[A new song discovery to read by: http://bensollee.bandcamp.com/track/hurting-2]
You know, I used to be really really into this blog world. Not this one here at blogspot, but at xanga, where I kept a blog all throughout highschool and basically grew into myself through writing out my thoughts of all kinds.... I made friends with other bloggers in the community and we grew up together. I have to admit, I kinda miss it. But once in a while, I still read blogs, and when I stumble upon a blog of someone who writes from a genuine and honest and searching place, a "hey, we don't have it all together, but together we might be able to deal with it" kinda place, I am touched and humbled and inspired to share a little deeper, to make this place a space for other people to think genuinely, share honestly, and search deeply too. We don't have to agree on everything, we just have to be honest with ourselves and honest before God, who loves us whether we've got it all figured out or not. (And honestly, we're talking about God here. If you think you have ANYTHING all figured out in light of Him, honey, you have got some re-evaluating to do.)
I like this randomly stumbled upon blogpost today: http://www.alise-write.com/2011/02/ugly-bride.html
In the end, she asks what our favourite bible passage is that let's us know that we are loved. I instantly think of Zephaniah 3:17 which has held me through the years: "For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
Maybe this post resonates with me so much because the season Jesus is currently walking with me through involves dealing with some deep places of hurt incurred in working in ministry, and with and for The Church. Early this month I took a deep breath and a hard gulp and decided to start having some counseling for issues of spiritual abuse. Yikes-- those are intimidating words. I kinda don't even want to write them. It feels like admitting some kind of defeat to it. That yes, it hurts this much, perplexes me this much, and presses down on me this much. Still. But maybe that desire to not let it show how disillusioned I feel is exactly why I need to be speaking up in this season. Not sure where one would find a Christian counselor in Sweden even if one could speak Swedish properly, I looked up a Christian counselor in London so I can set up sessions whenever I'm over visiting Charles. Initially I thought, "Ah, I just need closure on this. One session to just help me sort it all out in my head." But that was rather naive of me, I think :) And having never done counseling outside of meetings with campus counselors in University, I guess the whole thing is rather an adventure. And maybe it's best that way. I'm in way over my head anyway, and that usually means God's got to be all in all to me.
Seeing the body of Christ used to wound and kill one's spirit has been a bit too much for me. And I begin to see it everywhere, like my eyes have been opened to what they hardly saw before. And it's like heaviness upon heaviness upon heaviness in my little heart which just wants to have faith like a child. And it makes me furious. Furious at an enemy who slinks into whatever form he can take to deceive The Bride. The best deceptions are the ones which look so very close to the truth that the error is almost imperceptible...
In my best moments, it makes me even MORE passionate about loving well and actively, to be a mirror which reflects His face. Because this aching world will see Him no other way. And we, you and I, individuals, are what make up The Church. But sometimes my best moments feel very distant. And it's more like slogging through than running a steady race.
I think this season is a time of grief in me. Over the damage the enemy has done in The Church, His Bride. And over the way that damage has entered my life and my experience of His Church, and broken whatever frail veil of innocent, childlike hope I had hanging in my heart. Sometimes the hurt colours over everything I thought I believed, and I am left gasping for air, wondering where one goes from here. Because where God was meant to be living among me, the Church, turned out unsafe, abusing its power, and I wonder if He was living there at all. And sometimes I can't see or feel His might, I can't see or feel Him saving me, or intervening in the suffering all around as our mighty saviour. But that's where His Love reassures. That's where His love wraps me up so tightly that the world stops spinning. It's His unfailing love that can be trusted when nothing else makes sense anymore. It all begins and ends there. With His love, He will calm all your fears...