The final guest post in this summer’s “Permission to Grow” series is written by my beautiful friend and fellow Austinite, Jamie Kingsley, who invites us to just say “YES.”
Permission to Grow
Healing opens the door for growth
Looking back, I refer to my 20’s as “The Dark Years.”
Deeply wounded, I continued to make decisions that led to situations that would further wound me.
This is what I knew of love.
The people who claimed to love me the most were the same people who hurt me the most – physically and emotionally.
My childhood years set the stage for what would play out in that decade after leaving home. Yet, the characteristics of my childhood were present in a very different way. They were amplified! WAY AMPLIFIED!
Life felt familiar to me, and I did thrive in many areas – a talent I had perfected to divert focus – but internally, spiritually and soulfully, I was crushed and lost. I always looked for ways I could be better. I devoured “self help” books and deep reflection.
My understanding and experience with the word “deep” was actually pretty shallow at that time, but I was doing what I thought I should be doing in order to be better. Yet, my thirst was never satisfied.
Over the next decade and a half, I would make great progress in moving past the hurts and pains of the dark years. Counselors, countless self help books and journals became my warrior partners. I worked very hard to emotionally, intelligently and spiritually move forward.
However, this baggage, a dark cloud of shame and guilt, was always with me.
While I had made great progress in my efforts to forgive, to heal and to move on, I just couldn’t get over that last hump to be completely done.
Then, it occurred to me. Perhaps it is so hard to let go because, at some level of consciousness, I don’t want to let go.
What?!?! That’s absurd. Why would anyone want to carry that hurt and pain around with them for their entire life? The burden of carrying that baggage makes life heavy and makes me weary. When I am weary, I become easy prey – and not just in the worldly realm but more so in the spiritual realm where the real assault occurs. You see, bruises heal. Cuts scab over and with time, the skin repairs itself. Granted, oftentimes there are scars but the internal scars – those are the ones that represent the deepest wounds. They don’t heal as easily.
Why, oh why, would I not want to let it go?
Did my wounds and brokenness serve me in some way? Did they provide me the ultimate excuse for not doing certain things in my life?
- I can’t be a writer because I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been said.
- I can’t be a stay-at-home mom because I can’t trust someone to take care of me while I take care of a family.
- I can’t lead a ministry because I am not worthy of such a calling.
- I can’t be vulnerable in relationships because if they knew the real me, they wouldn’t like me.
- I can’t love deeply because I need to protect myself at all times.
The list goes on and on.
My wounds transformed from the effect of an attack to a cause of attack. An attack that occurred on a regular basis inside my mind. Internal tapes repeating these lies over and over again.
So, the answer is yes, those wounds served me. They kept me numb, stuck and afraid.
Healing didn’t really occur for me until I consciously and purposefully invited Jesus into my wounds. It was then that I was really ready to let them be healed. How did I know that?
Because I knew this was the perfect job for Jesus.
It was right in His wheelhouse of expertise. I knew He would not fail me. I had been trying for two and a half decades and knew that it was going to take something much bigger and more powerful than anything in this world. I needed a miracle. So, I gave them to Him – not 87 percent of them. All of them.
The time that followed is a bit hard to explain.
The burdens I had carried for so long felt lighter. When I thought about the experiences in those dark years, my thoughts weren’t of crippling fear. It was more like watching a movie – events that happened in my life.
Because Jesus was carrying the burden, I had room for light and hope. Hope that those events didn’t really define who I was or who I am today and I mean definition at the core of my being.
I began to believe God’s truth about me.
This was new for me because I had always looked to others for that truth. God’s truth was much bigger than I ever imagined, yet it was so simple. I am His child. I am passionately loved. I don’t have to earn anything from Him. He loves me no matter what. He will never leave me and will never fail me. He is never too busy for me. I have access to Him 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He has a plan for me and it’s not just any ol’ plan – one full of mediocrity and littleness. He has a plan for me that is great and worthy. I am the only one who can live this plan.
That means I have purpose. I matter. I am important.
I have great work to do with God as my guide. He sets the path before me. All I have to do is say “YES!”
I would have never been able to say “YES” had I not given my deep wounds to Jesus. Healing can manifest differently for everyone. Internally though, it is the same for everyone.
Healing makes room for light and hope, growth and wonder, forgiveness and love.
I invite you to consider these questions:
What wounds are serving you? Are you ready to lighten that burden? Are you willing to replace the darkness with light and hope?
Sweet friend, my prayer for you is that you say “YES” to the healing that Jesus can offer you. Rest in His arms. He will re-energize you. Then, get ready for the growth and wonder that follows.
A new life awaits you.
Jamie Kingsley is a wife, mother, connector, storyteller and entrepreneur. Her mission is to bring light, hope and encouragement to people who are struggling. Jamie is a natural at leading uplifting and encouraging Christian-based events and lives with her family in Austin, TX. Read more at jamiekingsley.com.