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NO QUICK FIX
The road that I drive on every single day, has become an absolute mess. There are so many potholes, cracks, and rough spots, that it is like driving down a two-track. If you live in MI, or any other state that has severe winter temperatures, you know that the roads definitely take a beating from the freeze/thaw cycles. You also know, that for years the DOT fills the big holes by slinging asphalt toward them…they fill most of the whole, and also create more rough spots in the road.
It seems like every 4-5 years they come along and lay a topcoat of asphalt directly on top of the old road. Don’t get me wrong, for six months or so, the road is smooth, and quiet, and mighty enjoyable. However, it doesn’t take long before the old potholes, cracks and rough spots start to work their way to the top. That is exactly what happened to the road I mentioned earlier…it is worse than ever, and I am wishing that they would actually invest the time and money into digging the old road up and starting over.
A similar scenario took place on a spiritual level for the first several years that I started to follow Jesus. I was a royal mess when I finally surrendered, and asked Jesus to take over. It was like Jesus came into my life and laid down an absolutely beautiful asphalt road over my cracked, rutted, pothole filled life, and it was new, and smooth, and quiet, and everyone close to me celebrated how nice my life looked. This new road even had new white lines on it to show me where the boundaries were. It had yellow lines that told me when to stay in my lane, and when I could go around someone who was going too slow. I was a happy camper, and pretty darn proud of my new road.
What I know now, that I didn’t back then, is that even though Jesus gave me a brand-new surface, covering up so much of the broken and ugly parts of my life…I was never taught that I needed to go back into my story and invite Jesus to heal and transform the deep, secret, hidden parts of who I was.
So like the road I travel on daily, the broken parts of my life began to work their way to the surface after the newness wore off.
The resurgence of sexual sin, self-hatred, a critical and judgmental spirit was still there, and it surprised me. I was pretty good at staying inside the white lines, yet here I was struggling with things that I was told were taken care of by Jesus. Honestly it scared me, and I heard this voice that kept telling me that others aren’t struggling, it is just because you are an idiot, and can’t get this Jesus thing figured out. Of course, looking back now, I am well aware that those were lies intended to keep me pinned down with shame, self-rejection, and fear of being found out. The road of my life would get pretty rough, and in need of repair. I would go to a conference, hear a convicting message, or sense God nudging through His word and I would slap another “topcoat” on it and it would be smooth, and would look good for a while, and then I would have to do the same thing over again.
Just like the roads we drive on, there comes a time when a “topcoat” just isn’t enough. Yup, that is indeed true. It is like building a High Rise…you have to go down before you can go up. I know, we often don’t want to take the time, or face the truth of what is down there, so we would rather just try and stay a half-step ahead…keep throwing asphalt into the holes.
I was found out in 2002…it had finally caught up to me, and I had lost my ability to BS my way out of the situation. I will forever be grateful for a friend who gave me a copy of Wild at Heart during that low point in my life. That book was so applicable to my life, I was convinced that John Eldredge had followed me around for a year of my life, and then wrote a book about me. That began the long and painful process of “going down deeper”. I learned that there were broken places in my heart that had never been addressed, and that there were places in my heart and life that had never been transformed by Jesus, because I had never invited Him to come and heal them. And, like most of the road construction that goes on around us, the process of digging deeper (doing it the right way) cannot be rushed. I have been at it for 15 years now, and while there are so many parts of me that have been healed and transformed, there is always more to be revealed and healed.
So rather than just continuing to add another “topcoat” to the road of our lives, let’s invite Jesus to join us in digging deeper into our stories.
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