This is a difficult week to be on social media.

Last year I was still so angry about it all when this week rolled around. Anger can get you through some stuff…

But you can’t stay there in that angry place or it begins to erode your own soul.

So I’ve worked hard all this past year. REALLY hard. Delving through the hurts and rejection and grief. Acknowledging. Releasing. Forgiving. Praying. Praying. Praying.

I’ve finally been able to drop all charges and really mean it. Finally reached the incredible freedom of forgiveness. Finally extricated myself from from the knotted tentacles of lies and demons that have strangled me my entire life. FREEDOM! It has been sweet. It IS very sweet.

But this week.

Another wounded healing friend just told me that it feels like a bandaid ripped off. Yes. Exactly. I was surprised by the swift intensity of the pain. It takes your breath away for a moment.

This year there is no more anger to mask the hurt. And so it just hurts until I’m a sobby sloppy mess inside and out. I work it out with furious pedals on my bicycle through the countryside. I am pacified a bit by the big sky and tranquil fields, the cows chewing indifferently as I roll by.

My favorite resting spot is the old Blue Eye Cemetery. I sit on a bench beneath an oak tree overlooking the headstones. A lone windchime quietly sings to me in the breeze.

Jesus sits down beside me. We rest there in silence for a while.

“You know,” He says, “It’s not up to you to make yourself so tough that you don’t feel this pain anymore.” He waits for me ponder on that for a moment. Yes, that is exactly what I have been trying to do.

“I will carry this pain for you if you give it to me.” Jesus leans toward me and whispers into my spirit…

“…but my daughter, the goal is not to completely eradicate the pain. Let yourself feel it. Embrace it. It means your heart is tender. You care deeply. You can still heal and find freedom despite the hurt.”

He gently drapes His arm around my shoulder… “Healed wounds leave scars. And scars ache sometimes. But then you remember. Then you have empathy for others with similar wounds. Let it build your character and make you stronger. There can be so much value in the hurt… I will be walking right next to you, carrying it for you…”

Then the vision was gone but I could still feel the gentle compassion in His voice.

Sometimes His answer isn’t exactly what we want. But it is always bigger than we imagine. It will always make our world better if we let it.

I considered the greens of the grasses, the blue sky and wispy clouds more carefully than before as I pedaled slowly home. I noticed the beauty of it all, breathed it deeply into my soul. Peace.