“When you pass through waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Last week was one of those emotionally draining weeks. Between my own healing and struggles, things dear friends were going through, and the cold that zaps the energy out of me, it was exhausting. Throw into the mix finding out I was to report for jury duty.
I get anxiety when I’m to do something and I don’t know exactly what to expect, what is required of me, and exactly when and where. None of these were really answered going into that day. Cue panic attacks! But I was quick to remind myself even in the middle of feeling like and elephant was sitting on my chest(anxiety/panic attack), that God was with me! Me being called in did take Him off guard. It didn’t surprise Him. He knew. And He promises to go before me. Then it hit me-like God quietly whispered to my heart, not only am I with you, but I’m also in the middle of all this-with you! Little did I know how profound and deeply needed that revelation would be to my still fragile healing heart.
So there I am sitting in one of the 14 possible jury member’s chairs about to be questioned for jury selection. An brief overview of the case lead me to know that I couldn’t remain objective and assume the accused “innocence until proven other wise”. I knew that I would have to state a phrase I vowed would never leave my lips, at least not this way in front of a courtroom full of strangers. I was just getting used to talking about it with close friends. I whispered a prayer for courage and words. And the judge asked if there was any reason any of us couldn’t remain unbiased during this trial. My hand went up-shaking.
“I’m a sexual assault victim…” I swear in that moment my heart stopped, and between the lack of sleep, stress, and the whole ordeal, I nearly burst into tears. I was dismissed and left to collect my thoughts emotions. I suddenly felt like I was a child again. I felt helpless and small. I got in my car and started to talk things out with God.
He reminded me that He was right there in the middle of my hurt and my all over emotions. This hadn’t surprised Him. He knew I was to have to say that. And He promises to work everything for His good and to be with us.
I started reminding myself of my identity. I have never wanted to be identified as a victim. That made me appear weak-an easy target. But that’s not my identity!
I am a daughter of Christ!
I am redeemed! I am loved by a Heavenly Father who walks with me through all of this! I am not defined by what has been done to me or by the things I have done in my past! I am defined by Christ, who He has made me to be, who I am becoming through seeking God daily and walking in that relationship with Him!
Yes, what has been done and what I have done are part of my story-and they have shaped parts of me and how I see the world and relate to others, but they aren’t my identity. The purpose of those things in my story are to connect, relate, and show how powerful, mercifully, and awe inspiring God is and what He has done through those situations.
I hope that no matter what you are going through or no matter what this week holds for you, that you hold tight to the promise that for those who have that relationship with God, He will walk through it all right there with you. He doesn’t walk with you at a distance. He is there right in the middle of everything.
Have a great rest of your Monday!