This post received a lot of attention a few months ago. That day in the bread aisle Jesus started a not-so simple journey of healing. I should have known that “it” wasn’t over that day. Two months later I would have NEVER imagined that this story would continue in the way it has.
Earlier this week I was hit with several tough situations. It seemed that every few hours I’d receive another piece of really bad news. By mid afternoon I was done. Like reeeeeally done. I was on the verge of losing my mind. I clearly remember getting in the car and driving. I passed several friends’ houses so there’s no doubt I had more than a few opportunities to stop and ask for help, prayer, ANYTHING that would have stopped me from allowing darkness to overwhelm me. But I didn’t. I kept driving and slowly started hearing the enemy whisper “take the easy road. You are weak. No one cares now.” It still amazes me that all the wrong things seem so right in the moment. Darkness can be very comfortable. It’s familiar to me and that night I consciously decided to make a series of bad choices. But…it seemed Jesus had other plans.
Hours after hopping into the car, and just minutes after having my second encounter with someone Jesus clearly was using to save me from myself, I drove up to an unfamiliar restaurant/bar. I walked in and scanned the room. People were laughing and deep in conversation. This felt like a good place to hide. I sat at the bar and ordered a beer. Over the next hour I sat there and quietly drank, letting the events of the day plague me. Just when I found myself on the verge of crying, in walks the final and most unlikely of people Jesus would use to get my attention. The same person, an enemy of sorts, who I had encountered at Whole Foods two months ago walked in and approached me. Since we saw each other at the grocery store this person hasn’t fully left me alone but still has chosen to hurt me. They’ve just found new ways to do it. This time I felt no sense of fear or urgency to leave. I believe that was partly the alcohol slowing me down but the majority of it was Jesus. Totally his fault.
This person reminded me over and over of my worth and why even the most painful of situations doesn’t have to destroy me. I can’t always change the situations I find myself in but I can control what I choose to do in the midst of it and if I will allow it to control me. I began to believe again that amazing things can come out of the worst of situations sometimes. I needed to see that tomorrow was a new day and although I had been hurt I would choose to not live out of that pain.
We sat at the bar until it closed and I was struck with the sheer craziness of the situation. This person who has tried countless times to destroy me was the one flippin person Jesus uses to save me from destruction. Seriously?!?! I’m still in awe of the ways God works!
Love truly knows no bounds when God can use those who have hurt us to encourage and care for us. Living a life devoted to love means loving even our enemies. It also means allowing our enemies to love us in return. The other night I finally had to ask myself “is this person really my enemy or just another broken person (like myself) longing for inclusion and love?”
I have been praying for months that this person would experience true healing. It seems Jesus has been wanting to see both of us healed and has used each of us to help in the other’s journey toward restoration. Amazing!
My story is one of love and it continues….