Do you ever have those days that you just know something important has happened? That you’ve hit a turning point in the road and it’s either remain here or propel forward. Today felt like a turning point.
We are nearing twelve years in ministry. Though God has always been so good and so faithful to us, it has also been twelve years of pain. Twelve years of resistance. Twelve years of being told that who I am is not enough. Not right. Not like everyone else. Sometimes these things have been spoken over me directly, sometimes indirectly through the actions and silence of others. Though I wish they wouldn’t, these voices speak so much louder than the voices of love and encouragement.
Today those twelve years of voices finally broke me. The constant, nagging voices telling me to just conform and be like everyone else suffocated me until my soul was forced to take its last breath.
My spirit died.
Time of death, 9:30am January 8, 2017.
I am aware that this is a dark thing to share. But I want to fight through the vulnerability, because when we are willing to open up is when we really begin to ignite change within ourselves. This death, however, is no surprise to me as it has been a long slow process of stripping away. There are so many things that used to bring me great joy, and now I only do them because they used to be familiar. Or I don’t do them at all. The parts of my soul I used to know so well have hidden away. Then one day I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the woman staring back at me. She had the resemblance of someone I used to know, but this woman was a stranger.
You may call this depression, yet surprisingly, I feel a strange contentment. Though I feel my soul is exposed, naked and experiencing a new level of vulnerability, I also feel hope. Hope that this empty space is just making room for more. More room for God to dwell. That this blank canvas is God’s way of redeeming and rewriting my pain. Hope that He will make me brave enough to live outside the cave that I’ve hidden in. Brave enough to be myself in a world that tells me to be more like them.
So this morning I sat in my chair and I declared to God.
Lord, your daughter is dead. Her spirit is gone. There is nothing left but ashes on the ground.
And then I heard Him speak over me as I was directed to Luke 8,
Daughter, you are not dead. You are only asleep.
Child arise. Your spirit is in you; it only needs to wake up.
Today my spirit died. And today my spirit was resurrected. My broken pieces once again made whole by my Father who molded it and breathed life into my ashes. The pain is still present in every beat of my heart. But I am awake. And I am revived. Ready to live life as my true self, not a version that others place on me. I am ready to live brave and free. To run wildly into the winds of change and opportunity whenever the Lord calls. I just need to learn how. And this experience has brought about many questions in my heart.
What does it look like to get up after a spiritual death?
How do we allow our spirit to return, especially knowing that the cause of death is still all around?
What does it look like to live fully alive and free?
How do we stop hiding or guarding our spirits from others?
How can I use my story to help others through the pain they are experiencing?
These questions are the cry of my heart for 2017. These are the answers and healing that I will seek as I dance with the Lord this year. 2017 is going to be my year of soul restoration. The year I start believing my purpose and living with deep love and connection. I know that vulnerability is one of the hardest choices to make, but my spirit craves it. My spirit craves to be known for the creative being she is. And this is the year I let her be her!