“Restore unto me the joy of they salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” ~ Psalm 51:12
Restoration is a peculiar experience. In the twinkling of an eye everything comes into fruition making us new and clean. Just like that *snap* all of everything that we carry our past pains, hurts, effects of abuse, and depression all goes away when we come to Jesus.
I could remember thinking this very thing when I said yes to Jesus and wrote in my journal, “I love you Jesus.” feeling warmth in my heart. This was it, I was the Lord’s and the Lord’s was mine. A 15 year old girl coming out of a bad break up needing a definition of true love, I was sold out.
There was no changing my mind and I would spend more time reading the word, listening to christian music, and praying than doing my school work. My dad once told me in midst of praying, “Jaque the lord want’s you to do you home work too you know.” I was confused. Prayer was so important to me and the anxiety I felt every time I opened my computer to focus on homework was something I wanted to avoid.
Life was beautiful and every Sunday I’d wake up happy to get ready for church. It would be me, Jesus, and all of his people together. I would not exchange that time for anything in this world. Fast forward to about to a year later it was 2010 and many things happened at once a death in the family, death in the church, and past pains surfaced all at once. I sat in a room at a therapist’s home office, ” Your daughter is suffering from major depression, I would love to start sessions with her.” I’d stopped talking. I had stopped writing to Jesus and church was just a place to routinely go. I’d clung to people more than Jesus and when those relationships started showing it’s humanity I could not handle the blessing of imperfectness. Life was not supposed to be this way and I needed help. “Jaque? What do you want out of these 8 sessions?” I shrugged my shoulders, but I knew I needed help.
8 sessions that were span over weeks and months at a time, along with some applied homework I unpacked hurt, pain, family patterns, that I never knew I needed to face. It was difficult to face and there were some sessions where I just wanted to repetitively talk about the pain because pain was such a faithful friend to me. “Jaque we’ve already talked about that and you’ve gained tools on how to do deal with that, let’s move on.” the therapist would say. With humility I’d stop and get to brass tax of things. Discussing a subject I didn’t want to face.
As time went on I got better, I began to talk again. Yet it was just a year ago that I’d come to this beautiful place with Jesus. Why would I have to go through all this grief, loss, hurt, and pain? I thought all those thing would pass away and all things would be new when I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have learned though that learning to say yes to a personal relationship with Jesus is only the beginning. This is a personal relationship meaning that Jesus wants to be all up in your business. It is actually necessary in order to what he promised.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ his is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
This is a promise that does not happen in a twinkling of an eye, for when you say yes he also promises:
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…” -Philippians 1:6
Jesus does not call us to himself without helping us work out this salvation that has been given to us. For Jesus shared with the Pharisees that it is not the outside of the cup that needs to be cleansed first, it is the inside that needs to be cleansed meaning our minds being transformed by the renewing of our mind, by keeping the spirit of God in us alive through prayer, and allowing the healing process to take place and continue.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. -Matthew 23:26
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God. -Phillipians 4:6
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, but perfect, will of God. – Romans 12:2
Jesus sits close to the broken hearted, broken in pain and broken from having a contrite heart and posture towards God through our personal relationship with Jesus. We don’t have a relationship with a genie (though it would be pretty cool). But ask yourself what would you ask for if you’d have 3 wishes?
Jesus calls us close to himself to truly heal us, change us, and to see himself in us for we were created in the image of God, but a step further is to have the likeness of Jesus, his character and spirit. That is the very reflection that we shine back to God as we work our salvation out daily, though it is not easy.
Since 2010 there have been ups and downs. This past year I experienced a depression that was so paralyzing and anxiety filled that I found myself watching all 12 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in 2 weeks. (Should I get an award? ) No, but that is what depression does at times, yet Jesus meets you where ever you are and I was constantly challenged to face my problems. I finally made an appointment with a different therapist and have been going ever since. What happened? Church was going well, I was doing all things externally to get close to Jesus, but what did Jesus say? Inside first and then outside. I had to deal with a shame i’d been carrying for 16 years of my life. Jesus opened a door for me to share my shame with my family and then with the therapist. It has been a humbling adventure ever since.
Jesus wants to get into the mess, the depths of who we are so he can continue to draw us closer to himself, so that we may be close to the Father. We are being loved into his likeness, but we can’t do that without facing pain, the past, and day to day trouble with Jesus all up in it healing.
God is never done with his children, and he gave us a savior who is willing to walk with us saying the whole way saying, “Me too. I love you. I will never leave you. You are worthy of all that I have for you. Let’s heal, let’s do this together. For you are all together beautiful and mine. Keep walking, keep doing the work and never get weary in well doing. If you do know you can rest in me for my yolk is easy and my burden is light.” He loves us so much. I’m thankful. I am still dealing with shame and my view of God, but I know that his promises will never fail and he sits close to the broken hearted. So I sit at the table with the publican and sinners, I sit with the disciples and ask questions, I cry at the feet of Jesus washing his feet with my tears. He lifts my head and says, “You are all together beautiful.” Amen.
Lord I pray that you come close to those who are broken hearted, that are being restored in you. You are needed and we can’t go through this journey without you daily being there and showing up. I thank you Lord that your promises are true and that you are will never leave or forsake us. Thank you for teaching us of who you really are and please Lord continue to show us who you are giving us truth in love. You are worthy to be praised. Amen.
Journal Questions: What does restoration look like to you? What is your view of Jesus in your journey of restoration in day to day life?
Further Reading: Psalms 51