Almost two years ago, a trauma bomb went off in our household. It was emotionally catastrophic, cataclysmic, seismic. It’s no exaggeration to say that there was a me before that moment and a me after that moment. Forever I’ll be able to point to that time and see it as the dividing line in my life. You would recognize the person I was before the bomb: responsible, reliable, hard-working. I had a simple life. My route was typically school, church, grocery store and home with an occasional vacation thrown in. Maybe this doesn’t sound like you at all – but this has been my routine. I have built my life around church and family but I let my guard down which opened the door to danger.
Lest you think I’m being dramatic, the Bible says that the evil one prowls around like a lion looking for prey. If you’ve ever watched a nature show, you know that the hunter is looking for that unsuspecting animal that thinks it’s safe. It’s been to that watering hole a thousand times, their herd is nearby, they’re pretty sharp themselves. Until they’re not. Ladies, we are that prey. I tell you this out of experience. I didn’t give much thought to whether or not I was being hunted; I felt totally safe, putting too much faith in my ability to keep doing the right thing and thereby be okay because I always had. But when we don’t have awareness that danger is nearby, our guard is let down and we become particularly vulnerable.
May I share what haunts me? I knew I was in danger when it was sniffing nearby. I also knew that when faced with temptation, He will give us a way out of it. But I didn’t realize how powerful would be the struggle that pulled at me to ignore that way out and choose the temptation instead. Choosing the sin instead of walking away from it proved to be my demise.
You can probably guess there’s much more story here, but my purpose today is to share that God is as faithful as He says He is. I’m pointing out yet another reason to give Him praise. The lyrics to an old worship song goes, “Everyone needs compassion, the kindness of a Savior, now I surrender…” Those words have come back to me often, because when I was singing them pre-bomb, I always thought of other people, as in, those words didn’t apply to me as a receiver, only as a giver (arrogant, I know). Post-bomb, those words are for me. And because of the trauma and its subsequent fall-out, I learned to give compassion to myself, to receive it from others (a very humbling experience yet so incredibly beautiful), and experience the surpassing kindness of a Savior who didn’t just save as a one-and-done on the cross, but as a continual act, all throughout our lives.
Part two of my life, the post-bomb clean-up and recovery, is still in its infancy, but it’s full of potential and promise. I have hope, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t damage. Christ has given me a clean slate and forgiveness is real, but I need a Savior every day for the ground-level repair. I wonder how I can best help other women in the same situation. Until then, I’ll nudge you to ponder your vulnerability.
On our own, we cannot extricate ourselves from the lion’s grip of whatever sin has sucked us in. As prey, we are so very, very weak and he knows it, using it to his advantage. But think back to that nature scene where a poor antelope is taken down. It doesn’t have a chance against that determined, hungry lion until….until back-up arrives. The herd has heard the cries and rushes in to defend. Knowing he’s outnumbered, the lion abandons his catch, but not without collateral damage. The hunter, or in our case – the tempter – may have left, but scars emerge, flesh is torn, bones are broken, not to mention the emotional “what were you thinking?!?” cries.
Like the prey that I was/am, I needed to start anew. Now wounded and hobbled, life didn’t casually return back to normal. It couldn’t, and it shouldn’t. I had to take a hard look at things in my life that needed changing, which included some old wounds that had come to the surface, demanding to be addressed but I had previously pushed aside because they were so formidable. All of that had to be scrutinized. How does one even begin?
The key is found in the lines of the song: “…now I surrender.” I’ll write more about surrender another time, but surrender is so critical. We can’t rebel right after we’ve been saved from the snare, we can’t cop an attitude about doing things the way we want to when He’s shown us a safe and healthy way.
He’s always going to be right, and surrendering to His will is always best, though admittedly sometimes very difficult. Some of you may currently be living in my pre-bomb world. I hope so. Others of you may be living in my post-bomb world. I hope not, but it’s common. You can’t go back to where you were, you must go forward into a new and better part two. Yes, an exploded bomb leaves shards that pierce, but He was already pierced so our failures don’t become our end games. Yes, He IS mighty to save, but He also allows others to surround each other and help us rebuild. I’m thankful for those who propped me up and kept me going, who circled and protected me when I was my most vulnerable. Honestly, I wondered sometimes if I’d make it, but I clung to Jesus who rescued me and refused to let me go.
Please know there’s hope and encouragement. Into all of our lives enters sin and trouble, but He is mighty to save, and others are here to help you, too. Reach out. I wished I had earlier. You can start with me, if you’d like.
Amazing resource alert! Do you ever wish you could access the wisdom, tools, and advice of licensed mental health professionals from your very own couch? Now you can, with the Collide Counseling Bundle, which is an online course jam-packed with counselors giving their best teaching and resources on the topics you bump up against every day, like anxiety, finding your calling, and broken relationships. Check out this 12-part course now, and take your first step toward healing, wholeness, and freedom.