When The Gritty Parts Of Your Past Begin To Show

September 29, 2016

A friend of mine recently told a story about an illustration one of her colleagues used for the Bible class he teaches. He took the hymn, "I Surrender All," by CeCe Winans and changed up the lyrics a bit. Maybe you've heard this song before. Maybe you haven't. The gist of it goes like this:

I surrender all, I surrender all, all to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

He struck out the word "all," and instead wrote the word, "some." So that it read:

I surrender some, I surrender some, all to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender some.

I don't know about you, but I embody that second set of lyrics. 

For a girl with such a big faith, I do a terrible job of surrendering ALL. There are just a few areas of my life (really, mostly just one area), where I just make sure my little hands are still in the mix in some way. I imagine myself, shouting up to God, "That's cool, God! I know you've got a lot going on. If you'll just handle everything else, I'll keep control of this one thing. I appreciate you, though!" 

I trust Him with so much. I trust Him with my finances. I trust Him with my health. I trust Him with my family. I trust Him with my career decisions. And while He's handling all of that, I'm just over here with my hand on my heart protecting it from Him. Acting like I know better than He does. And He is kind with me and patient. He lets me do what I think I need to do in order to be happy. But, then when enough is enough, He grabs my hand, pries my fingers open and takes away what I have been holding on to so tightly. 

Exactly like a Father would do to His child.

So here's the thing - my inability to let go of some of the things I have needed to let go of has landed me in counseling. And to some of you that may sound scary, or weird, or taboo - but to me it is life-giving. I love counseling so much. I am a mega-shout-it-from-the-rooftops-believe-that-everyone-should-be-going-no-matter-what-they've-been-through supporter of counseling. It helps us learn more about ourselves and helps us understand why we react to things the way we react to them. It helps us put pieces together that we have not been able to make sense of before.

I basically went to my new counselor and said, "I need to know why this situation is affecting me the way that it is. It is confusing and hard and I do not understand why." And for the past three weeks, we've started to unpack the "why." And my friends, it has been hard. But it has been so, so good. 

While healing has happened for the situations that landed me there in the first place, some other things have come up. I have learned that there are quite a few things from my early-mid 20's that happened that I have not quite dealt with. Things that happened that were overshadowed by the meeting, the dating, the losing, and then the grieving of sweet Richard. And now that I have fully grieved that period of life (and I take none of it for granted), all of these gritty parts of my not-so-distant past are floating up to the surface. I am working up the courage to share some of what I've been learning with you, but I need to pray about it a little more because it will put me in one of the most vulnerable places I've found myself in in quite some time. But being real and raw and honest is what I strive to be, because the times I have been the most inspired and encouraged are when I have encountered others that were real and raw and honest. I just need more time to work through it.

However, I can say, at this very moment in life, I am currently surrendering all (after being forced to, let's be real). It is freeing and it is lovely, but it was unfortunately it was birthed out of gripping things a little too tightly. 

I am noticing the Light streaming into all of my dark corners. Having your dark corners exposed can be absolutely terrifying. But even so, here's the good news: once you can actually see into those dark corners - the ones that are covered in dust and dirt and cobwebs - you can finally begin to clean them out.