They say eyes are the window to the soul…
They can be suffocating and kill you from the inside out.The picture you see are words that I wrote as a kid, as a teen, as an adult. Words filled with so much pain… words of anger… words of hopelessness…
I had been holding on to these journals for quite some time now. Some of them were as old as 10+ years. Somehow I could never bring myself to get rid of these books.
Any time I would go though my things, I would always stop to reread them. This usually left me depressed for several days. A few weeks before they were burned, I re-read them again… and the words came back to life…
It hurt… I felt dead again… I felt my 14 year old self shaking in my bedroom wondering when all of the hurtful words and abuse would stop, I felt my 16 year old self waking up with nightmares from the years of sexual assault, I saw my 17 year old self the day I had attempted suicide, and I saw my 18 year old self as 72lb anorexic wondering if God even existed….
Part of me would be angry again with the people who hurt me, and a lot of me would feel shameful of who I was.
I had let those words speak over my life. I would see God do great things. He would move mountains for me. Miracles would happen before my eyes. But somehow when it came to those journals, they were like a ball and chain. I was a prisoner to my own words. Every time I would try to stand up, they would drag me back down again.
Our Pastor in Delaware had been preaching a series called, “The Me I Want to Be”. Every week were moments of surrender of things here and there that God has been trying to transform in my life.
On one particular Sunday we read out of Genesis 35. This passage talks about a woman named Rachel who dies during child birth. She names her son Ben-oni which means “son of my sorrow”. But her husband, Jacob, renames him Benjamin. It means, “son of my right hand” or “son of my blessing”. In that day and culture, the father of the household had the naming rights of the children.
He then pointed out that God our Father also has the naming rights for His children.
When Rachel passed away, her husband, Jacob, set up a monument to remember her. He did not forget the pain of loss, but he continued on living.
For years I had set up my monument at a place of death. I had let these journals be the place I would go to in my mind to remember my past.
The day I chose to surrender my past to God, I was set free as I watched all the painful words go up in smoke. I watched them as they were burned alive.
I set up my “monument” and remembered that Christ has set me free.
My name is no longer “Victim”, but “Victor”. Jesus has overcome and I AM FREE! My Father has the naming rights!
“You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I could stand and sing
I am a child of God…
I’m no longer a slave to fear.
I am a child of God…”