Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tears in Eastern Kentucky

I brushed tears off of my cheeks as I drove the winding roads of the Eastern Kentucky mountains. You can’t cry while you are driving, especially while driving on a highway that you have never taken before, with sharp turns and random trucks slowed in the right hand lane. My lashes were heavy with moisture, and I tried to talk myself out of my grief at least for the next five or so hours. I couldn’t postpone it anymore, however. I had been stuffing it for 15 months, and it was ready to surface. Why now, God? Can’t we just wait till I am safe at home, not on this mountain road? He said “no. We need to wrestle with this now, my child.” I was alternating between worship music and sermons in order to make my seven-hour drive a little more exciting. I tend to get a little sedated behind the wheel, so I have to get creative with my driving itinerary. I was listening to a sermon on the storms of life and God’s presence in the midst of them. It was a whirlwind trip to and from Wilmore, Kentucky for my interview for my application for the Master’s of Arts in Counseling program at Asbury Theological Seminary.
My last memories from Kentucky were memories of hurt, betrayal, and horrible medical malpractice. I had been the victim of some of the most painful hurts I have ever experienced in my life. When I had left Kentucky in early November of 2007, I thought I had been able to escape the pain of the loss that I experienced while I was there. I was wrong. It was a storm which I had barely survived. I shouldn’t have survived it, except for the mercy and miraculous power of our Lord. Now, in February of 2009, the storm is over, but the healing is not yet complete. It has actually just begun. While sitting in a coffee shop with a dear friend on Thursday, an old roommate walked past and barely acknowledged me. It thrust a jagged dart into my heart. The next day, I walked into my old Starbucks and ran into a couple old coworkers. They stiffly engaged in polite yet forced conversation with me, as if staying far enough back not to “catch” whatever communicable disease I was carrying. I wondered what rumors had circulated since I left so abruptly over a year ago. Driving away from Starbucks with my mighty mango juice, I prayed to the Almighty God for comfort and understanding and the ability to forgive those who used their venomous tongues to spread lies about my “unacceptable behavior.” They had no idea. They did, however, successfully sully my reputation in my once intimate circle of friends. How, God, do I deal with this kind of betrayal and rejection? How do I grieve the loss of these once-intimate friends and move forward with life? I desperately want to explain the truth, to let them know that it had nothing to do with them, nor was I trying to hurt anyone. I was just as blindsided by it as anyone else. I was a victim just as they all were. If they would only hear me out…..but they won’t. They have already made their judgments; I have been condemned in their eyes.
In Wilmore this weekend, I faced my future and stepped out through fear in faith. I did something I have never done in my life, putting myself out in the open to be rejected or accepted into a program which I feel less than equipped for. God has called me into this place, however, so I had to act in obedience. This was a huge step. I have never felt qualified for the field of counseling, but have always felt called there. I answered the call this weekend.
In Wilmore this weekend, I also faced the past: the painful, humbling, soul-crushing past, which marked the beginning of the most terrifying, devastating storm in my life. My journey to healing from this storm has just begun, as I partner with my Lord in putting together the broken pieces and rebuilding my walls of protection and safety. I also partner with Him in building an exciting future. I join Him in writing His story for my life in the remaining pages in the book of my life. I accept His authorship, authority, and submit to His accountability as I go forth in obedience and faith. I praise the Lord that He is the God who gives and takes away. I praise Him for His gifts to come and for His refining process through fire of tribulation. I praise Him that He is our ever-present Help in trouble, and that He is the God not only of our present storms, but also our past storms. I praise His for being the God who tears down and the God who rebuilds. I praise Him that His grace is ALWAYS sufficient for me and that His strength is made completely perfect in my weaknesses. I praise Him in the storm, and I praise Him as I stand amidst the rubble in the aftermath. I praise Him as He opens new doors and closes old doors. Great is His faithfulness, even on the winding, tear-drenched highways of Eastern Kentucky.

No comments:

Post a Comment