I love it when God speaks.
I don’t love it when He speaks in the middle of one of my classes.
Today during Studying and Teaching the Bible, our professor gave us a homework assignment to write a monologue from the passage of Luke 7:36-50 (the prostitute at Jesus’ feet). We could choose any character that we could somehow relate to, but he also had us read an example of a monologue that one of his students wrote a few years back. It was written from the perspective of the prostitute.
I’ll only write the first two paragraphs: “Do you see this woman? Do you see this woman?” Those words will stick with me till my dying day. No one before had ever seen me, truly seen me, my heart. I was good for one thing and no one had ever contradicted that. My value was set, my usefulness in life set out for me. I would never know anything but shame by all who looked at me. Men treated me as a business deal, paying their dues, shunning me in daylight, hiding their own shame. My life was worthless.”
In the middle of class, my past flashed before my eyes. All of his words echoed in my head and heart. All the times he ‘pushed’ me, all the times he reminded me I was nothing. All the times he affirmed that my opinions didn’t matter. I held back the tears as best as I could, but I could feel my heart breaking again.
All I could think about was how I couldn’t do this assignment, I couldn’t revisit those wounds that had almost healed. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. It was too real.
But when I stopped thinking, and let my heart and mind be still, I remembered words that I spoke almost three years ago.
Lord, where You lead me in this healing process, I will follow. I will say yes.
I told Him I would say yes. So there I was, in my seat in class, breaking heart, hiding tears, taking a deep breath, and then I said yes.
As I was walking home, God revealed to me what His intentions were for this assignment.
I wasn’t supposed to revisit the moments he hurt me, the moments he reminded me that I was nothing, the moments that he took advantage of me, all the lies he told, all the times he pretended I didn’t exist. No.
I am supposed to revisit the moment that I saw clearly for the first time, when I saw myself as Jesus sees me, when I heard Him say ‘I love you’. The moment I knew that I was fully and intimately known, and still loved. The moment I knew what love really was. The moment I remembered who Jesus was. The moment I was free from the shame, hurt, and lies. The moment when healing began.
My abuser’s words will be with me until the day I die, but my Jesus’ words speak louder. That’s a truth that isn’t always easy to remember, but one that is the most life-giving thing I have.
I said I would follow. I said I would always say yes. I will hold fast to that promise, for you are so, so good.