In 2008, my family and I went through one of the hardest, darkest seasons of our lives.
After 10 years of marriage, my son Jason found himself in a divorce. The pain seemed to swallow him up as every beautiful memory of his wife crumbled into disappointment. He was living in a nightmare, and as his father, the pain he and my three grandchildren were going through hit my heart in the sharpest way. My heart broke for my family.
I spiraled down into a state of hopelessness, exhaustion and depression, and couldn’t get off the couch for three months. I had a choice to make. Would I continue to lie there and let the situation envelop my entire being, or would I face the pain and process my grief with honesty and truth?
Are You a Walking Mummy?
In John 11:44, when Lazarus came out of the tomb, he was alive, yet bound. Jesus asked the people around Lazarus to unbind him from his grave clothes. I think this paints a picture of what many of us look like in the spirit. Living as “spiritual mummies,” we have had true conversion experiences but still live covered up and bound by the pain of our past.
I used to live this way. I had deep wounds of rejection that spawned from my father’s death and being raised by two broken stepfathers. I settled into false humility and self-hatred, and because I couldn’t love myself well, I couldn’t love others well. The worst part about it? I didn’t know there was more to life than the way I was living.
Do you feel as though there are areas in your life that are still bound in some way, or clouded by fear, dread or anxiety? The truth is that Jesus is enough to forgive your sins and transform you into a new creation. The power of the cross did not stop at your salvation, and it’s time to begin unraveling the grave clothes—no matter how comforting they’ve become.
The Way Out Is to Dive In
Many Christians think their job description is to cheer others up, so they put on a happy face regardless of how they actually feel. They ignore or stuff down their pain. This leads to a life where hurt brews in the deepest parts of their souls and comes out in brokenness in their everyday relationships and activities.
Whether we realize it or not, unresolved wounds will have a voice in the stories we are living. We all have hurts in our past, but it’s the way that we deal with them that will result in our level of freedom. We must confront our pain and even be OK with the time this process may take in order to become free, healthy and whole.
This journey may not be fun, but it’s worth enduring for the sake of freedom. My family got through the divorce of my son Jason, even though it was a process to follow Jesus out of the pit. We realized that the best way out of despair was to confront every memory, give a voice to our mourning and hold on to the hope that God had abundance in store for us. Remember that Jesus endured the cross “for the joy that was set before Him” (Heb. 12:2b). He could persist through the pain and face it head-on, even though it was horrible in the moment. Jesus could do this because He focused on what He was gaining in the process.
What is your vision for your life, your relationships, your dreams? I encourage you to face your wounds and unravel your grave clothes for the great joy that is your life vision set before you.