I would love to hear from you. Be respectful, authentic – your own experience. Testimony always builds up our faith, individually and corporately.
As roots are ripped up in our lives, the lies that attach to these roots are shaken off, losing their power. Nothing is left to sustain the lies. The root is up and out. So, glorious freedom in grace flows in.
Here goes. I have hesitated writing this because of shame but Holy Spirit drew me upstairs, wooed me to write because it is time to come out of the tomb.
I truly do feel that my time in Finland was, for me, like living in a tomb – encased in the mundane and shadows. This is not meant to offend anyone. It is what I experienced. My life.
I let it happen – I would not let freedom truly arise in me. Over time, I locked myself in a prison, shackled to shadows of what I believed others thought of me or I perceived others thought of me. In any case, the clouds and the darkness descended on my life and have not moved in this season…….until today.
I feel that I was initially sent into Finland to give what was in me – freedom, creativity, and identity in Christ. I was called to walk in Holy Spirit to set people free to be whom God created them to be. Yet, I allowed discouragement, disillusionment, and anger to encase me in a tomb the longer I stayed in Finland.
So today, I forgive Finland. Can I forgive a nation? Yes. Now, this is not written towards those whom I knew closely. This is not about them. It is about others who judged me without knowing me. Rather than come alongside, they stayed their distance and perhaps my anger and their inner silence would not allow them to come closer. There is no blame. There is no shame in this. In any case, I forgive all who hurt me – devastatingly hurt me. God’s grace is for all of us – we need it! All of us.
I have avoided saying this because I wanted to be clear. Finland brought me into its own shame – a feeling somehow I was wrong – not my actions, but ME. I was wrong. It beat me down and left me for dead but very few knew it. I am speaking it forth today just for me. As Lazarus in the tomb, God is calling me forth, out of it all.
I have always had the opportunity to come ‘out’ but I could not because shame rooted a lie in me that I was wrong – my substance, how God created me. That is a lie for all of us. I may have done many things wrong in lashing out in inappropriate ways due to my pain, but Debra is good, perfectly and wonderfully, beautifully made. In all this pain, aside from certain people, no one seemed to care, notice or even call. I forgive you Finland.
The Holy Spirit called me, wooed me upstairs to write this simply because Holy Spirit knew that I needed to put it out there whether anyone understood or not. My qualifying statement is this – I do love Finland, with God’s love.
I have hesitated writing this until today. I know it will set others free who have undergone what I have gone through – not being accepted in nations into which God has called you to go and undergoing silent pain, while standing firm in God because He is faithful to work out in you what He has planned for your life. God is all together glorious and wonderful!
What did shame do? It spoke to me subtly but persistently, “You are not good enough.” I heard it so long while I was there that I believed it. Inevitably, I, myself, then started asking people and situations this question, “Can I be me?’ I did not openly ask this but it was a question that circulated inside of me as I encountered many situations and people. I outsourced my life to external situations rather than trusting God. What was I thinking? It is all good – so very very good. God turns it all around and we are better for it. So selah……….I am now giving myself permission to BE whom God has designed me to BE, in His love, grace, mercy but in radical truth. I will continue to challenge people, risk relationships, step out in faith and be accepted and rejected, be misunderstood and more but I will never outsource needed affirmation to anyone but Jesus Christ. If I get it from others, great. If not, great. It is all good. Christ in me, the hope of glory.