The cat and the bag. The worms and the can.
They aren’t supposed to get out but I seem to have a way of poking the cans and the bags and then there is stuff to deal with. These cats and worms actually need to get out!!
Not so long ago I was talking to my mentor and she suggested that I make sure I dig deep before I signed on for a ministry assignment I was considering. She knew there was some past hurt involved and most likely there would be again because that’s kind of how things go. “Dig deep, and make sure there aren’t any little bits of bitterness or resentment or anger still left hanging around. If there are they’re going to cause problems.” she said.
The search for worms and cats began.
Earlier this year my son had the opportunity to deal with his own worms and cats that went way back in his young life. Stuff with us, his parents, that had caused hurts that opened doorways. The initial pain of our parental failures allowed temptations to come in and find ways to cover up the pain. Just like James says, temptation leads to sin and sin to death. He had to go through some big healing processes to eradicate that pain.
We sat in silent awe as our son related to us his journey, so thankful for the instructors and counsellors the school he had been attending brought in. So thankful for the obvious healing in his lives. No cats left, no worms.
Now I am a wee bit jealous, because I can see the pain that I’m facing, that stuff that was down in the deep places, the things that could stop me from moving forward with ministry and other things. There is a profound sense of betrayal that I need to deal with that I can now see, with the Holy Spirit’s perspective that has been on a ‘rinse and repeat’ cycle for many, many years.
Did anyone actually sin against me? Nope.
Is there anything that they need to say sorry for? Not really, like I said, they didn’t do anything wrong.
It’s all in my perception of how things went down, but it doesn’t make the pain or feelings of betrayal less poignant. My job now, is to figure out how to hand the pain over to Jesus.
I follow the First5 devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries. Right in the middle of my soul searching they came up with this teaching:
Remember the cats and the worms? When I dug deep the cat got out of the bag and the worms went scurrying in all directions. I found that there was a pattern of deep hurt that came at the hands of good people who had no desire to do me wrong but did anyway.
I have to let go of the hurt if I want to be in right alignment with God. I don’t actually have a choice about that.
How to actually go about doing that is where I’m struggling. I have no desire to hang on to that hurt. If you’ve ever held a cat in a bag you’ll know that they aren’t having any fun in there, I have no idea how the worms feel.
Another journey begins. It’s easy to say, “God take this hurt” but it’s also pretty easy to keep a finger hold in there and save just a little. It has the tendency to cling to our hearts and get sticky like the collagen powder I put in my tea. It doesn’t go away with a little rubbing, it just gets stickier until I actually take the time to wash it off properly.
Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me! (Psalm 51)
So I am asking God for insight. How do I give up the hurt so it won’t come back to haunt me? I want it completely removed.
Here’s to empty bags and cans!
In other news…there are some changes coming to the blog in the new year that I’m pretty excited about. I’ve been hanging out in some webinars getting taught some pretty great stuff, taking some classes and gearing up for a new season.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from All This Crazy Grace!