By: LeeAnn Witzigman
I started my day with a call from my daughter who’s spending a few weeks with her father in another state. It maybe lasted 30 seconds, but that was more than enough time to understand and capture all the things she didn’t get to say. For the rest of the morning, something about that phone call haunted me and as the hours ticked away, a slow dark cloud began to move into my heart. By lunchtime, I could sense a very old trap of the enemy being set before me, so I began to pray.
I felt the powerful surge of God’s love move into the room and override my refusal to recall every word my daughter had said earlier. Soon, I thought I heard her strained voice again inside my soul as the Holy Spirit started to translate her words back to me, but this time it was spoken with my own voice from 12 years ago. A swell of tremendous pain swept over me instantly, even though I knew I was held in my Father’s arms of mercy and deliverance. I clutched onto His embrace as the words began to swirl around me and it was getting harder to breathe. Then a rush of memories of the young woman in the dark closet making phone calls in hushed voices, void of all emotion, and desperate for someone to rescue me surfaced next. I could actually smell the fear and hopelessness again and braced myself for the buried tragedies that were getting ready to emerge. The next few minutes were a mix of weeping, head shaking, purging, and exhaustion. Jesus was sweeping every corner of that dark closet and leaving no unspoken word behind. For every moment of past terror and fright, He exchanged for grace and laughter. For every confession of forgiveness and repentance, He extended joy and freedom. He undressed my hidden shame and didn’t cause a scene about it. Then He took my guilt and cast it as far as the east is from the west. And from all the suppressed pain and sharp stabs of remembrance, He brought forth beauty from those dusty ashes.
The trap is to believe the lie that I am the cause of suffering for my daughters at the hands of my ex-husband. I hate to admit that I carried that ugly and heavy burden for too long. Sometimes the enemy changes the wording or makes the timeframe of that lie seem like forever. He even eavesdrops on all my precious phone conversations that I deeply savor and tries to fill in the blanks when we say goodbye with speculation and suspicion. I should know better by now, because his tactics are weak and transparent, but a mind that momentarily forgets the truth of God’s word combined with a heart that sits anywhere else except at the victorious right hand of Jesus, can’t be trusted.
In the Lord’s gracious timing, I discovered this quote from C.S. Lewis that perfectly describes the revelation and healing I experienced today:
“God, who forsaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.”
So, I’ve changed my prayers of pain into praise for the One who has removed EVERY stain. Hallelujah!
1 Corinthians 6:11 – “But now you have had every stain washed off; now you have been set apart as holy; now you have been pronounced free from guilt; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God.”
Ephesians 5:27 – “So that He may present the church to Himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.”
1 Timothy 6:14 – “That you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”