Recently my wife wrote a blog that caught my attention. If you are a regular reader of her blogs, you know her God given ability to write straight from the heart.
This particular posting is worthy of your attention. Both of us firmly believe in living broken, but that is easier said than done. Check out her entry!
Jane Phinney | February 25, 2019
Earlier last year I wrote a raw, unbridled prayer entry in my journal & felt led to share it with my Honey. His response was that I should turn it into a blog. I had no unction at the time, to do that, believing it was too personal & that it would be misinterpreted by the reader. The flow when I write is unlike any format in a typical conversation. Something is released in my soul & I’m freed to pen my inner ponderings. This week, God reminded me of that long-ago request to share those thoughts documented to Him. Perhaps the following “work in progress” will minister to someone who can identify with the unvoiced struggle to resolve inner spiritual battles.
Deep inside my soul, there is a place that only You see, Father. I don’t understand it myself & feel inept to express the meaning. Only You see the “real me” in this deep recess of my soul. It’s the me no human being can see. It’s the ravaged, battered, worn-out me—a soul ripped & torn, slowly bleeding over the course of years. It’s the broken-hearted me, a consequence of Your long-ago life message to me, to “embrace the pain because You are in it.” I won’t ever heal because it’s terminal on this earth, a dying that hurts. And will hurt…until seeing clearly in heaven. You want me to live victorious, right in the middle of the messy aftermath, whether anyone ever sees…or ever cares. It can feel lonely &, in my own strength, it is hard.
For whatever reason, I am compelled to see this through…to face this pain head on. Because You must increase & I must decrease. (John 3:30) The methods to this madness have been unexpected & hurtful, oftentimes delivered at the hands of those I’ve loved & served over the years. At the point that I no longer meet expectations, I am emotionally shelved. Shut off/cut out, to some degree. It is the way of fickle humanity. I just didn’t see it coming. You’ve designed us with the inability to meet our own needs, or the needs of another…on purpose. I know it’s so we seek You ONLY & with desperate passion. But the way of the world makes this journey even more trying.
My life, as I see it, is divided in thirds. I’m living the last third. I didn’t expect it to be this way in my “graying years.” To be living with ramifications of being eaten alive by gossipers, without realizing you were their “lunch,” is an experience I might never fully recover from. This is the unresolved past that I’m left with, but not allowed to talk about because of the defilement it would bring upon my accusers. My flesh wants to be heard, to give a rebuttal that dispels the dishonoring lies. You tell me “NO,” & to bear up silently under scrutiny. You tell me You are my protector & have higher, eternal, unseen purposes that I may never know. Like anyone else, I am responsible for my choices & I acknowledge that. But how do I let go on the inside, to live victoriously in the middle of silently ignored, illusive issues? I want to ask why others get to move on while I am left feeling barren. This has somewhat affected my desire to reach out because of broken trust. It feels like my mercy gifting backfired on me. Will someone else spread more half-truths stated as fact? It has affected my testimony as I conceal my side of the story, while others carelessly spew whatever they desire – because they think they have some kind of “right.” How do I live joyfully above this pain? How do I let you defend me? How do I forgive old gossip that resurfaces? I know it’s possible through Christ. But it hurts deep, to the core, when unbiblical methods are used as punishment…with delight. I’m just having an emotional disconnect here, Lord. PLEASE help me get past this junk.
It is unfathomable to me, the sickness of soul that delights in the destruction of others, sometimes never even met. This disease of the flesh slowly eats & grows until conscience is dulled & unfeeling & hardened. The reminders of this gangrene still pop up unexpectedly…almost 8 years from the first time I was made aware of it. My heart feels like hamburger at the thought of the rude, sub-human treatment that my beloved has endured, rooted in lies by folks wanting sugar-coated truth. Truly, nobody knows the unthinkable evil done, but You Lord. But to be reminded, incidentally, out-of-the blue, is what I struggle with…like a sudden emotional slap across the face—it leaves me reeling in the moment. I can’t bring healing to my own soul, let alone his. I stand back & am amazed! I marvel at his persevering passion & commitment to fulfilling the gospel of Jesus Christ. He keeps going when I’ve wanted to quit. I deeply respect him, Lord, for bearing up under these trials. Am I wrong to want resolution & some semblance of “normal” again? Or are You telling me that this is just the way it is, the way it’s going to be, when “ear ticklers” react to Your Truth?
Looking at the big picture, I fear that generations who follow will be led astray by a slow fade of appealing lies. There are so many things out there that are presented as “good.” In practical application, they can be clear compromises of Your established boundaries of protection. The battle cry of independence no longer puts a premium on humility before You, gleaning wisdom from You or repenting to You. Now THAT scares me, Lord! It leaves my soul in a quandary. I know that this won’t change before I die & I fear how bad it will be after I die. So I continue to pray, because the outcome isn’t up to me. The enemy of our souls is hard at work, trying to desensitize us all to right & wrong…deceptively teaching that additional options are both biblical & even better than Your original blueprints for living. Only You know, Lord, who has sincerely believed the true gospel & been born again by the Spirit of Your Son.
In my emotional outpouring, You graciously, & quietly, reminded me that Jesus was rejected by virtually everyone He invested in. He wept over the people He loved. He was mocked & resented & plotted against. He died for the folks who beat His body to a bloody mess. By His saving grace, He entrusted the future of His message, & the future of His Church, to the very men who deserted Him in His greatest hour of need. They slept as He sweat blood. And then they ran. Only 1 showed up at the Cross. Another denied Him 3 times. I’m wondering, Lord, would I have responded any differently than they did?? Probably not. Jesus humbled Himself to death (Phil 2:8), & learned obedience through the things that He suffered, so He could become the Source of eternal salvation (Heb 5:8&9). I know that this, His GIFT, is my backbone to persevering under trial. And I know the outward expression of Christ’s sacrifice is abundant joy & peace. You offer it to me. But I’m kind of hitting a wall here Lord. I want to feel it.
I’m Yours, Lord. You have saved me & are continuing to save me from myself—through Your Life within. Sometimes I just feel like I’m floundering inside, at odds with myself. Teach me what You know I need. Teach me to pray so I don’t lose heart. Envelop me in intimacy with You as my daily Bread, & as my Hope for the future. Your eye is on the sparrow & I know You see me. The lilies of the fields don’t toil. Teach me not to be anxious about externals. You care when my heart aches until it nearly breaks. You understand me so much better than I understand myself. Please protect me from the enemy’s lies & soul torment. Nothing is impossible with You. I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief! Victory in any suffering begins on the inside. With confidence in Christ alone, I come before Your throne of grace, to receive mercy & to find grace to help me in my need. I love you, Lord.
Exchanging Life Publishing | Jane Phinney | February 2019