Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are the weak people.
I often forget this Kingdom truth, so central to Christ’s life and teaching. All my life, I’ve been at war with my own weakness. But weakness is the only way to glory.
We see it in Christ’s coming. King of the Universe comes as a tiny infant needing his diaper changed. He grows among us as a peasant—an ugly peasant, no less. He experiences our griefs, cares, sicknesses, and burdens. He lives as a homeless vagrant, preaching forgiveness and repentance, healing the sick, casting out demons, ticking off the upper and religious classes. And then he lets his own creation murder him. Because that was the plan.
Good Lord. What author would write a hero like this? The disciples had been looking for a king who would rule the world for them, and all they got was...Jesus. If this is the story they told, the only explanation is that it must be true.
This world despises weakness, whether it’s our own or someone else’s. We shun it, abuse it, kill it. But God treasures it.
The moment God uprooted that rotten tree from my life, He took away my counterfeit strength. The thing that helped me to deny my tenderness, sensitivity, and wounds was suddenly gone.
For weeks, I felt lost. Wave after wave of pain would swell and crash over me. I couldn’t bury it. I couldn’t control it. I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t there. Tears surfaced at inopportune moments, multiple times a day. I’d always been ashamed to cry. I was ashamed to feel so much.
I mean, it was over, right? The abuse, its effects, the betrayals. Nothing was happening to me in the moment. The things bothering me had happened years ago. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t suck it up and get over it already?
I didn’t want to deal with this. I didn’t want to look at it. I sure as hell didn’t want to do the work required to get well.
God brought to mind a revelation he’d given me in June 2013 when I was so desperately ill—“God wants me to want to be well as much as He wants me to be well.”
After a few days of feeling sorry for myself, I decided I didn't want to be a victim anymore. I wanted to be well.
Morning after morning, during the time I normally spend reading the Bible and interceding for others, I sprawled across my bed, unzipped my chest, and pointed my broken heart toward heaven. God’s Spirit drew near, brooding over my inner chaos. For days, that’s all we did.
Not everyone is like this, but I never feel more weak and worthless than when I’m doing nothing. I hadn’t been this weak since 2013 when I spent those awful weeks in bed, not too far off from death's door. It’s interesting how God prizes what we despise.
He waited. I eventually worked up the energy to rage at him.
You were able to protect me. I’m sure you protected me from some things, but you didn’t protect me from the traumatic moments that shaped my entire life. If I’m being completely honest, I’m offended. I don’t understand. I don’t.
Even as I said these things, a tenderness for Father God welled up inside me. I remembered the times in the past I didn’t understand, that I was absolutely offended, and I pressed in, bringing all my anger and offense right along with me. And I was accepted, even in that state.
Where else could I go if not to Jesus? He has the words of eternal life, and I have believed and have come to know that he is God.
We began to deal with some things, he and I. Looking back over my journal, I see many stories I could share with you. But it’s almost Christmas, we need to wrap this up, and I have one more post to go.
One morning in late September, I was fasting for breakthrough for a family I know. In that set-aside time of prayer, God decided to deal with me, specifically my perception of him.
God revealed the reason my abuse had continued to bother me over the years is that there were two adults who knew it was happening. They stood by and did nothing. My five-year-old mind understood this and then superimposed that behavior onto God.
At five years of age, my experience gave birth to a false doctrine—God was someone who stood by while bad things happened and did nothing to stop them. Everything that happens is his will, right? So he must have willed this. Which is the same thing as doing it.
Suddenly, I saw myself in my kindergarten classroom. In more detail than I actually remember—the positions of the desks, the fluorescent lighting, the colorful carpet where it sometimes happened, the smell. I was huddled on that carpet, shielding myself as those faceless boys circled me. I saw the teachers and two large evil spirits, black as pitch, standing behind the boys.
I looked over my right shoulder. Jesus was there, lying next to me on the carpet, his face beaten and bloodied. Thorns on his head, the cross on his back. Shielding me.
Father spoke so plainly. His voice was almost audible. “The only time I stood by and did nothing was when my Son was being beaten and murdered. I did that so I would never have to stand by and do nothing again.”
A flood of memories flashed through my mind. I saw hurt after hurt with new lenses. God was there, but he wasn’t standing by. “You didn’t do that,” I whispered through tears and a thick wall of mucous. “You didn’t do that.”
For the first time, I acknowledged and truly believed that he hadn’t caused these wounds. He hadn’t passively stood by and watched as they were inflicted. The things that had happened were just masterfully devised evil sent against me that God more masterfully overcame.
He didn’t cause it, but neither did he waste it.
The dam of held-back emotion broke. I wept face-down on the cold, hard floor for over an hour. When I became too exhausted to cry anymore, I peeled myself off the floor, cleaned up the puddle of snot and tears I’d left behind, and realized the pain of the abuse was gone.
In the days that followed, I revisited other instances of assault and harassment. Those memories didn’t hurt either.
I was free. And the way to freedom had been weakness.
...to be concluded in a final post...