I have a confession.
Although I’ve loved sharing my journey of learning to discern God’s voice, and my passion for reaching my new friend Jeffrey with the truth of the gospel, I have also been avoiding.
Avoiding the pain of pushing forward on the journey toward healing. The pain of inviting Jehova Rapha, the God who heals, to expose the next layer of my brokenness, and to dispel the darkness with His glorious light.
I have been untrue to the mission of Incremental Healing. I have failed, for the past while, to share the hope that I have found as my heavenly Father leads me on the path toward healing. I have not offered reassurance that you are not alone, or encouraged you to persevere.
For this, I am deeply sorry.
While I will still share on other topics from time to time, I do not want to lose the focus of this place.
So, with all that said, I am ready to share another chapter of my story…
Recently, I met with my Pastor to continue seeking God’s healing touch in my life. We discussed how my week had been, and I shared that although there are still challenges and times of brokenness, I am beginning to see evidence of the restoration that God has promised.
I shared that while I was writing ‘Child Forsaken‘, a post about a recurrent nightmare that I had as a child, I was overcome with compassion for the little girl that I once was. That I longed to take her in my arms and comfort her, reassuring her that the abuse was not her fault, and that she deserved to be loved and protected.
I told the Pastor that I sensed God softening my heart toward the little one. I realized how far along the path toward healing I have come. It was not that long ago that I hated that little girl and blamed her for the abuse, and for the suffering that followed.
The Pastor asked if I was ready to pray, and ask my heavenly Father to continue the work of healing in my life. I agreed, and we prayed that Jesus would reveal himself to me, and show me the next step in my journey.
A picture appeared in my mind’s eye, the classic bible story scene of Jesus surrounded by a crowd of little children. He was smiling and laughing as He talked with each of them.
I opened my eyes and told the Pastor what I had seen. He asked me what that picture meant to me, but I wasn’t sure. I suggested that maybe we could ask Jesus why He had chosen to reveal himself to me in this way. We closed our eyes to pray.
I tried to focus on whatever the Lord might have to say to me, and saw the picture of Jesus with the children come into sharper focus. I could now see myself, as a young child, in the scene. The little one was not close by Jesus’ side, but rather stood apart from the group, somewhat hidden in the shadows. She stole the occasional glance at Jesus and the other children, but for the most part just hung her head sadly.
I described the scene to the Pastor. He asked me what I thought Jesus might want her to do. “Well, it seems obvious that He would want her to come closer, ” I replied.
“Let’s not assume,” the Pastor reminded me. “Let’s ask Jesus.”
I closed my eyes and noticed that the scene had changed. The little one was still standing off to the side, head hung, looking unhappy, but now I could also see myself (as a grown up) in the picture. I sensed Jesus telling me that He wanted me to bring the little one to Him.
I approached her slowly, and knelt down in front of her. I smiled reassuringly and told her that Jesus wanted to see her. She stood there, not moving. She seemed unsure. “It’s okay,” I told her. “I will come with you.”
She looked up hesitantly, but willingly took my hand. I led her to Jesus’ side. He smiled lovingly at her, and reached out his arms to lift her onto his lap. He then looked directly at me, and gently told me that He was so glad that I was here too. “I know there were some things that you thought of this week that you wished you had been there to tell this precious child of mine. I need you to know that you don’t need to wish, that you can tell her, right now.”
I knelt before Jesus and reached up to take the hand of the little one, who was still seated on His lap. I smiled at her and gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
“I know about all the bad things that happened to you,” I said. “I know about the bad dream that you have at night, where your family knows what is happening, but won’t come to save you. I know that you feel all alone and really scared. I just want to tell you that the things that happened to you were not your fault, sweetheart. Those boys should not have done the things they did to you. And I’m so sorry that you were hurt.”
My head is still bowed; my tear-filled eyes closed…
“I want to tell you that you hold a special place in God’s heart. You are so valuable to Him. He is working a true miracle in your life. You are who He says you are – His precious child – so worthy of love and protection.”
Even in the vision, I am choked up with emotion as I speak these words of love to her. She smiles widely and jumps off Jesus’ lap and throws her arms around my neck. “I love you,” she whispers in my ear.
“Love you too, sweet baby girl,” I answer.
And the miracle is, I meant it.
While still embracing the little one, I look up and meet Jesus’ gaze. “I am so very proud of you,” he says smiling.
The Pastor’s eyes glisten with tears as I describe the exchange. As my source of godly counsel, He has been there through the long period of blame and distrust. He can appreciate the tremendous significance of these words of love, spoken so genuinely.
Truly, a glorious miracle!
But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Luke 18:16 (NIV)
May God richly bless you, sweet one, with the knowledge that you, yes YOU, are so very precious in His eyes,