I still remember the day that changed the rest of my days completely. Curled up on the floor in the bathroom of the church I attended, nose dripping with blood because I had cried so hard, I honestly didn’t know how I could go on. Of course, being in my early twenties, I was overly dramatic and far too naive, still I didn’t know that and so, I was depressed. With very little hope and only a handful of people I could turn to, I picked up a pen and started writing.
Inspired by the truth and vulnerability in Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, and out of a need to cope with the absolute hell that I was living through, I wrote ferociously. Though it was a time filler, something I desperately needed back then, it also gave me an opportunity to look at everything that had happened in my life up until then and figure out why. As I chronicled the events, starting from my present moment of pain, moving to my childhood back up to my adulthood, I saw a lot of overarching themes. Rejection. Hurt. Feelings of worthlessness. Fear. Betrayal. And these were just to name a few. The more and more I wrote, the more and more I discovered just how messed up I was.
But my being messed up, although very true, was only a small piece of my reality. Yes, there were many points in my life were I experienced heartache and heartbreak, but these things didn’t have to be the theme, they did not have to define me. So what was the one thing that did? Because in all honesty, if my circumstances and what I went through dictated who I was or who I would become, I didn’t have much hope. But if there was something bigger, something larger than all of these themes, something, someone who could use all of the crap I had been through, and boy there was a lot of it, to refine me, to make me stronger, well…
I am glad that I found that someone early on in life, oh, and his name is Jesus. Bet you knew I was going to say that. You see, in spite of all of the mess, all of the tears, all of the pain, He has been there, ever present, ever true, pulling me out of it. Picture a car on fire with a person trapped inside and along comes this heroic firefighter, rescuing thr victim. That is what, this is who Jesus has been to me. My hero, my rescurer!
This hope did not exempt me from figuring out how I found myself in these wrecks in the first place. What happened in my life, what took place, that caused me to be at the same point over and over again? As I wrote, I just saw the same scenario playing itself repeatily, how and where did I get stuck?
I got stuck in a pattern of rejection and pain, and I came to realize that I would not get unstuck until I allowed God to speak to this hurt, heal it, and be conscious, diligent about not falling into the same pattern again.
I must confess that this healing was not an easy process. In fact there were a few more nose bleeds and moments of extreme agony that I wasn’t sure I could endure. Rejection sucks and healing from a history of it takes hard, intentional work. But as I stand, now seven years later, I can honestly say it was worth it.
Dancing on Hot Coals is the product of my experience. In it I tell the story of how God took this history of mine, of brokenness, despair, and extreme hurt, and used it for His glory. I have learned that in spite of all I have been through, that God is for me, no He is truly for me. My pain does not define his love for me, but rather he can use the pain to bring about a glorious future in my life.
My only hope and prayer is that by sharing it, I can encourage someone else. Specifically, someone who finds themselves in the same circle of circumstances I found myself in years ago on that bathroom floor. The Bible says that we overcome by the blood of Jesus Christ AND by the word of our testimony. My sincere hope is that my testimony can be a source of victory for you.
Dancing on Hot Coals is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and kindle formats. If for some reason, you can’t afford it, let me know, we can work something out.