My heart was pounding; I could barely see. I hadn’t been fully paying attention, but now I was.
It was one of those moments when time freezes as you quickly and desperately try to uncloud your thoughts to figure out what is going on and what you should do before the moment passes. I was scrambling. Wait, what did he just say?
The room I was in was huge and round, dome like, actually. Hundreds of people filled majority of the seats as we listened to our pastor share the message he had prepared. I was near the front and I felt the breath of everyone in the room behind me. It was almost like their eyes bore into the back of my head, judging me as if they knew every sin I had committed, as what the pastor said resonated with me and pulled a heart string.
He was asking again:
Is there anyone here that has something holding them back, limiting them, from a relationship with God?
As quickly as a second passes, I thought of all the limitations I had, keeping me from God: my past abuse, my past pain of losing my mom, the lies I had been told my life, the lies I still believed, shame of mistakes I had made, big and small, shame in myself and all my flaws, disbelief that God could be good and would actually want to use me… And the list went on.
I’m pretty sure my heart was about to pound out of my chest as dread began to set in with my near heart attack. Our pastor had asked those (we were ALL sitting down) who were limited, dammed up, to stand. I did NOT want to stand in front of so many people, especially since I knew a majority of them.
I mean, who wants to admit their spiritual life sucks? Not me!
But desperation overrode that fear and dread. I knew I NEEDED to stand. Not that if I didn’t stand a difference wouldn’t have been made, but there is just something about that declaration of needing God that makes every reason not to seem meaningless.
I finally gathered all the strength and courage I had, which was approximately the size of a pea (aka small), and stood. I saw, out of the corner of my eye, the look of a little surprise on the pastor’s face. I kept my eyes near the ground, looking at nothing as I listened to him continue to speak into our lives. I didn’t know what to do with my hands. I felt so awkward.
But I held onto every word he said. I prayed everything he said would take root in my heart. Tears began to fill my eyes.
He began to pray. It was then I began to legit cry. I didn’t want to, knowing snot would be making its way out of my nose and, I mean, let’s not get into the disaster tears does to mascara. Ugh. But I couldn’t hold it in, no matter how hard I tried. I was overwhelmed.
There was one line in particular that stuck out to me: my pastor prayed for God to heal our calloused hearts.
A callous is a perfect description of how my heart and soul is. I used to work in the athletic training room at Concordia, so I’ve seen and dealt with my fair share of them, especially on people’s feet. Callouses are hard and only really healed with taking a special tool to scrape them off… As well as lotion. They’re created with a lot of friction many different times. A calloused entirely forms to protect that area from any more wounds, but it over protects it, eventually getting in the way and causing a pain of its own.
I believe it was in my last post where I talked about my fear of intimacy, in any way, shape, or form. I am terrified to be close to anyone, especially God. I have the hardest time understanding why someone that amazing would want ME, and to KNOW me. Last week my counselor and I tried processing why I am that way and how to help me not be. He encouraged me to talk with God about it and see what He has to say. This, right here, was a perfect answer. No wonder I haven’t been able to just allow intimacy to occur. I need Jesus. I need Him to begin scraping off these callouses as He is the only One able to. I need Him to scrape off the callous and soften me with His love and His Word, His truth.
Only then will I be able to walk with a softened heart and life.
Woman of Purity~