The world does become too complicated, too overwhelming, too filled with pain so much of the time. As children, we don’t have the capacity to make sense of it, let alone process it. If our lives become too filled with trauma, a part of us disappears. We push down what we can’t understand or resolve and instead go looking for greener grass to distract us from the ache. But that doesn’t really work. At least not in the long-term.
We need to stop our running. We need to tend our hearts. One of the best ways we can do that is by honoring the story of our lives, by letting that part of us and our past that has been tamped down rise back to the surface, and then inviting Jesus into it. If we are to find our way to an authentic life characterized by joy, one that isn’t constantly looking for something better elsewhere, we will need to face the truth about our lives with merciful honesty and choose to linger in it long enough for the Holy Spirit to do His gentle yet persistent redemptive work.
I haven’t always walked in this kind of Spirit-filled honesty myself. For a long time, I didn’t know I needed to own my story—really own it and not run from the reality of it and, in my own way, tell it—in order to facilitate healing of the very real damage done to my soul. Because of my embarrassment and fear, as well as a lack of understanding of how healing works, when I told the story of my life in the past, I left the most impactful parts on the editing-room floor.
I am only now beginning to skim the surface of telling my full story. I recently told it in more depth to a small group of trusted people in a covenant of confidentiality. But even then I could not tell all. I cannot tell all now. But I can tell more. And I can tell you that what I’ve found on the other side of all that redemptive telling is an open door to healing. The more honest we are able to be about our lives, the more healing and life we will know.
And healing, while it can be a longer process than we’d hoped, is a grace-filled one that always brings joy.