As I stepped into the waters of trust I found myself crying out to be emptied of all the efforts I had used to manage my world. They had become crutches I had relied on to carry me. Though the pruning was painful I knew the old had to be removed in order for the new to be known, seen and lived.
As the pruning progressed I found myself relating to a hedge that sat at the end of our flower bed. David had gotten a little carried away when pruning it for spring. By the time he finished all that remained was the base of the trunk.
I watched it weekly to see if there would be any signs of life. If it could be cut back that far and still live, maybe I would too. If spring came to it, maybe it would come to me too. I waited and watched for new life. So much of my life was being rearranged that I often found myself wondering who I really was.
I knew that in order to find life, the old things had to be left behind, as well as the hurts of my yesterdays. For until the hurts were redefined I would carry them into my today and my tomorrow. They would remain in my memory bank continuing to define my life. The affects of the past had to be removed in order to move on.
I always knew when it was time to have one healed. Jesus would bring up a memory. It was as if He was hand delivering an invitation to my healing.
I had believed many things about myself through events that had taken place through the years. Who I truly was had become lost underneath layers of deception. Jesus came to scrape the lies away, much like a restorer with a piece of furniture. At just the right moment He would apply the varnish remover, pick up the tools, and gently sand away one layer at a time. He was determined to bring the original design out from under the coats of deception that covered me.
On one such day I remembered a deep rejection I had experienced. I knew it was a summons to my healing. I could hear Him asking, “Can we talk about what happened, Jewel?” Hand in hand Jesus and I walked back into the memory.
When I was a 16 years old I thought I had fallen in love. I thought I would love this young man forever. After all he had promised we would marry. Less than a year later he broke up with me, breaking my heart into tiny pieces. I reasoned through the mind of a 17 year old girl. At that point I believed there was something wrong with me. I believed this man had rejected me because of my flaws. I believed I was unwanted, yet again.
As we remembered together I began to tell Jesus how rejected I had felt. I wanted to know where He was when this was going on. I wanted to know what He saw, what really happened. He gently spoke, “Jewel, you weren’t rejected.” “I took him away from you.” “He wasn’t right for you.” “I had to remove him.”
Years of heartache and rejection were healed in an instant. I could see something I had been blind to for years. Until that point my identity had been defined by a moment in time when I believed something that was far from truth.
For years the hurt places caused me to look for things that could bear the weight of who I feared I was. In the process they became the crutches that hindered me from walking in what was really true.
The broken places distort everything much like the carnival mirrors I played with as a child. He came to restore the broken places with His truth. He came to teach me how to see and love me.
Remember the shrub that had been cut back to the trunk? By the end of spring it was filled with new fresh shoots of green life. The pruning had had it’s purpose. So it has been with me.
He knew who I was all along. He invited me to see. In the process the crutches have been removed. I don’t need them any longer. For I now walk with a God who has been loving away my pain. As He has loved me He has taught Me how to love Me. In loving me I have become free to love.
Next Up: Released to the Redeemer:
Part One: In The Beginning:
Part Two: My Fig Leaves:
Part Three: Lost In Translation:
Part Four: Let Freedom Ring:
Part Five: My Deliverer Is Coming:
Part Six: Alone In The Wilderness:
Part Seven: Glimpses Of The Wilderness: