July 13, 2018

This may be difficult for some to read. Please know, it is my heart. My past. My mess. Your mess is welcome here too. This is my transparency. This is me, reclaiming myself. Hoping to give you courage to break your chains too.

The month of March has held the power of destruction over me for the last three years. Tough is the easiest, G rated, clean cut version of the month of March. A black cloud hanging over my life. Not just a dark cloud, but black. Pure black.

March is a month of mourning the loss of me.

March 28th. The night that the picket fences of no’s couldn’t keep out the thief in the night. Not just any thief, but the kind that steals part of you. A piece of your soul and replaces it with lies and terror. How someone can physically act against you so wretchedly, and somehow stealing a section of your soul, scarring you forever and always I’ll never understand. But that’s how this works. That’s how these predators operate. Using acts of violence to feed their black hearts.

This is my story. One I keep guarded. And one today where I stand my ground.

This year is my year of freedom. My year of reclaiming my soul and rebuking those lies. This year I pray that my transparency gives you the courage to break your chains too.

And to you: thief – this year the scars no longer hold your nauseating name etched deep in my being, but the story of redemption through Jesus.

I was 19. 19 and waiting for marriage. 19 and apparently naive to think I was safe. 19 and still broken from the prior abusive relationship, but ignoring festering wounds.

19 and easily tricked by the soft smile and tower-high pickup truck.

I was just 19.

You know how when parents adopt kids they have a “gotchya day”? I wonder if these soul thief’s have those too. Like, “today’s the gotchya day for this sacred piece of soul I stole.”

I know I have my “you stole it” day. And somehow this year it turned into a month. A whole month. You, thief: you do not deserve a month, a day, a second, a breath of my time. And this day, I’m taking it back. I’m reclaiming myself. You don’t hold the power anymore. You don’t get to hold that piece of me.

For far too long I’ve let the terror rule me.

Where I live.

How late I stay out.

Who I trust.

How I see myself.

How I perceive others see me. How I date or meet people. How much fear pumps through my veins moment by moment. How tightly I clench my fist and intertwined keys, walking alone through a parking lot at night.

I let the lies that I am only “damaged goods” slither and seep into my core.

How could any Jesus loving man ever want any damaged goods like me? That lie holds no more power over me. I refuse to let it.

In Jesus, we are washed clean. In Jesus we are made new. In Jesus we are made whole. In Jesus you, dear treasure are a living breathing example of his love and grace. He has you. In his right hand he has you. He has placed new light in you. Darkness holds no rein when Jesus is handed the pain. And when Jesus is trusted with the ashes of a soul, He brings it back to beating beauty. But not back to it’s prior condition. He renews it whole.

The story of Lazarus is a beautiful example. Found in John 11, Martha and Mary had a brother named Lazarus. Lazarus was sick and dying. When Jesus found this out, “Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Jesus had a revival plan for the death of Lazarus.

After 4 days of being deceased, Jesus arrived to the town Lazarus resided. Upon arrival Martha, grieving the loss, “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died…”. Side note- how many times do bad things happen within our lives and we say “God if you were here this wouldn’t have happened!” In times of loss and grief, it’s easy to understand Martha’s heart in this moment. But, God uses our soul deaths, shattered hearts, tattered beings for beautiful redemption.

Jesus continues to tell her that Lazarus will live again, but not just in the last days- IN THE NOW. “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Jesus went on to the tomb. He commanded the stone be rolled away. The others tried to convince him that the smell would be horrid, but Jesus didn’t care. -Side note- just like he wants the stone rolled away from the death in your heart, the mess and decomposed pieces of heart are no issue for his healing hands.

Jesus then simply spoke into the tomb at Lazarus and he rose. And you know what? Through the loss of a piece of you, Jesus wants to do the same thing. He is after all our savior, who wants to save you too. He wants to break your chains and speak truth and LIFE over you. Jesus doesn’t want to see you hurt or living by fear.

This mess I’ve endured, I’m grateful for.

As horrible as this death in my soul has been it has been transformed in the hands of Jesus to be a blessing. Why? Because I get to connect with you about it. I get to speak about His true love and how no ounce of pain is wasted. About how no mess is too messy for Jesus. About how you didn’t lose and ounce of worth when that man tried to steal it from you. You’re still loved. Your worth can never ever be changed, decreased, erased. Jesus has crowned you in steadfast love and tender mercies. Jesus adores you. Jesus wants to revive you.

If you too have been soul stolen from, you’re not alone. Not a moment are you alone. You’re still a treasure and you are stilled treasured. There is no mess too messy for Jesus. There is no lie too big for Him to knock down. There is no shadow so dark he won’t light up. There is no fight so big or so small he will not fight and win on your behalf. Believing these truths – chains will not just break. Chains will shatter. Shame holds no more power over you. You, warrior, hold the keys.

So, I’m taking myself back. Reclaiming me. The scars no longer remind me of pain but of redeeming revival. Jesus has this for you too, but it’s up to you to roll the stone of your heart away and allow Him into the tomb. I hope your chains break, because you deserve a life of freedom and truth.

Read Hope’s blog https://www.pushpressprincess.com/

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

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