In my heart a battle rages. The Enemy’s lies clash with the Creator’s Truth; pain, hurt and struggle clash with the peace and joy Jesus offers; loneliness and isolation clash with any search for community. Each side seeks control of me, seeks control of my heart.
Fear, loneliness, doubt, lies, hurt, envy. These mark my circumstances and I am defined in this moment by my pain and my raging emotions.
Help me, Jesus.
It’s all I can pray.
Waves of memories and lies crash against the shores of my mind as I roil beneath the surface of my pain, pulled under by the riptide of my emotions.
Am I good enough?
Does anyone see me?
Am I destined to loneliness?
Do I matter?
Somewhere in the distance, I can hear a whisper of Truth, I can see a pinhole of Light. But it feels so far away. Too far away.
Speak to me, Jesus. Hold me through my tears, quiet my mind as I try to see you, to think you, to hear you. Oh, Jesus, help me to hear your voice.
Even as I pray, the Enemy ratchets up his attack of lies, lies that are subtle enough to sound true in my broken state, in my overwhelming circumstances. The Enemy coats his lies in my past, wraps them in experiences and memories, so that at their core, their essence sounds true.
You are not enough.
You are a cast off in communities where others connect.
You are not worthy of friendship and so you are alone.
You do not matter.
But I sense that whisper of Truth still. Still too far from me, still trying to reach me. But still there. I squint through tears, fix my eyes at the Light.
The battle continues to rage within me and I struggle with words, struggle to speak against the barrage of lies.
Jesus, hear my words. Hear my heart. Help me cling to you right now.
Flaming arrows seek my heart, seek to sink me in this ocean of lies. I hide behind the only words that come. Help me, Jesus. Defend me from this attack, from this Enemy you defeated so long ago.
My whispered prayers mingle with the whisper of Truth and the Light grows closer to me, enveloping me in it like a cocoon. From this safe haven I can sense the battle subsiding.
Without, nothing has changed; the circumstances that influenced this storm of emotion and lies remain. But within, my heart is changed. Though it be scarred by some of the Enemy’s arrows, it bears more the character of Christ. It bears more the strength of Christ. It bears more the Truth of Christ.
It radiates the Light that never leaves.
To me, sometimes the Light seems distant, faint, but really it is always there, always close. The Enemy encroaches with his lies and with his darkness, but he can never really separate me from the Light. And when I call out the name of Jesus, that darkness begins to fade.
My comfort is knowing that Jesus knows what I need and that the Holy Spirit can intercede with groanings that carry my deepest needs to God’s throne of grace. My comfort is knowing that if all I can say is Help me, that is enough. God does the rest, like he did with the small offering of bread in the wilderness that fed 5,000. God can take the least of me and create miracles.
And that is the Truth that I will choose to cling to right now: God will use me to further his Kingdom, to love the least in this world, to reach those who are struggling or lonely or hurting. He will use me because he can take this least of me that I offer him and transform it to create miracles of difference in a hurting world.
My scars of hurting and struggle become the character others need to see in the world. And so I bear them and bare them in the confidence of Christ.