by Sheri Rose Shepherd
I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! — Psalm 116
Before I became a Christian, when I was in pain, I ran to food, drugs, and alcohol to escape, and as you know, it caused destruction in my life. Eventually, however, I believed I was destined for more than destruction. I wanted desperately to crawl out of this deep, dark hole of despair, but the harder I tried, the deeper I fell. I had nowhere to run.
Even after I became a Christian, I did not know how to process the pain this life brings. Somehow, I thought that following Jesus would eliminate emotional pain. So whenever I experienced emotions that did not feel godly, I ignored them. I thought if I kept my feelings covered up, they would go away. I handled my heart the same way I did before I was a Christian. I put my life in fast-forward by setting more goals and filling my schedule with excessive busyness. I did this so I would not have to feel or deal with anything emotionally difficult.
In theory, that sounds like it might work, but in real life it causes emotional meltdowns. At one point of my life, I had buried so much of my emotional pain that every part of my body was hurting. I had panic attacks, crying spells, loss of memory, and chronic depression. When I had no more strength or desire to run any longer, I finally found freedom and powerful peace. I learned to run to God and cry out to my Daddy in heaven.
I don’t know where your heart is at this moment, but I do know how to lead you to your Father in heaven, in whose presence healing begins and strength is renewed so you can run free in Christ.
God's Letter to You
I believe if The Lord was going to write you a personal letter about battles this life brings it may read like this....
Please don’t walk away from me when life hits hard, my love. I know sometimes you hurt so bad you want to blame me. I understand how hard it is for you to keep your heart committed to me, when you feel I have disappeared in the midst of your despair. I am here and I am working things out for you even when it seems as if nothing has changed. I have my hand on you and extended to you at all times. No one can hold you as close as I can. So don’t run my love, unless it is into my arms of mercy.
Your Prince and Pursuer
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me All the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. — Psalm 23:6