She was 16 when we met. Her blue eyes met her shoe laces more than they met mine. It was clear she had been crying soon before showing up. Her mom had called a few days earlier and clued me into the heaviness that kept this girl’s head bowed. Sin and hurt brought on by others has the ability to bring shame so weighty it feels crushing, even suffocating. This is where we met, at the corner of shame and despair. We started down that road together one step at a time. Walking with her, I knew the ravages of sin are too much for any words I have, but there is a Healer. As I ushered this young lady into the presence of Him who died so she might live, the Word came alive in a new way. I watched the Word heal and repair a wound so severe that my words would not stand a chance.
Over the course of the next few months, she shared her invaluable story with me and piece by piece, she bravely offered it not only with me, but to the Lord. At first, her instinct was to draw back as tears would fill her eyes as the lie that she was irreparably broken or was “too much” clouded her mind. It was there the Word of God would do what only the Word can do. She pressed in and found the story of God replete with instances of Him taking the worst case scenario, restoring it and redeeming it to be more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:17). She found herself in women like Dinah and Tamar (Genesis 34 & 38) and recognized these women as central to the greater story of our Creator wanting to be near us. For it is in and through these women’s family tree that Christ chose to make his earthly entrance.
As this precious girl saw her story within the whole story of scripture, the healing came in slow yet steady waves. With each passing week, those blue eyes became clearer and the ratio of shoe gazing to eye contact started to shift. It was a true picture of Psalm 34:4-5
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Soul questions rose to the surface during this season as we walked together. Truthfully, both of us were asking, “What if I let go with both hands of trying to be enough? What if it turns out I am too much of the wrong and not enough of the right?” This is where the living and active Word, which does not return void, but accomplishes the purposes of God (Hebrews 4:12 & Isaiah 55:11) continued to be more than enough. She began to see that it is not the story of abuse that makes her invaluable in the greater story of God. She saw herself as defined not by her story, rather by what the Word says about her.
The Word meets us in our deepest need: this young lady’s, mine, and in yours. I have seen the gift of God’s word at work renewing minds and can certainly say your story also fits into the greater story of His redemption. Our hurts, our indescribably difficult circumstances, are probably incredibly diverse. Yet we can be sure of His character has been, is and will be the God who wants to be near us, to heal us, who never waivers.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
:: Psalm 147:3 ::
The God of all creation who has been pursuing us from a garden, (Genesis 1) through all the hurt, will meet us, forgiven, healed and whole in a glorious city (Revelation 21) where I am sure those blue eyes will ditch the shoe laces for good and gaze upon His face.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
:: Revelation 21:4 ::