By Connie A
First off, let me just say how words will never be sufficient to explain how amazing God is. Every day His love and power knock me for a loop. Some days, like today, He is more than I think I can take.
From the Bible, we know that God can heal us and speak to us through the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11). In my own life, God has completely reversed cycles of depression, removed intense, unexplained physical pain, and spoken prophetically into my life through song and Scripture. Recently it seems like God is choosing to speak to and heal me in a new way. I hate when He does that--just when I seem to have figured Him out and have put Him safely in a box. :-)
I am going through Celebrate Recovery (CR), and in so many ways, God is using that program to open doors in my heart. In the last few years, God has claimed many victories in my heart. My anxiety, however, has been a deeply planted seed and has begun to erupt uncontrollably, in public, where God knows I can't hide it. Awesome. In my prayer time I pleaded with God to take this away. Like so many other struggles I wanted my anxiety to die quietly, hidden in the dark recesses of my prideful self. But God has had a different plan. I see now that God has been opening the closet of my heart and saying:
"Eww! Look at this, it's old and nasty and ugly and it doesn't look good on you. Remember last week when you wore it? Mhmm, yeah, NO. I'm throwing it out. Watch me throw it out. See? GONE."
I want to bag up my stuff--my old way of doing things, my old life and my sins--but God wants to showcase the changes He is making in my heart and my life. He makes a point with each piece. Before my eyes (and everyone else's) He is proving His love, faithfulness, power and grace as He cleans out my heart. How dare I try to hide what He is doing! Jeremiah 17:11 comes to mind: "The heart is desperately sick, who can understand it? I, the LORD, TEST the heart and SEARCH the mind and give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of His deeds." He does it. His way for His glory.
By hiding my struggles, I am cutting short the story of grace God is trying to tell through my life. Now I see why I sometimes don't know with how to share God with those that don't know Him. How silly! If you were to see me face to face, as I'm writing, I know you would see the laughter and freedom, the joy and tears, the miracle of Jesus. I have no doubt you would see it.
So I continue to learn how to live honestly and humbly before my friends, my family and my God.
I pray that the fear of your struggles would leave you as well, and that the power of the Holy Spirit, actively transforming you and proclaiming you as God's masterpiece, would infect your heart and mind--for His glory alone. Amen.