When God wants to use you, he has to clean the junk out first.
I believe this past year God has done this with me. I am currently typing this on pure obedience to God because my heart hurts, and I feel exhausted from the emptying process. It’s very difficult to have hope some days when it seems like everything is coming against you. Suddenly I find myself being a person I don’t even like at times because all of the junk I have suppressed for so long is coming to the surface like algae on a body of water. The last thing a person who lives on a lake wants to see when they look out with hopes of a scenic view is that nasty algae. It’s not pretty.
I learned for so long to be “strong.” It’s what everybody called me. If you said, “describe Dana in one word,” 8 times out of 10 the person would say “strong.” That label can be a double-edged sword. Yes, it sounds mighty and powerful, but it leaves an expectation that you can’t be “weak.” So you learn quickly to give everything you are to others and suppress your own hurts, fears, and insecurities, and mask them behind a strong persona.
I have finally cracked under the pressure, so to speak. I have experienced emotions in the past few months that I was so good at keeping under control. God revealed to me a few days ago that although it has not always been the vision of grace to see me be a complete hot mess, full of emotional break downs, at least I’m finally experiencing emotion. It’s not normal for a human being to go though almost 32 years of life and not grieve horrible losses. So what I’m left with now is everything coming up all at once. And it’s a whole lot of mess.
It’s in these moments, the times that I feel like I’m going to physically die from the pain, that’s when God swoops in and teaches me something life-changing. I can say in these moments of practically hating who I am, to be honest, I’m re-learning what I am capable of. When I’m ministering to others even though I feel like my world is crashing around me, I am able to allow this hurt to be used for good. I love sticking it to the devil. Maybe that’s the rebellious, middle-child in me. If I have to go through this, you better believe I’m going to help a few in the process.
My hope today is that in sharing my weakness, I become a new form of strong. I pray that someone reads this and feels like they are not alone. That’s the whole purpose of this blog. I believe it’s no coincidence that it was birthed in the midst of one of the worst years of my life. It’s given me a lot to write about. I pray that same person sees their weakness as strength because it allows God to come in and do what he does best, carrying the load and bringing beauty from ashes. I believe this all will be for my good, although right now, it feels like nasty algae.
Life isn’t always going to feel good. I think as humans we tend to go for what feels good, but feelings are so fickle and misleading at times. Sometimes, what’s right and for your good will not feel good at all, but you have to trust in the One who has your back unconditionally. It will give you peace that surpasses all understanding, and peace in NOT having to understand it all. It’s what I like to call “stupid peace.” It seems stupid and illogical that you aren’t freaking out, but you aren’t.
I can be real and say I woke up this morning holding back tears. But in writing this, I feel some of that “stupid peace.” Maybe not completely, but more than when I started. I know that when the junk is cleared, when the wounds are cleaned and healed PROPERLY, when the algae is gone from the water, true beauty will shine through. Wounds on our body get worse before they get better, and even some forms of algae are beneficial for the lake. It’s nasty, beautiful growth, just like in our lives. That keeps me going.
And I pray it keeps you going today as well.