Around 2:30 this morning I finished reading Mary DeMuth’s new book, Thin Places, a heart-wrenching memoir of abuse, imperfection, and healing. (More about that in a future blog!) Then after going back to sleep for awhile, I worked in the Mending the Soul workbook by Celestia Tracy (following-up on classes I took last week about helping abuse & trauma survivors.) Later I listen to clients’ angst tinged with hope. Heavy.
Truth is: We’re all wounded–and our pain oozes out in strange ways. We feel squelched sometimes and need AIR. Reminds me a journal entry I shared in my devotional book, It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life.
Journaling reality: “I do what I assume I should while inner and outer bullies dictate how I ought to be: You’re selfish, Joan. Try harder. Get it all done. He’s mad at you. You should do more. You gotta look better. You don’t need rest. I feel confined to a narrow box with little space for developing creativity, intimacy or individuality—all the things I long for.
Get me out!: After years of living this way, I feel raw anguish that I push down–deeper. If I keep busy enough, I don’t have to deal with the disappointment or hurt. Then it backfires and I crash. “Help, Lord,” I cry. “I can’t do it anymore.” And wow, He meets me in my mess. Eventually I read Psalm 31:7-8* and my exhausted heart smiles. I don’t have to stay in the box!
Wide-0pen spaces: Now every time I read His promise to set my feet in a spacious place, I smile—inside and out. I want to tell any woman (or man) who feels trapped that God will open the lid of your box and take you to a wide-open space. It’s a process, yet He wants to release you from the limitations of your pain and misconceptions and set you in a place of expanded joy.
Making It Personal: What’s your spacious place look like to you? Consider gathering your courage and asking God to take you there.
* “I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw. . . the anguish of my soul. You have. . . set my feet in a spacious place.” Ps. 31:7-8
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.