Suffering and Finding True Self

I truly believe the greatest gift we can give the world is our
true self living in loving union with God. (Pete Scazzero)

I read an interesting post from Dr. Kelly M. Flanagan about why it takes courage to look inside ourselves. To often we know technology and things better than our own hearts and feelings. Learning to feel the feelings and deal with internal pains takes incredible courage.
This journey inward, this "dark night of the soul" - this is the way of growth - through pain and sufferings. A theology of suffering needs to be embraced.

What I know is this - as I've faced dark nights of my soul I am transformed - the sufferings our family has faced here on the mission field and that I've had personally have broken and changed me. I am more sober-minded. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I am loved by my Saviour just as I am, how I am, where I am. I don't have to be or do anything - I just have to rest in Him.

Yes, and work out my salvation with fear and trembling,
Yes, and put on the mind of Christ - but it's different now - it's not this legalistic 'shoulds' list - it's grace, it's mercy, it's humility before His throne.

There is a place of perfect rest in Him. Jerard, our visitor from Heaven taught me this lesson. As he'd lean into me, blind, trusting, God spoke to me "just as Jerard leans into you and trusts you, I want you to lean into Me and trust Me."

I often see a picture in my mind of Christ holding me in the center of a typhoon. Raging winds all around but in the center of the storm, in Him is peace.

And to use the words of a song recorded by Avalon...
"There's a place of quiet stillness 'tween the light and
shadows reach, Where the hurting and the hopeless seek everlasting peace, Words of men and songs of angels whisper comfort bittersweet; Mending grief and life eternal
where joy and sorrow meet

Suffering is part and parcel of the Christian life. God's way is always the way of suffering. It takes courage to journey that way. There is no endrun around it. It is the way of the "long road home."

I have found as I make that journey, there is great freedom that comes. Our true self, when we discover our true self "walks away from the
digging and sorting, standing a little taller. Because it knows
it's not alone. It knows it can handle the darkness within.
It knows there is light within. It knows there is light in the
world. Indeed, it knows it is part the light in the world.
And all that's left to do is shine."

And that's what Christ wants us to do. Shine for Him. Love others as we love ourselves.

It takes courage to journey in and dig through hurts and shames but it is so worth the journey. Whether your past involves being raised by abusive and/or addicted parents, parents that abandoned or neglected you; whatever it is - find the courage to journey inward with Christ to heal those hurts.

Our true self is the courage to face our fears.

Our true self is the growing confidence we can handle them.

Our true self is the awareness that observes our anger
rather than acting on it.

Our true self is the freedom to move toward our fear,
rather than away from it.

Our true self is the patience to wait out our sadness and sorrow

Our true self is the love that's left when our jungle finally
withers away. (Kelly M. Flanagan)

this journey is best undertaken with a trusted confidant -
someone who will really listen and be there and walk with
you - a counselor, pastor, good friend....

I strongly encourage you to read "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" by Pete Scazzero,

"The Healing Path" by Dan Allender, and the link below to the "UnTangled" web blog. Read more at