So I’ve never actually seen the movie Back to the Future. I really don’t even know what it’s about. I only titled this post Back to the Future because I’m zeroing in on the idea that sometimes you have to go back so you can go forward.
I’m currently in a spiritual season of deep work and the resonating theme seems to be going back to move forward.
Back to the Past
When I start a new year, I like to get a word or a theme from God on what the year is going to look like. So while everyone else seemed to be getting themes like 2020 Vision or Year of Manifestation or Joy or Freedom, the words I heard from God were Deep Work.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little jealous, disappointed, confused even. Deep work? No thanks. And to be completely honest, I spent more than half the year running from this process. Digging deep into my past, my hurts, my fears, my shame was not an appealing idea and simply put I didn’t feel like it. It sounded like an experience that would be taxing, depressing, and have little to no reward.
But, somewhere around the end of July I decided to go deep by going back into my past, acknowledging the trauma there and its affects. I decided to face those whirling emotions, to be honest with God about what happened and how it made me feel. I talked about those moments that stole my confidence, my security, and my joy. At a time in my life when I was supposed to develop a foundation of love and security, I was broken. I had to acknowledge that. I had to feel that.
Back to the Truth
Before acknowledging my brokenness, it felt like a cycle that would never end. This hopelessness left me greatly disappointed in God. I had to acknowledge that as well and in acknowledging my disappointment in God, I had to reckon with the fact that either God was not who He said He was or the God I thought I knew was not the true God. And it was definitely the latter.
I don’t mean that I wasn’t worshipping the God of the bible, what I mean is that I had a lot of man-made ideas about who God is that simply weren’t true. I had convinced myself that Jesus was a “me-centered” God, that the very point of His existence was to serve me and my happiness. So anytime something didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I was disappointed and doubting God. I wanted God to conform to my will and I wanted to live by sight not by faith. I needed everything around me to look exactly how I wanted it to.
That’s not who God is. The bible says that God is sovereign, that He is in control, that He is God all by Himself.
For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from Him and through Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. – Romans 11:34-36 ESV
God does not need me, nor is He in subjection to my will. This might sound harsh but it is so liberating to know that God does not bend to my will because my will is not perfect and my wants are not always healthy. I don’t need a God I can control, I need a God who’s will is perfect and who is working all things together for my good even if I doesn’t seem that way.
I had to get back into the word of God and relearn who He is. This is what I found: I serve a God who is, was, and is to come. He sees what I’ve been through, what’s coming my way, and He is with me right now. And in that, I can rest, trusting that God is in control.
Back to the Presence
I had to get back into the presence of God. The bible says that God inhabits the praises of his people. I know that when I praise Him that He shows up. And because I know who He is I know what He comes with. He is the Lord my Healer, my Redeemer, the Prince of Peace, King of kings, Lord of lords, Savior, Provider, Deliverer. When God inhabits my praises, He bring healing, redemption, peace, authority, salvation, provision, and deliverance.
So I’ve learned to make a throne for God out of my praises toward Him. I’ve learned to lean in when I want to run, to bless when I want to curse, to be still when I want to make a way for myself. I’ve learned to hear His voice and declare it over my life.
Back to my Voice
It was there in the presence and the word of God where I found my voice again. I’ve been purposefully silent for a long time. I stopped writing. I stopped blogging. I even stopped posting on social media. I shut my mouth and refused to speak, but God reminded me of Jeremiah 1:9.
Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
In 2019, I wrote a book called Anomaly. It’s a collection of poems that narrates the ups and downs that everyone experiences on the path to healing. I’ve been pretty silent about it for a long time, but the Lord has put His words in my mouth and I will speak.
I have a million stories
written in these bones
and they are crying out
to be heard
Whispering between syllables
laughing between teardrops
and screaming through my smile
they shall be heardExcerpt from Anomaly by Teauna Harper