My move to Sweden, whilst actually much more carefully planned and thought out than many on the outside knew, came as a surprise to most. One friend even asked me if I was running away.
Looking back now, exactly three years after I applied to do my MSc here and uproot my life of seven years in London, the move to a country where I had no knowledge of the language or any true tries, may have seemed a bit abrupt.
I had it all in London. A good job, amazing community, an all round lovely life. I was comfortable.
Unfortunately, in all my comfort, I was giving all that was broken in my life a place to hide. With routine and familiarity came a place to hide much that was tearing me up from the inside out. Like broken glass in a plastic bag.
Needless to say that Skype call came as a real awakening…
“Michelle, I feel like this your time to heal. This next season is about healing and it is not going to be comfortable. It WILL be painful”
The years prior to this had brought a momentous amount of rejection to my heart. Details of break ups, friendships torn apart, men in my life who should have been there for me, abandoned me. I had lost my step father when he was abruptly promoted to Heaven and a relationship or two torn from my life. Even church where was supposed to feel accepted and safe was all but filled with humans who were less than kind. It had been over a year of “go to sleep and wake up and life has changed monumentally”.
I was done.
Life was more than I could handle and yet that last year had been filled with so many amazingly good times that my logically minded brain would not let my broken and rejected heart feel that it was fair or reasonable to be sad.
It is genuinely a tumultuous season to be in.
Last night, as we celebrated the sacrifice that was paid over 2000 years ago, a sacrifice made so that my life could be whole, so I could be free, so that we all could live the lives we were meant to lead, loved and accepted, I was overcome by the overwhelming responsibility to tell a story of a girl.
The girl is me and she stands a different person than she was three years ago.
Looking back, my friend in New Zealand was right. This has been a season of healing. It has also been one of the most difficult three years of my entire life.
As a Christian, as someone raised in church, I also balance my intellectual side and my emotional side. I am clearly not the only one, but I am going to be blunt. I spend many a night struggling between wanting to give in to my human emotions of “this is not fair” and “this is not right” balancing it with the fact that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me. I spend time balancing the argument of humanity vs grace. In a person who feels ALL the feels while still trying to make a logical explanation out of everything, I can be often at war with myself.
All the details of the past three years are not important. If you want them, we can have a cup of coffee or a Skype chat. This is not meant to be a post about how to fix a situation or make your life comparable to mine.
We all have our own struggles, our own personal reasons for needing a Saviour. The truth is, that ultimately we do all need a Saviour. It is only because of my relationship with God that all of me makes sense.
I was For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139:13-14
It was only when I allowed, actually allow (because I still and always will have my moments) myself to forget that I was made perfectly and uniquely in EVERY way…that I find myself forgetting that the rejections of this world are never going to break me.
Throughout the months and months of pain, of tears when no one was looking, that healing took place.
I truly had to go through the fire in order to come out more whole than I had ever been.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Is 55:8-9
It was only in the understanding of a love greater than I can comprehend, in the framework of hope that life made sense. Coming out of the other side it is easier to see the thread of love and compassion which brought healing.
I have gone from a rejected heart that sees fault in all others, sees herself as not enough, to a woman who again stands, a heart restored, not rejected, knowing that her full identity and reliance is firm in something much greater than herself. This is the freedom I find in Christ, freedom to be all of me, unapologetically, to face the world each day. Strong.