My tormentors strike when I am most vulnerable, early in the morning while I am still hovering between sleep and wakefulness. They go after the old wounds that have never completely healed, re-writing the original story, embellishing the worst moments, digging deeper into the tender flesh. These demons have many names: Heartbreak and Betrayal, Fear and Anxiety, Should Have / Could Have, If Only and What If.
On this particular morning, Heartbreak and Betrayal slunk into my room. Scene after scene played out of past, present and future anguish. Through a senseless misunderstanding my close friend, Deidre*, and I argued, then stopped speaking. I wanted to reach out, to somehow mend the rift, but she would not return my calls. If we accidentally met on the street or in a store, she turned her back and walked away.
It was then the Great Accuser entered, followed immediately by Guilt. This Judge and Jury accused me of allowing Jealousy, Pride and Selfishness to thwart my efforts at reconciliation. I turned my back against Apology and Forgiveness and fell into step with Stubbornness and Fear.
Staggering from these blows, I rose, went to my reading room and snatched up my devotional, God’s Little Lessons on Life for Women. I flipped through the pages to Forgiveness.
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: Though our sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18
Once our sins are forgiven, we must not pick at the scars. Forgiven sins stay forgiven.
Reflecting on the power of this truth, I laid the book aside. A white veil dropped in front of my eyes and I was transported to a large space filled with hundreds of other Believers. Before me stood the Gates of Heaven.
Filled with jubilation I turned to the woman standing next to me, arms outstretched, ready to embrace. It was Deidre. My arms dropped to my side.
It was then The Holy Spirit spoke. He reminded us we had been washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb and none of the pettiness and imperfections of our previous lives mattered. Rejoicing, we let go of all of the heartache, resentment and fear. We embraced, joined hands and walked together into Paradise.
The veil dissolved and I was back in my room.
One by one Guilt, Fear, Heartache and Betrayal backed away. They lingered in the periphery, hopeful, waiting, searching for another opening, another chance to attack, but my faith held them at bay.
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Are you haunted? If so, what lifts your spirit and sends your tormentors away?
*Name has been changed