Day 23: Nothing Taken, Nothing Broken
I don't know who needs to hear this tonight, but here is it: man cannot heal what man has broken. What? Yep. The only one Who can heal a broken heart is the One Who made it in the first place. In an earlier devotional I wrote this month we talked about this. But today God brought me back to a post I had written (as a draft, never actually posted it) in March of last year. Reading through it was like trying to understand what someone is saying when they are sobbing uncontrollably. But the pain, the feeling still gets through even when the words don't come out. As I read this, what started out as a blog post that turned into a desperate prayer to God, I was reminded of the healing that took place in the months following and quite honestly is still going on within me in some ways.
Earlier today I began to experience the feelings that began to consume my life around this time last year. I felt tears welling up out of nowhere, my throat began to feel like it was closing up, my mind raced, I wanted to rip off my sweatshirt which felt so restricting. "What the heck? Where did that come from? I haven't experienced this in a while... I thought we were done with this." I thought back to all the "tools" in my "tool belt" that my counselor gave me in dealing with sudden panic attacks, and as I sat down in my room stripped of all things restricting and tears streaming down my face, I put my back against the wall trying to find something solid to put my unsteady body in line with... The thing that always would/has gotten me in these attacks was the throat closing... that physical feeling always put me back in the situations of where I had been sexually abused and the attack would spiral down from there. But today was different. As I recognized that feeling in my throat I looked down at my left arm where the word "Shalom" is tattooed. Shalom, Hebrew for "Peace", can also be translated as "wholeness". Nothing taken, nothing broken is the way one friend described it to me and it stuck with me.
Immediately I began to declare out loud that Yahweh Shalom is the God, the King of my heart, my all. I held on tightly to the promises of God and reminded myself of Who He is and who I am, as my throat began to open up again. I could breathe. He reminded me that nothing man, or the enemy, took from me in those moments of abuse was non-restorable. In Him, by His healing power, I was and I am completely whole... nothing taken, nothing stolen. I don't know what the enemy has tried to steal from you today or in your past but please know that there is nothing God cannot restore. He specializes in restoration.
And thinking about the throat closing thing... Isn't that just like the enemy? Trying to steal our voices and isolate us. Trying to convince us we will never be whole again. The very places the enemy attacks us as are the very places God can use us most powerfully in. Satan ain't dumb, y'all. The enemy is strategic, knowing where you've been hurt, what gets you down and what keeps you down. And he's not one who is afraid to hit below the belt, he doesn't abide by rules, and the places you are most sensitive in? ding, ding, ding! You got it! He's right there swinging his punches. There isn't an area of our lives he isn't willing to touch except... when we give God control over the situation. When we speak the name of the One Who is more powerful than any of the punches satan throws. Speak the name of Jesus, watch that wretched devil flee like a roach exposed to the light.
Getting into another dating relationship, being loved intimately by a man isn't what heals me from the abuse I endured. And while I know Christian counseling was necessary for me and my situation and is for many, it is not what ultimately heals me. I am all for counseling, nothing against it at all, in fact, I believe it is Biblical and I recommend it. My counselor showed me some things from a different perspective and helped me gain clarity on different areas of struggle in my life. She gave me practical ways to re-focus when my mind whirled and I felt another panic attack creeping its way up on me. But my Healer is God and God alone. Only He can heal what man has broken in me. Only He can fully restore.
That moment I had today was very real, as it is for so many people in the world today. But you know what is so very real too? Our caring, loving, compassionate Father. Reach out to Him today, friends, not just when you are weary and feel broken... but in every moment find your strength, peace, wholeness in the only One who makes us whole. The only One who can heal a heart is the One who created it. And He's only a call away, and He is already prepared to proclaim over your life, "nothing taken, nothing broken."
"O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health."
"Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."