The Revelation of Rebellion
I M P R E S S I O N S
In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world. // John 16:33
Heartbreak is inherent to the human experience. In our journeys through the valley, it can be easy to lose sight of the hope and promise we have in Jesus. This series is designed to offer hope, encouragement, and purpose through powerful testimony, shared experience, and the redeeming work of the Father.
Pain removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul. ~ C.S. Lewis
Can I confess something to you?
This may be a surprise to some, but for those of you who have gotten to know the real me, this won’t come as a surprise at all. I am a rebel. Little old, Jesus-loving, people-hugging, let me help you out however I can me is, indeed, a rebel.
From the young age of about 13 or so, it was revealed to me by multiple people at different stages of my life that God had a calling on my life. A calling that as I look back now, I admit I did everything within my power to run from and in my futile attempts, to destroy. But you see, pain does that to us. Pain has a way of grasping us within its powerful grip and holding onto us so tightly that we believe we have no choice but to suffocate under the weight of it. It has a way of taking the life our Father created for us and extinguishing the very flame within that makes us who we were designed to be.
However, the unavoidable truth in this is, no matter how much we are hurting, we always have a choice in our pain.
I grew up in a closet dysfunctional family, meaning that to the church and the public, we looked completely normal and like the good Christian family we were thought to be, but behind closed doors, apprehension and fear reigned with an iron fist. I love my father, but I remember being terrified of him as a young girl. The fighting that took place between him and my older brother left me feeling helpless, scared, and constantly afraid of what would happen to me if I made a mistake or did something wrong. The disconnect in my relationship with my dad further intensified these feelings and began a long cycle of mistakes, heartache, and often indescribable pain in the years that followed.
I went to church with my family regularly, but I had no idea what it meant to actually have a personal relationship with Jesus. In light of this, my response to the turmoil, pain, and fear I was hiding inside was simple - I rebelled. I started seeking attention from boys during junior high, and by my sophomore year in high school, I was drinking, partying, skipping school at times, and making all the wrong decisions. My once flawless grades had plummeted, and I no longer cared about my academic future. Meanwhile, the pain I was trying so hard to bury inside flourished with each poor choice I made. I was depressed, suffering from an eating disorder that very well could have killed me, and entertained thoughts of suicide often. No matter what I did or how hard I tried to kill the pain inside, it only grew stronger.
I would like to say that in my late teens, I found Jesus and everything got better, but unfortunately, it took much longer than that for me to truly meet my Savior. I continued making bad choices, in most respects, well into my late 30’s, until my rebellion finally brought me to my knees, literally, and in 2015 I finally cried out to Jesus in desperation, seeking for the meaning in life. I believe with all my heart and soul that there was something breathtakingly beautiful about that place of desperation and indescribable pain I found myself in. There is something undeniably exquisite about a rebel soul becoming absolutely broken and remorseful in the presence of his or her Savior.
In our pain, we always have a choice.
Looking back now, I realized that all those years of poor choices were simply me running from the Father. Looking back now, I see that almost two years ago, I finally made the right choice in the midst of my pain for the first time in my life. I remember questioning God, and questioning Him often about why I had to hurt like I did, why He wouldn’t take it all away, why He wouldn’t just make everything better. I now understand, that it was in the pain that He was revealing Himself to me. It was through the invisible veil of my pain that God reached down with his omnipresent hand and showed me the absolute truth of His amazing grace and love.
In our pain, we are given the gift of free will to choose how we will react or respond to the hurtful life circumstances we find ourselves in, whether at our own hand or the hands of another person.
Our pain can serve as the catalyst that leads us to true repentance and a full surrender of our hearts to Christ,
or we can choose, as I did for years, to rebel and run as far away from our Father as possible. Let me just say that in my choosing to rebel and run, no matter how far I tried to go, nothing ever fixed the pain, and in retrospect, my Father followed me every step of the way; pursuing me relentlessly, and waiting patiently until the day that my pain ultimately drove me to true repentance and running back into His loving arms.
My rebellion ultimately led me to the greatest revelation of my life: Although we may never understand it and in the moment we cannot see it, God allows the pain in our lives to produce what we need the most; repentance, surrender, trust, and ultimately, astounding growth in our faith and belief in Jesus Christ. Our pain, when left in the hands of our Creator, has the enormous potential to plant the flag of truth within our fortress of pain which is otherwise, unbreakable, unproductive, and immovable when left in our human hands.
God does not allow us to experience pain, to rebel or tread upon paths that are not meant for us because He does not care; He allows the pain and the broken paths of our lives to produce a grief within our spirit that will lead us back to Him, wide-open, heart in pieces, with a genuine repentance that lands us right at the foot of His cross and ultimately saves our lives.
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. // 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
Surrender the pain of your rebel soul into the unimaginably capable hands of your matchless Father.
Let Him use your rebellion to lead you to true repentance, and trust that no matter how much it hurts, or how far you may have wandered, He is always right by your side, pursuing you, waiting for you, loving you, and calling you back into His loving and grace-filled arms.