Today marks five years that I have lived without intentionally harming myself. Yes, it's also Valentines day, but I've never really needed an excuse to tell those close to me that I love them. The two days have absolutely nothing to do with eachother, except that I am reminded of just how much God loves me.
Five years ago, after telling God that He had to fix me or I was giving up, it was as if the Spirit gave a sigh of relief. God had been trying to get to me, trying to show me that He would love me deeper than I had been hurt, that His care would go further than the damage that had been done, that He would mould me back into the person that He created me to be, the person that He always saw me as. And finally I let Him.
No, it didn't happen instantly, well, at least not all of it. For much of my life up to that point I had lived with what I called the shadow. It was the darkness and heaviness that seemed to consume me, the voice in my head telling me all the horrible things about myself that I wished weren't true. When I worke up on Feb 14 2001 the shadow was gone. I smiled. I felt alive in a way that I had very seldom experienced. For the first time in years I wore a skirt without shorts underneath to hide my scars (or blood from possible additions). It was my day. I was free. Free to start healing.
Healing has been a long process. Everything didn't just go away, I had to deal with issues....I still have to deal with some of them. But I learned God's immense love.
Your love is deep
Your love is high
Your love is long
Your love is wide
Your love is deeper than my view of grace
Higer than this wordly place
Longer than the road I traveled
Wider than the gap You fill
I wish I could truly express the truth of that song. I thought that if God knew the depths of my sin, of my pain, of what I had gone through, He would abandon me. I have learned in the last five years that God can take the most horrible circumstances and use them for His glory. I thought that if people knew the secrets I kept that they would say horrible things to me and about me....I learned that most people have amazing understanding and grace, and when they don't, God makes up for it. I thought that I would be forever struggling, forever crippled, forever bound to the cycle of pain.
I have learned what it means to be free.
There are still days that the thoughts enter my mind, but it's more like a memory than a desire. This time of year is especially hard on me, but it gets better each time.
Today was my day, and it was good. Each day I live is a gift that I was ready to throw away, and I am so thankful for God's grace and patience and all He has done for me.