The Secret Place Within Us

From as far back as I can remember, even as a very young girl, I always felt isolated.  Although surrounded by people, I felt removed from them at the same time.  No one knew all of the thoughts and feelings swirling within me even though my natural personality was to be friendly and caring.  I didn’t consciously hold that stuff back – it just stayed within me.  Heartache, fears, questions and even happy thoughts often stayed hidden in the secret place within me.

Everyone has that secret place.  Yet I know we all long for someone who wants to know everything about us, someone we can feel completely safe with to share it all, someone who won’t think we’re talking too much but instead wants to know all the details of our story.

To Be Truly Known

I believe the deepest desire of mankind whether we are even consciously aware of it is to know and be known by God intimately.  We want it desperately, but we’re so very afraid of it at the same time.  We want to be seen and loved, but we’re deeply afraid that we will be found unapproved and so we do what has been done by mankind since the very beginning of man’s existence – we hide.  And in the hiding, we experience the loneliness of  soul that comes with isolating ourselves.

It doesn’t matter how much of an open book we might say we are, behind the face of each human walking this earth is a whole world known only to that individual. Click To Tweet

Those on the outside of that world only know what they are shown.  There’s not enough time to reveal to another individual all that is going on internally within us. In fact, for some of us it is hard to even recognize certain things about ourselves let alone pass this knowledge along.  Those that are closest to us still don’t know all of our inner workings.  We often aren’t consciously holding back.

There is the shared and unshared…the seen and unseen.

As I pass people on the street or checkout line etc. I often consider that the person in front of me and the many others all around me all have secret worlds within them.  My husband, my children and my best friends even have an entire inner process that I’m not privy to knowing.

There is depth and complexity to each individual that no other man on this earth will ever know.  Each person has a story and no matter how much my own story has me absorbed, I must never lose sight of the fact that every story is important to God.

The Heart of Jesus

As much as we can sometimes know things in our heads, sometimes it can be difficult to really comprehend these things deep within our hearts.

Sometimes, God has to get our attention and speak to us in a unique way that will allow us to understand what He longs to show us.Click To Tweet

My Dream. My Story. It’s Impact.

Over the summer, I had a dream that I knew was from God.  It’s a way that He communicates things to me that I just can’t see any other way.

As I slept, I dreamed that I was in the backseat of a car, probably a taxi.  I was telling my story to the driver up front.  He was asking me to share details and kept questioning me.  As I shared I remember feeling apologetic, like I was talking too much.  Yet as I reflect back on the dream it’s funny because he was asking me questions, drawing me out and making me share more and more.

I could tell that I was sharing about my childhood of abandonment and all the hurt and confusion about why I felt God had allowed it.  I was sharing about disappointments but also good moments.  I was sharing about my two babies that died and current trials I have been walking through as well as victories I have been celebrating.  He kept drawing me out, so I kept adding details.  The details were very important and He wouldn’t let me stop until I had shared all He wanted me to share.

Finally, the man was satisfied and I heard a deep voice from the front seat say “now that’s your story”.

As he said it, he turned and looked into my eyes and images flashed between seeing a man’s face with kind eyes with tears streaming down his cheeks and then my face with tears streaming down my cheeks.  It was evident to me that we were both deeply moved by what I had shared.  Something had happened within me as I talked to him and to him as well. 

I’ve never seen someone so deeply moved by anything I have ever said. Even my own husband who loves me deeply has never been so moved to tears by my story.

Jesus Knows Your Story and Cares About All the Details

When I awakened I knew I had dreamed about Jesus.  The scripture “Jesus wept” popped into my head and I knew I would need to study the passage.  In the meantime I marveled that I had glimpsed Jesus.  I knew God wanted me to understand something about Himself through the dream and not to focus on the physical appearance of the man of the dream.

He Wept

In the dream, Jesus kept drawing me out with questions, encouraging me to not leave anything out as I shared my story.  As I talked, I was deeply touched and so was He!  He wept.

He wept for me.  He wept because He was deeply moved.

There have been many highs and lows in the story of my life.  None of us are immune to suffering.  As each of us has experienced, I have experienced moments of tremendous loneliness, rejection, joy, sadness, loss, gain, shame and excitement.   You name it, my emotions have experienced all of the ups and downs of the human condition.  Jesus experienced the human condition as well and the deep emotions that mankind experiences.

God Is Not Distant and Indifferent

I’ve come to realize that in the midst of the most painful moments of my life, I did not truly understand how present God was.  If I’m being honest, I always felt like God was very removed and indifferent to my pain.  I knew He loved me as one of a group but  I cannot say that I really felt deeply and individually known.  Certainly, I had no concept of a God that could allow me to experience deep rejection, loneliness and suffering and yet feel my pain so deeply and be so moved by my human experience.

To see Jesus weep for me…to see how He weeps for each of us…does something to my heart.  To see how deeply interested in each of our stories He is, how much he cares about each individual is incomprehensible to me.  Think about how many people at any given time walk the face of this earth!

I’ve never had a single human being on this earth lock eyes with me the way He did.  And I know that what He wants us to understand is that He feels that kind of love and concern for each and every man, woman and child.   He so wants each of us to comprehend and receive this love for ourselves.

He died for all of mankind, even the ones who choose to not take His gift.  Think about that kind of love!

He Knows Your Story and Cares About Your Pain

He has been intimately aware of our individual stories each moment that we have been living our lives.  He knows the pain and the joy and is not indifferent.  I know that He does not take pleasure in our suffering and yet it is so difficult for us to understand why He allows it.  We must never forget that He understands it far better than anyone, having suffered much himself.

The shortest passage of scripture in the Bible packs so much depth into it, “Jesus wept.”  He wept at the death of Lazarus.  He wept at the grief of the mourners.  He wept at the pain of mankind.  He wept in deep compassion for all that mankind endures.  He wept because He is full of compassion for us.  He chose to live with a heart so wide open to our pain and joy that He felt it deeply.  He chose to suffer far more than we will ever suffer.  He was moved and continues to be moved.

I don’t know what hard thing you are going through right now or have gone through in your past but know that God is not a God who is impassively watching you suffer.  He is not a God who has never known sacrifice or pain.  If we give it to Him and trust Him with our suffering we will purchase gold refined in the fire. 

With His help, will  you give Him your pain and let Him show you how to love others in the midst of their pain?  Can you allow Him to use the bad to show others His love?

Can you forgive God for allowing suffering and trust that one day He will show you what’s impossible for you to understand in the now?Click To Tweet

YOU Have a Story

We do not serve a God who is distant and indifferent, but rather a God who is intimately close to us and deeply moved by us.  You have a story…a testimony.  God never wastes anything.  Every moment of our story is important to Him and will be used for His glory if we allow Him to use it.  Never doubt your significance in His eyes.  Never doubt His love for you.  Never doubt His mercy and compassion for you.

Our Prayer

Father God, help us to let you in and fully grasp how deep, how far and how wide your love for us truly is.  Help us to see that we are never truly alone and that you weep with us.  Help us to be your hands and feet and demonstrate your love to a hurting world.  We ask your forgiveness for all the times we have doubted your love and questioned it when you’ve allowed our suffering.  Help us to trust even when we don’t understand. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Scriptures for Meditation

~ John 11:32 – 36

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

~ Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

~ Psalm 56:8

Record my misery;
    list my tears on your scroll—
    are they not in your record?

~ Revelation 12:11

11 They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.

~ Revelation 21:4

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

~ Psalm 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

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