Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Author's Heart

For several years, I've wanted to write a story about a girl I named Gracie. It is a story about a young woman who has experienced trauma and enters counseling because a current traumatic event has stirred up a life time of pain that she had buried deep. I wanted to write this story to help people understand what it is like for a child to experience abuse and then to grow up carrying the baggage of that with them into adulthood. I also hope to help others see glimpses of what the healing journey looks like and maybe to answer those questions irritating questions that many survivors get asked--questions like" "Why didn't you just tell them to stop?" "Why didn't you run away?" "If that really happened, why didn't you tell someone?"

I hope to show how trauma can impact the way one views themselves, views others, and how it changes one's perceptions of God. I am just a few chapters into the book and am finding it both challenging and fun. Though I started writing this book to teach others something, I realized yesterday God is using it to teach me about Himself. As I was writing a chapter that described Gracie's childhood and the neglect she experienced my heart began to ache a little. As I described the impact of mental illness, her parent's divorce, and the subsequent poverty on her and her family my heart ached even more. Then as I went on to described the physical, mental, and sexual abuse she experienced, I found my heart growing strangely tender towards Gracie, this young woman I was creating as I wrote. It was not long before my eyes filled with tears. I finished the chapter, but couldn't shake the feelings I had experienced.

As I was processing the emotions I experienced in writing yesterday, several interesting thoughts passed through my mind. I had been crying for a character I had created. I had been crying for the painful things she experienced in the story I was writing for her, knowing full well I had the power and the authority as the author to rewrite her story in a different way. Yet, I am choosing not to do that for what I believe to be good reasons. As I thought about that, I began to wonder if this could be the way our Abba feels as we live the stories He has authored for us--stories that are often riddled with trauma and pain. Maybe His heart is just as tender towards us as we go through the hard stuff He has written for us. Maybe He even cries for us, while being fully conscious of the fact that He could with a word or a movement of His hand stay the trauma and prevent the hurt, but chooses to not do so.

Maybe it is because He knows that it is a grain of sand irritating an oyster that results in a beautiful pearl. Maybe it is because He know that a catastrophic natural event can form the purest and most beautiful of diamonds. Maybe it is because he knows that it is the time spent in a kiln that renders a piece of pottery both beautiful and fit for Holy use. Maybe it is because He knows the heat is what burns away the impurities in silver allowing a silversmith's reflection to shine through. Likewise, maybe it is because the painful things we experience are what we need to get us to the place we can abandon self to fully trust Jesus, who can transform us broken vessels into glorious ones fit for His Holy purposes. Maybe it is because He knows that it takes us being fully broken to be willing to allow Him to take the little pieces of our hearts and stitch them back together in such a way that they are beautifully tender, yet strong enough to love even the most unlovable. Maybe He even restrains a desire of His own to rewrite stories because He knows the most valuable and most beautiful treasures are those treasures that we find in the darkest places. Maybe He restrains His desire to prevent pain because He knows that the sweetest intimacy with Him occurs when the questions that began as statements of protest dissolve into questions asked from hearts seeking nothing more than to know His heart. Just as I know I have good intentions and a tender heart towards my creation, I think we can trust that this is a reflection of the Abba's heart towards us as He writes our redemption stories, stories that in the end reveal the Author's heart..

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Several years ago I realized that I often sped through my Scripture reading and gave it little thought. Yet, when I had meaningful conversations with friends or family members I replayed them over and over in my head. One day it occurred to me, that if I thought more about what God says in his word that I would not only know more about Him, but I would come to know Him in a personal way. I would know more about His thoughts, His character, His intentions, His passions, and His actions. So, I began to take one verse at a time and think on it and then journal about it. At the time I was served as a volunteer in youth ministry and shared my “Thoughts on God” with those girls. For a while I have been rewriting and posting them on this blog. I have realized when I am in the Word or move through my day focusing on God's presence that I have wonderful opportunities to Meet God in the Everyday. The Everyday can include storms, blessings, hard things, scary things, exciting things...just any where, anyplace, any time. I hope that you will be able to engage with what I write with both your head and your heart. I also hope you will be challenged to love, trust, and know the God of the Scriptures. It is my prayer that as you read you will experience Him at a deeper level and share pieces of your journey in the comments. It is my desire that we form a safe community of believers who pursue the God who loves us radically, eternally, and without reserve. As a precious pastor once told me, "Don't forget, Wendy, God is Good!" I find myself compelled by His Goodness and His Love to share so others can know Him through all the ups and downs of life. Please feel free to dialogue back and to share how each passage impacts you. If if there is a passage you would like me to write on or if you would like to be a guest blogger, please let me know. I am just learning to navigate this blog and appreciate the kind comments you have made in the past...I promise I will even try to respond if you leave a note. If you are blessed please share the blog with friends!