Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dealing with Self

Over the last week, I’ve been reading the book Cross Roads by William P. Young, the author of The Shack. If you read The Shack (and were open-minded about the creativity of God), then you would love Cross Roads. The story is so beautiful.

This is not a book review by any means, but I want to share a concept that has been pressed upon my heart in the last few weeks.

The main character in Cross Roads has a brain tumor that leaves him in a coma. While he is physically lying in a hospital bed in the ICU, his spirit is interacting in another place outside of time. The landscape of this place is a reflection of who Anthony Spencer is on the inside. There are broken down walls, unkempt gardens, piles of garbage and a small house that is falling apart.

At different points during his journey, Anthony has to confront some hard truths about himself. The fortresses his ego has built on one side of the property, the weeds that he has let take over pieces of the land, etc. But he isn’t left to face these demons alone. With each step of the journey, Jesus, in the form of a man named “Jack”, or the Holy Spirit in the form of “Grandmother” are with him.

They are here because you gave 
them a voice and a place in your 
soul. You thought you needed 
them to become successful.

Because of the conversations Jack and Grandmother have had with Anthony before he encounters these ‘demons’, he knows the truth about himself and about who he was created to be. What is beautiful to watch is that these characters walk with Anthony over to the squatters on his land. They don’t say a word, but stand in to give Anthony strength to take back control over his own land. They smile. They put a hand on his shoulder. But they let him take back his land. 

Love will not condemn you for being lost, 
but love will not let you stay there alone, 
even though it will never force you 
out of your hiding places. 

This book has impressed upon me the love that God has for each of us. He is not manipulative or pushy, but deeply loving and kind. Giving us the space we need, but never leaving our side.

Having faced some of my own demons in the last few weeks, I couldn’t have done it without those around me who have spoken raw truth to me. The kind of truth it hurts to hear, but motivates you to make the changes you need to make. I’m grateful for Marcy, as she’s been this incredible pillar of strength for me…walking me to the edge of the forest or the bottom of the ocean so that I could really see who I am and where God wants to take me. She’s shown me where Jesus is when all I can see is the darkness. She’s told me when to stop fighting, when to try harder, and when to be quiet and rest. She’s helped me overcome the most difficult obstacle I could ever imagine facing, and her love has been relentless and overflowing. God brought her to me because there were things I couldn’t face on my own.

So I pray that you too would have the strength today to face yourself. To show up and fight back and let God heal the places that need healing. Don’t be afraid. You can do it. It’s okay to fall. And its okay to cry, because it is hard. But you can do it, okay? Just trust me on this. You can do it. You are brave. 

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