Recently I went back somewhere I wasn't sure I would ever go, Estes Park, Colorado. I spent my honeymoon there a little over a year ago. I took wedding pictures there that went viral. I always thought that if I went back I would be haunted by memories of my failed marriage. I thought that I would have to somehow work through the pain again. I knew I would go back some day, I just wasn't sure if I would ever be ready or what to expect. Well, the other day was the day. In my current journey of traveling the country I'm staying in Colorado and I decided to drive into the mountains and revisit Estes Park. It was on my way there that God interrupted the Lumineers playing through my speakers and whispered "I have something I want to show you." I nudged it off and I spent all day in the same spots I spent on my honeymoon. The same spots we took pictures that have traveled the internet longer than our marriage even lasted. It wasn't until I got home that evening that I realized what God wanted to show me. It actually wasn't even close to being revealed to me until I got home. I never once had any emotional attachment to any memories that took place there. Honestly, the memories were pretty vague and blurry and it was just barely over a year ago. I sat down in the same bar we spent an entire night in when nothing else was open. I took a picture of the same lake and at the same angle we were standing on while it was frozen. Though I knew I had been there before, remarkably, I had no emotional attachment to any place at any time. I wasn't struck with an ounce of regret, sadness or humility. I never imagined there to be enough time to actually heal me from ever going back to that place. That's exactly when I had the revelation, and understood fully what God wanted to show me: time doesn't heal, Jesus does.
Ever been hurt?
Lost a loved one. Been cheated on. Been made fun of publicly. Your parents got divorced. You caused someone a great deal of pain. You live with the regret of something you did or didn't do. You wish you could go back and change something that happened.
Maybe you've been told before, "you just need some time" and "time heals all wounds." Maybe it's been a few days or weeks since you've experienced pain and the wound is still fresh. Maybe you have been living with un-forgiveness and/or regret for decades. Maybe it's been years but your heart is still broken. Maybe you're still waiting... waiting to wake up one day and suddenly forget the pain and not feel it. You long for the day on this earth when the memory doesn't haunt you, and you keep waiting and waiting and waiting, because "time heals all wounds".
I wish it were true. I wish there was a set time for the amount of pain you experienced that would heal you. Mother natures prescription to pain. The sad, ugly reality is that time doesn't heal. People die everyday waiting on that promise to ring true. People die everyday with un-forgiveness and bitterness in their hearts. People die everyday in pain from what life handed them. That doesn't have to be you. Your healing can start today. It can start right now. This isn't a get fixed quick scheme though. It's a process. It may not happen over night. I wrote healing, not healed.
Time doesn't heal. Jesus does.
I have experienced the pain of heartbreak. I have experienced the pain of divorce. I have experienced the pain of losing someone. I have experienced the pain of regret and self un-forgiveness. I know what it's like to carry a burden. I know what it's like to be tired physically and emotionally from carrying pain and regret. Where everyday is a struggle just to keep going.
I now know what it's like to walk in freedom. I now know what it's like to be healed. I now know what it's like to walk through the process of healing and to be completely healed. To be set free. To forgive. To be forgiven. It can happen. It will happen.
It starts with God and knowing how much He loves you. You went through pain but He didn't cause it. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. God however, brings life. He restores. He makes all things new. You'll only receive full healing if you take the blame off of him. He is not some far away God who caused you pain because you were bad or deserved it. God hasn't forgotten about you. He loves you. He hurts for you. He will hurt with you. He will give you the prescription of peace. He will pour love out over your heart. His name is Jesus and He will heal your heart. He will wipe your tears. He will be with you in the trenches of life. In the darkest valleys, He is there.
Your healing may be rooted in forgiveness. Your healing may be rooted in surrender. Your healing may be one prayer away. Your healing may be a process that takes a while. Your healing may still leave you with memories. Your healing may happen immediately. Your memories may fade.
If God asks you to let go, trust him. If He ask you to forgive, trust him. He knows what's best of you. You have faith He's real, have faith in his plan to heal you. You may not understand now, but you might later. Trust that He knows what's best for you. Trust his process of healing.
You can't change your past, but you can be healed from it. You can be forgiven of it. You can be set free. Jesus promises you that. I have personally experienced that. He's not just a God in heaven waiting to meet you one day and take your pain away. He is a God who will meet you right now wherever you are. Jesus came so that His will can be done on earth, as it is in heaven. That means you don't have to live a life full of sadness and regret. Your healing can start now. He is your father and your best friend. He will fight for you and stand with you. He will heal your heart. He will look past your past. He will walk with you. He will talk with you. He has a plan for your future. He wants the best for you. Trust him.
2017 was filled with pain, almost a year to the anniversary of my best friend's death and only being married for 4 months, my wife decided she didn't want to be married anymore and wanted a divorce. The unexpected heart break and pain was too much to bare. We all fail. We all have a dark past. We all have had pain whether it was from something we did to our selves or something completely out of our hands. But this blog isn't about pain or my past relationship; I'll save that for another day. This is about healing. Im a testament to the healing of God emotionally in my heart. You can be too. The few people that walked with me through that pain and the people that meet me now and know what happened all ask me the same question "how, how are you so ok? how are you not bitter? how did you make it through that? how did you heal so quickly." I give everyone the same answer. Jesus. It wasn't time, because I didn't and I couldn't have had enough of it. It wasn't something I did. It wasn't drugs or alcohol. It was the healing power of Jesus.
Psalm 23 says even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for i know my God is with me. I'd like to encourage you that in this hard time, this darkness, this uncertainty, it will not end in death. Maybe you've been in this valley for a day or a decade, don't set up camp and if you have, pack up. You are walking through it. You will walk through it. This is not the valley of death, this is the shadow of death. Death may be all around you, it may have caused darkness to fall on you, but in that valley: in that heart break, in that mourning, in the loss, God is with you. His name is Emanuel, meaning God is with us. His presence is portable. It is not limited to any place or situation. He is with you in this moment. He's closer now than he ever has been before. I promise.
Being this vulnerable was super difficult. Opening up about a part of my broken past isn't the easiest. But what you are going through and have been through I'm sure isn't easy either. I know what it feels like to be in the middle of darkness. I know what it feels like to not have hope for tomorrow. I know what it feels like to go to bed and wake up crying. I know pain. I also know a good good God. I know a God who can heal someones heart. I know a God who loves people inspite of their past. I know a God whose love changes lives. Whose love is eternal. His name is Jesus, He still heals. Trust me when I say this, time won't heal your pain, but Jesus will.
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