I am becoming more and more aware of just how deeply God intends to go with his healing.

With this awareness has come another awareness of just how far I am willing to go NOT to feel the pain that is in that place.

I have come to believe that I need to feel the pain in order to bring it to God. But doing so means that I trust that God won’t leave me in that place of feeling the pain without his rescue. I have begun to see just how much I don’t trust him. I know that much of this is connected to the very things he wants to heal in me. I have major fear of abandonment where people are concerned and, during this season of my life, people are abandoning me, further reinforcing this fear. (Granted, this abandonment by others isn’t about me at all…dear friends who have left our church, our pastor resigning and so on). But because of the way these things trigger past memories and experiences, they all FELL so real, so personal, so…intensely painful.

I believe this is why I am grasping as I haven’t in a few years for coping mechanisms…some way to feel normal. Just to avoid being in pain all day long.

The busy-ness and, today, obviously, choosing anger over forgiveness…it is all an attempt to outrun pain and depression.

Drinking soothing drinks like diet cherry pepsi (which I had given up, but have returned to) or having a bit more food than I need (happily, I am not eating a ton of food, but I am eating outside of godly parameters) are all ways of self-gratifying my flesh which feels like it will die if it has to stay in this place of such pain.

I don’t mean for this to be a “poor me, I am a victim” sort of journal entry. These things are everyday sorts of things for this season of my life. Being on the search team for a new pastor means that I will stick around for this season. So what is ahead is more of this same pain.

There are major transitions going on with others I care about, not just those who have left. People I love are feeling pain over all of this…and I have to pray that God will not let me take on *their* warfare as well as my own! We are to carry one another’s burdens, but each one is to shoulder his own load in the Lord. (Galatians 6:1-5)

So I must wait for the Lord. He is calling me to release the hold on all my coping mechanisms. I was tra-la-ing along and now this test seems beyond my ability to withstand. This is real trial by fire for me…my instincts are to run for all I am worth. If I have to stay, then I want not to feel…so that is where I think I have been, why the busy-ness, why the sadness, why the inconsistency, why the struggle to string several consecutive moments together of godly behavior.

Chapter 13 addresses some of this. The lies I believe are keeping me from God’s best. You see, I KNOW he will heal me, but I feel like I will die waiting for him to do it. His timing seems so long. I can’t fathom waiting for him right now. I know he wants me to feel it all. It seems beyond overwhelming. So I have structured my life not to have any time where I am without something I must do. If I have time where I don’t have a commitment, I tend to nap. The symptoms of depression are obvious.

The intimacy God wants to share with us increases as we release to Him our unmet needs and our expectations of others and ourselves. It occurs by degrees as we surrender our mind, emotions, and will to Him…He intends that His grace should infuse every aspect of our lives. Thin Within, page 131

Right now, the promise of “intimacy with God” seems too remote for what it will cost me. That is a lie, but it is one I believe for all I am worth, I guess. I just can’t stand being left in my feeling. (I am praying about getting a therapist to work with me through some of this, as I can’t stand being stuck this way…)

I can’t relate right now to reverting back to the law in the way it is described in chapter 13, but I know I have in the past.

We will face battles and challenges, but anything this valuable is worth the fight. Call on Him and He will answer. His Spirit will inspire you, enable you, and empower you to fight in the strength He provides. With an act of your will and a sincere heart, you can call out for help in any moment, in any temptation. He has promised to come to your aid. Thin Within, page 134

I have to admit. I am not there right now. Today, rather than “the joy of the Lord” being my strength, I feel like my resentment and anger is my strength. I am fit to be tied at my former pastor and at some others…I know I have to bring these things to the Lord and choose to forgive, but right now that sounds too painful to me. I can’t imagine.

For a long time, I have known that my eating is out of whack when I am harboring resentment, bitterness and not forgiving those that I know I need to. So I guess I am set up for failure in that regard today if I don’t deal with this…

Questions for you to ponder:

1. Is there anything that keeps you from stopping using any coping mechanisms right now to feel any pain in your own life? These pains can be present time pain or those from your past. Or a combination. Often, pain in our present triggers painful memories or reactions to similar situations. We can often tell this is the case by our over-reactions to certain things.

2. Are you willing to sit with the Lord and to feel what he calls you to feel instead of to use coping mechanisms to avoid feelings from which you may be running? My answer in this moment is NO. That isn’t a healthy place to be. I hope your answer isn’t NO.

I hope that none of you are dealing with issues like those that face me right now. My own resistance is my greatest enemy. To surrender sounds so horribly frightening. I will come around, I know. But right now…yikes…no.