I remember it like it was yesterday:
"Okay, God, I need help now!!!"
No joke, I was at the end of my rope and I needed an answer. Cranky, irritable, and annoyed with everyone and everything (including myself) it was time to do some business with God.
Of course, I knew what was causing the problem.
I was hurt. Offended. Wounded. Angry.
Quite honestly, the offenses were legitimate. I wasn’t imagining things or building them up in my mind. Nope, I truly was the victim of someone else’s lies, accusations, betrayal and pain. Even though I’d tried on multiple times to resolve the situation, because the other person felt completely justified in their actions, my efforts were always met with more lies, accusations and pain. Clearly, I couldn’t change their attitude or behavior. That was going to have to be a work of the Holy Spirit.
Instead, I did what any Spirit-filled, Bible-believing, redeemed, sanctified and washed in the blood woman of God would do: Since I couldn’t bring resolve in real life, I replayed the same knockdown, drag out argument in my head over and over again. In my mind, I got to say all the things I wanted to say and make all the points as to why they were wrong and needed to change. (Let me just say that I am WAY better at debating in my head than I am in person!)
I’m ashamed to say that this went on for not just days but weeks. At first, this little exercise did help me process some of my emotions and find some truth in a dark situation. However, it wasn’t long until processing turned into simply recounting offenses, and the end result was bitterness, resentment, and a desire to hurt the other person the way they’d hurt me.
So off to my prayer closet I went to get some help.
After a brief time of worship to enter into God’s presence, this is the Scripture that the Holy Spirit placed on my heart:
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
What? I went to God trying to overcome the pain of a legitimate betrayal and this is the Scripture He gave me?
Yep---and it hit the nail on the head.
You see, while it was true that I had been wronged and wounded, I had allowed the pain to turn into bitterness, resentment, and anger to infect my soul.
The first step in the healing process was repenting of all the sins I’d allowed in my heart and mind and ask God to forgive me for my reactions. Just as the person who’d caused the pain was guilty, I was guilty of entertaining the pain, wallowing in it and letting it control my heart and mind.
Beyond, asking God to forgive me and “create in me a clean heart”, I prayed that He would “renew a right spirit inside of me.”
Trust me when I say that all that time I’d spent dwelling on the problem had created a lot of wrong attitudes inside of me. Before I could take one more step in the healing process, I begged God to remove all of the wrong things in my spirit and replace it with His healthy, holy attitudes.
“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me”
The truth is that we cannot truly flow with the Holy Spirit or follow Jesus wholeheartedly when our hearts are full of sin and our attitudes are wrong. After I sensed the Holy Spirit’s conviction and repented for my sin and wrong attitudes, I said, “Lord, no matter what was done to me, it isn’t worth damaging my relationship with You or moving out from under Your plan, provision, protection and purpose. Please change my heart so that I can continue to live in Your Presence and follow Your Holy Spirit.”
Then I prayed: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation”
Reality was that I really needed to have joy restored in my life.
I needed to choose to take my eyes off of what had been done to me and start refocusing on all that God was doing for me. Because even in the middle of all the hurt and pain, God had protected, He had provided, and He was still leading and guiding by His plan. There was still so much to rejoice in if I would only choose to stop focusing on the things that had gone wrong. I prayed that God would restore my joy and even increase it as I looked to Him as my Source.
Finally, “And grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Hard times come to us all. As the old saying goes, “We can either become bitter or better.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to experience any pain in life that doesn’t ultimately make me better. That’s why I ended my time of prayer that day by asking God that He help me to have a willing spirit that would sustain me through all of the trials of life that still lay ahead.
Believe me when I say that there were still more to come. I wish I could say that when I left my time of prayer that day, the skies parted, the person who hurt me repented, and it’s been all daisies and sunshine ever since. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen---in fact, it's been quite some time since this experience and it still hasn't happened.
What did change that day was me.
I came out of my prayer closet different. Like someone who’d recently had their chiropractor realign their spine and put everything back into place so that the healing can begin, this time of correction, forgiveness, and realigning my will with the Heavenly Father started the process of healing my heart and helping me overcome.
It was the exact help I needed to get back on the right track---the first stage on my journey back to spiritual health. I’m sharing this with all of you today because I wonder if there aren’t some women out there who need the same alignment.
Perhaps you have been hurt and you just don’t know what to do with the pain.
You’ve tried ignoring it, tried wishing it away, even tried talking it out and tried all of the normal therapeutic methods to relieve the pain, and yet you still hurt.
Maybe, like me, you find yourself having the same invisible argument over and over again in your head, only to walk away wishing you could get rid of the pain and anger but don’t know how.
My suggestion to you today is that it might be time for you to call your own time out and go to God saying, “I need help now!”
If during this time, the Holy Spirit leads you to look at your own heart---go with it. Don’t fight it, but allow Him to do whatever is necessary to begin His healing work inside of your heart.
As someone who’s been there, done that, I can promise you that you won’t regret it. It’s God’s way of answering your prayer and giving you all the help and restoration you need. It's the beginning of your journey to healing.