. It read,
My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways – Proverbs 23:26
And the other read,
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart – Psalm 37:4
Then, there was a cap letter;
Once and for all, I have sworn by my holiness – and I will not lie to David – Psalm 89:35.
And a clever footnote which read,
Your heart will know more joy than it has known pain.
I was transfixed for many days…The tears flowed freely. I didn’t feel like I had anything of value to give. The heart was in shreds and not good for anything. And all the aforementioned seemed far from possible.
But He nudged me persistently until I realized He was serious.
I had nothing to lose. Instead, it was a call to hope again. So I gave in, in hope that He would not lie to me. And all through this time, it was like walking on water. More and more letters of promises poured in daily but almost no guarantee other than that He said he would do it. And I just had to believe it.
Subsequently, in the walk, love came to me and it stayed. It was true to a point that it was scary. I did almost everything to sabotage it being familiar with hurt and disappointment. But it never left my side. It stayed stuck with me.
Gradually, I knew it was real. Gradually, I knew I could receive it. Gradually, I let down my guard. Gradually, I began to trust again. And it made me whole, peeling layers upon layers of hurt and pain through laughter, warmth, acceptance, and unending forgiveness.
The audience of one, the things my heart sought – affirmations and friendship – I got it and more. And I didn’t have to depend on them; I was healed every wit.
Yet, that isn’t the end.
There have been many attempts of the unwanted visits by the old acquaintance who lived next door. Yet, I am not the same girl to cower at his appearance. Now, I rise and rise high with all of his attempts. And he has become a stepping stone more than a foe, a lever to understanding, strength, vision, and stability.
A morbid statement it may seem but,
There is a reality on the other side of pain not accessible from any other way except through the fire.
Ultimately we don’t get to choose our battles in life. But when the battle chooses you, what will you do?
Will you cross that fire to the other side?
Will you run from it?
Will you go under?
Are you going through a tough life battle at the moment? You may find this helpful;