It’s amazing what happens when you start letting go of past hurts and begin focusing on what God can do in you and through you. I know that I experienced God’s blessing during the times of sadness, frustration, even in the times when I was the cause of it, because I know that He’s sovereign and wants good things for me regardless of where my heart may be at. I also know that holding onto the hurt that I experienced caused me to go blind at times and miss some of the things that He had for me that I just couldn’t see and because I chose to dig down and stay in my hurt instead of moving on from it into forgiveness and reconciliation. At the same time, healing is a process. I remember praying, begging God to take away the hurt, take away my feelings of anger and sadness that I seemed to feel constantly. It was a process, it didn’t go away all at once, it didn’t get better all at once, it still hurt but God was working and He is still working.
Holding onto my hurt, caused me to hold on to several negative/toxic relationships that were causing a tremendous amount of emotional distress and turmoil. I tried my best to please and to accommodate and when it didn’t work, I’d look at myself time and time again, wondering what I could have done differently, making adjustments and changes only to see the cycle repeat itself. What seemed normal to me wasn’t normal at all, it was actually really dysfunctional.
What’s really interesting is that during this time I started praying about and focusing on what it was that The Lord was calling me to do. What was the vision and the calling that He had given to me, what was I supposed to write and create, how was I supposed to carry it out and also who was called to do this with me?
It wasn’t a “revelation” that just fell in my lap, where I all of a sudden had it “figured out” but it was something that gradually developed over a number of months. As I started to do this, those relationships started dissolving pretty quickly and as difficult as it was to let them go, I realized things started to feel right again when they really hadn’t for a while.
Once I started making changes, God brought people into my life that I thought were long gone and frankly, what I thought had been completely fractured and beyond repair, The Lord began to heal and restore. I was blessed with a number of new and wonderful friendships and in addition to restoring what was lost it seemed like He was beginning to bless aspects of my “music career”(whatever that even happens to be, I don’t really know;).
Relationships were beginning to develop and doors began opening where there were only closed ones before. My writing jumped up significantly in terms of volume, quality and authenticity. I felt like a weight had been lifted and a gate opened that had been closed for a while where I was finally able to express what I’d always felt and known in my heart. I felt a freedom to write and create what was on my heart without fear of judgment or the need to defend it..
Constructive criticism from people who care about you, who desire you to put out your best and only your best and who understand what your doing and your calling is a good thing, however hearing from the other crowd can damage you, burry your calling and pull you into an endless circle of self doubt, where you question your ability and gifting in a way that’s damaging because the criticism is meant more to tear down than it is to build up. It’s toxic.
I’m not saying that we need to pull away from difficult circumstances and situations when things get difficult, because life is full of difficult things, where all we can do is hang on and keep pressing forward but continuing to live in dysfunction even with the noble goal of “fixing it” can distort your perspective on what’s healthy/right/ok and what’s not.
Just a few thoughts as I look back over the past year and a half. God did some great things and I’m excited for what He’s going to continue to do in me and through me as well as the people who have come alongside in the past year. We’re getting ready to launch a new band with guys who have the same vision and purpose. I couldn’t be more excited/hopeful/anxious/expectant. God is going to do great things. Just hold on.