Thursday, August 16, 2012

VBS, Heroes and the Courage to Love

It has been a few days since I have posted.  Grace and I have been involved with our local Vacation Bible School, which means that every morning has found us singing songs, playing games, doing crafts and watching skits with a great (and boisterous) group of kids.  It's been fun.  And inspirational. 

The theme of our VBS has been heroes. Over and over again, I have listened in as the hope of God's power working in our lives is shared with the kids.  I have needed to hear this. Repeatedly.  God is meeting my need in the sweetest way.  When I am weak, then His Spirit is strong in me. This has been the prevailing theme of my life, as of late. Okay, as of the past 10...15 years.  Alright, my entire life.  God's strength is made perfect in my weakness.  It's a good thing, too.  Because man alive, am I weak.

The thing about being in an abusive relationship is that there was no way to escape my weakness.  It was not just the substance of the abuse, it was the excuse for it.  Words are powerful tools...or weapons.   Vulnerabilities that were shared in moments of trust became bullets specifically designed to plow through flesh and bone.  Thankfully, in the past year, God has brought me a long way down the road of healing, and has restored me to myself.  God's healing is amazing in that He has given me the strength to set boundaries and require honesty and respect from relationships while at the same time leaving my heart soft, compassionate and able to love.  Of course, there are lingering insecurities, which is why honesty is so important to me.  Still, if God's strength is doing anything in me, it is giving me the freedom and courage to love with abandon, to care about others passionately, and to risk rejection and pain because I am convinced that the cold emptiness of not loving is scarier than the pain of loving and losing. 

This past week found me struggling with these issues.  I was feeling really discouraged and ready to walk away from caring and loving others.  I couldn't see the point of it all.  It felt like it just didn't matter. Like I just didn't matter.  Oddly enough, the more I thought about walking away, the more burdened I felt.  Then God broke through my discouragement.  A conversation with a neighbour brought new insight, a few moments of positive feedback lifted my spirits and I found myself in tears, grateful and overwhelmed at the extraordinary grace of God.  Suddenly, I was back in the game, invested, committed, courage restored and love renewed.  And the burden was lifted. 

I am determined not to allow the pain from the past to infect my relationships now and in the future.  That is one reason, maybe THE reason why it is so important to let go of the past, and the people in the past who don't want (or deserve) to be in my present.  It takes courage, and as I have repeatedly written, I get my courage from God.  His love for me makes me brave, brave enough to pass that love on.  Or at least, to want to. 

It's a good place to be.

Peace out.

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