Walk with me on a brief imaginary journey…
You relish having the privilege of serving in the women’s ministry at your church. Your latest brainstorm, a “Spring Fling” mini-retreat event, is an exciting opportunity for women to gather, to worship, to fellowship, to deepen their understanding of life-changing truth with a gifted bible teacher who has the date you have suggested available. Your proposal for this event has now been presented to the Women’s Ministry Committee for their consideration. After discussion and questions, you are invited to leave while they decide whether to move forward with the event or not. At the conclusion of the meeting, they inform you that, because they have decided to host another activity led by another woman for the date two weeks prior, they chose to forgo your event at this time.
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For me, the wounds of the past used to be all rolled up in these kinds of situations. There can hardly be prayerful insight and wisdom because of all the voices, words, wounds of the past are bound up in the now!
Years of experiences–little, big, long-drawn out, short bursts of “nothing much”–it doesn’t matter; if there was pain associated with them, gone unchecked, without surrendering them to the Lord, for me, it resulted in a well of pain deep down inside me just waiting for the right opportunity to be tapped. The way someone treated me in sixth grade, the word from my dad when I was fifteen, the rejection of a friend at 23. There were times–most times, of course–when it wasn’t at the surface, true. It was like it had all “scabbed over.” It didn’t take much for the scab to be scraped off and pus and blood to gush out, however.
In these times, the “wound” I felt was not relative to the present moment, but all of the wounds, in all of the situations, that all of the people caused that ever made me feel similarly–even on a “minor” scale.
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All the eating I did to anesthetize my pain…it began to STOP the day God led me into the Valley of the Shadow. It was a path of suffering, but a path of forgiveness.