My life had always been relatively easy for all of my life….
I would meet these people who had amazing testimonies
And as a child, I would pray that God gives me a testimony
That would inspire.
God did not disappoint.
I had no idea what I was wishing for,
Because most of the time, testimonies are testimonies for a reason-
They never come easy.
I share my story so many times that sometimes I forget that my words have meaning,
Sometimes I forget that my testimony did not come easy… I forgot the hell that I walked through- the same one I walk through now.
I was telling my testimony to a girl,
And like most,
She had no idea how I lived and how I overcame what I did.
I brush it off, like I always do.
Say that I just worked hard and kept faith,
I told her that I sometimes I stumbled in these aspects, but for the most time, I conquered.
When I was turning off the lights that night in my bed
I started to wonder
At what point in time did I forget that my testimony had meaning to me?
The words that I say so often had become monotonous, hollow, vague and lacked meaning.
They had meaning upon other people, but somewhere along the road,
I stopped feeling the meaning in my own words.
Did I do this because my brain was trying to stop myself from remembering all that I have been through?
I don’t know.
But ever since then,
I’ve been feeling again.
I’ve been remembering all the pain that I’ve gone through…
All of the tears and all of the pain that consumed my heart
All the pain has started coming at me in waves
And with each wave
And each memory
It’s like I am reliving it.
I have scars along my body and on my soul that I will carry for the rest of my life.
I used to love the idea of scars,
They each tell a story about what all I have been through,
And that was such a cool idea to me…
I was such an naive idiot.
Didn’t I know that scars always come with pain?
I don’t know how to stop myself from reliving my past.
Once these thoughts were released
I felt a darkness in my soul emerge
Its changing the way I look at the world and the way I look at myself.
Here’s my problem,
I can stuff my feelings back inside and forget them.
Push them aside and push aside my past
But I don’t want to do that anymore.
I went through hell and back,
I am still going through hell, it’s a daily journey for me
I could walk those halls blindfolded.
I walk this shadowy stone path daily it seems
Shadows follow in my wake,
None of them are my own.
These shadows loom behind me clawing at my back.
A red hazy mist fills the halls
Threatening to close in.
Don’t stop moving, one foot in front of the other,
Don’t stop breathing, one shaky breath at a time.
I have been down in the depths of hell and back more times than I can count.
I try to follow the light in my soul, use it like a compass
But sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between light and darkness.
The light never goes out
But it still is a journey that I have to make myself- this journey Jesus can’t do for me.
Cold mist fills my lungs
White breath escapes my cracked lips.
I get to the first door
Step inside and words swarm my head
Here, words cut flesh.
“It’s all in your head”
“You have to give up on college”
“You are going to be home bound for the rest of your life”
“You will be in pain forever”
I struggle against the weight of the words
Reaching for the door
Huddled over as if I was fighting against a snow storm.
Grasp the handle,
Yank it open
Slam it closed.
As soon as my feet pass the threshold
I appear strapped to a table,
My thoughts panic
My heart is about to burst
My knees are about to split in two,
Just think of something else- it will all be over soon.
I return to a standing position,
Keep my game face on, I just have to push forward
I turn a right around the corner
Ahead of me are three flights of stairs
I try to calm my already racing heart
My body feels like it is about to melt away from my bones
I grab the handrail and push on
When I get to the top
The world is spinning and I see stars dance around my face
Ahead of me is a hospital bed
Wires and monitors all around
I hate these memories.
I walk up the bed and sit down
Instantaneously my body starts shaking as my past experiences fly through my body all at once
My arms have bruises all over,
My veins start to collapse
My head feels like its tearing away from my scull
My stomach cramps up causing violent contortions of my body
Scalpels cut into my flesh
Needles push into my spine
God, please let this one be over soon.
I get dropped to the ground- the hospital bed, wires and monitors all gone
I stand up,
My exterior finally matching the pain on the inside.
The next door has a comfy chair
Sounds of the ocean playing in the background
I sit in the chair
I am put to sleep
I am stuck
I want to wake up
But I am trapped inside my own body
As I am put further to sleep my pain slowly starts increasing
Until it becomes unbearable
I lurch awake gasping for air
I press on
Tears threatening to surface
My last door looms ahead
I open it
A wave of my past and future takes me back a few steps
The past me, happy and healthy plays in front of me like a movie
A reminder of everything I lost
Then a future me with a family and biological children all running around my yard playing tag
A reminder of everything that I will never have
The movie goes black and finally I see the door to the outside world
I open it and I am transported back to a body that is ridden with even more pain.
This is my hell.
The hell that is my past that I am reliving.
Swarming around my head.
I used to not walk this path
I used to shut it all away, ignore my past pain like it never happened.
But I can’t do that anymore.
I have to relive my past in order to share a hope only found in Jesus with those who will need this truth in the future.
I don’t believe that God let me go through this just so I could forget it ever happened.
God answered my prayers and gave me a powerful testimony
And I know that in order for me to do it justice
I have to actually feel my words when I say them.
I know that in order to reach more people
I cannot just spew out a monologue that I’ve said a million times.
But this scares me.
I don’t know how to feel my past pain just enough to be able to share Gods glory
Without letting my past pain consume me.
I want to run and hide from my pain
But I can’t- I wasn’t created to hide.
So, until my hell can be replaced with a life that has no pain in Heaven,
I just pray that God gives me courage enough to keep walking through Hell.