GOD ONLY KNOWS

I know you. Your heart hurts... aches... truly. Deeply. Nobody knows you, not really... even the ones who think they do, you hide your whole truth from them... your whole self. You're afraid what they'll think if only they knew the real you. The real pain, the real hurt deep down inside... the secrets... the things you've decided make you less than worthy of love. Affection... even though you long for it. Truth telling time... sometimes you'll even tell yourself what they'd say. What they'd think. What'd they'd do... if only they knew... you.


I was like you. Some fleeting moments- I'm still like you. ...but I've relearned this trick we used to know as children- to refuse the dark and focus LIGHT. And let that be MY REAL LIFE.

I did something that I regretted for the entirety of my life. I'm 32 today. In that moment, I was only 9 years old. ...if only I'd known how I'd feel about it the next 23 years... hurt. Broken. Afraid. Ashamed. Unloved- by myself and others... because truly no one had known me, if they didn't know all of me (because I'd unwittingly let this one thing define all of me)... that meant they couldn't love me... completely. Unconditionally...


...until one day... God said that was enough... no more.


He started to put something else in my heart... a yearning to have more. To be more. Better somehow...


Better for me was in a better place doing better things with my life than feeling as lost as I'd started to feel... but better to Him, meant HEALED. Whole.


So I prayed... I asked him to set me free...

...and thus over the next eight or so years... he stripped me. He gave me what I thought I wanted. Showed me it still wasn't enough... and then took it away again, replacing it with first a knowledge of the truth and with the love of others to help me begin to love myself... because the truth was... all along, I did really did matter there was a deeper reason why I wanted the things I wanted in my life.

So He started to speak to me... in books I'd read... directly from the pulpit when I went to church... through signs on the street... all the cliche' ways... and all the ways I'd never dared to dream were even possible.

He spoke... directly to me.


me...


... before these moments, I'd just thought my innermost hurts didn't really matter. That I'd never be able to open up and get beyond what I thought I was... but He opened the door. Because He spoke to me... which meant He saw ME.


And He told me I had His heart.. that I was good and beautiful and loved. That I was full of love and kindness, and compassion for a reason even if I couldn't give any of that to myself...


And then it was no longer words... but because I was so broken He began to show me...


I didn't want that hurt anymore so I cried out. I screamed for Him to take the pain away!


...and He sent me the people I loved most... and finally... after 20 plus years... I told them what hurt... why it hurt... where the pain came from... I told them everything. And that one secret- that one pain- I'd thought defined everything about my life... DIED.


And I lived.

I LIVE.


Because they squeezed me... spoke to me... SPOKE TO AND KILLED THAT DEMON... with a few simple words... words I'd scared myself into believing were impossible...


"I love you. I'm here. You never should've felt you couldn't come to me. I will NEVER LEAVE YOU OR LOVE YOU LESS... only MORE."


...the same words... God had spoken. He showed them to me... in my family.

He showed me...

HIS LOVE.


HE IS RELENTLESS.


And so you see... I know you.


Your hurt. Your pain. I know the ache of it... the stabbing sensations in your chest at night... the air that trapped in your throat, just before you're ready to somehow try to let it out...


...and now I'm here... just wanting to pull your chin up... just a little bit... and say one thing...


BREATHE.


Now............. listen.



I LOVE YOU, friend... and because I know how you feel, I can see you...

And I can see you because you are ALIVE... even when you don't always that way....


...take a deep breath.


OPEN YOUR EYES...and SEE... YOU MATTER.


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