a week of war-zones & the freedom fighters

today was one of those days where God was announcing in every way: YOU ARE CARED FOR. YOU ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. YOU DESERVE JOY.

maybe everyday is one of those days & today i finally tuned in.

this day came in the midst of a week of fear, of insecurity, of wrestling back and forth with a beast i call discernment. you see, he’s a tricky little monster: he seems to shift with the wind-like circumstances and moves quickly and quietly, so that just as you think you’ve caught him he slips out of your grasp. trying to find clarity amidst differing opinions coming from differing backgrounds is like trying to carry a stack of books that just keeps growing: you have the answer you’re looking for somewhere in there amongst the pages but your walk is weighed down and your arms are tired.

the solid ground of wisdom i was attempting to stand strong on felt shaky as emotions battled, opinions roared and fears set up camp. its been a week of war-zones.

i felt like i had to be my own hero, and i knew i didn’t have the strength.

let’s rewind a decade: at the ripe ol’ age of twelve, my favorite song (and most likely my MySpace profile tune) was For My Love by Bethany Dillon. i’ll concede, it’s a tad sappy and romantic, but junior-high Kearci ate that stuff up even more than present-day Kearci does. but i’ll also concede that to this day, the lyrics still strike a cord in me: gaze into my eyes//and let me know you’d fight thousands//for my love. above the obvious rom-com level, i think these kinds of questions have to resonate with every soul: will someone fight for me? am i worth the battle?

for a while now i’ve let myself be convinced i wasn’t worth a fight. i let myself be convinced my feelings were too much, too strong, too real to be understood. i believed the lie that my genuine concern was nothing more than dramatic antics that simply showcased my immaturity, and that everyone around me was tapping their toes, waiting for me to finally grow up and get over myself.

i believed the lie that my pain was my own fault, that since some didn’t understand or feel it with me that i must be making it up. my pain induced shame, shame that my heart was much too sensitive and that the strong were the ones who could move through life without being touched. and thats just silly: those who have done the most good in this world are those who touched the wounded and in that healed them. my Savior did that: He was moved by compassion rather than pride, declaring our pain to be real, binding up our wounded hearts and giving us honor to replace our shame.

but still my faulty solution stood: i needed to simply force myself to be unaffected. & anyone who’s ever been affected knows, you can’t just shut that stuff off. the pain will keep coming, the wounds will still hurt, no matter how much you “choose” it not to. open wounds are open wounds are open wounds. ignoring them doesn’t heal them; ignorance to your pain is no magic balm.

i believed the lie i had to fight for myself, or else no one would. i felt like as much as i was surrounded by spectacular souls, i was still the lone fighter on the front lines. i felt like no one could help me and even if they could, they would read my petty case and dismiss it as such.

this week, God changed all that.

as i shakily stepped out in faith and in what little wisdom i could muster: He showed up with an army. they stepped up and fought the battle i thought i would have to face alone. they scattered the rebels of fear through nods of understanding and through looks of compassion. and the weaponry was just some simple words: “i want to protect you. you’re not alone.” for the first time in months peace reigned in the war-zone and i didn’t even have to draw my sword or tend to a wound. He swooped in and protected me. He gave me purpose and a place, and i was finally worth the fight.

the greatest thing about God victories is they have nothing to do with us. i didn’t achieve anything, i didn’t earn it: but yet i still am victorious. He’s slain sin and worthlessness and shame and fear and i get to stand with Him that triumph. i get to claim it as my own. my pain no longer defines me, i am free… but not without a price, because i was fought for.

He gave me a safe place, a fortress. He gave me joy and meaning. He gave me acknowledgment of my pain and its real-ness, and in that declaration He gave healing. He gave me people who see me and stand with me and fight for me. i don’t feel alone anymore.

i haven’t felt this before, this feeling of “you are enough, and i will fight to protect your enough-ness.” this place of knowing i am deeply cherished by those who have every right to walk past me and ignore my pleas: it heals wounds of misunderstanding and lashes of pride. it brings a deep seated joy where laughter comes like breathing. this joy moves me outward, moves me to share it and fight for others to find it. it’s got me thinking, who have i been walking past who is a slave to their fear and pain? who around me deserves a fair fight but is getting sucker-punched instead? who needs someone to look them in the eye and say “you are enough, and i will fight to protect your enough-ness”???

we live so many days convincing ourself that joy is for everyone but us. that in our brokenness we are too undeserving, too fragile to handle such powerful goodness. but its waiting for us daily.

and i know there are days it’s clouded over, that grace feels out of our reach and we can’t seem to understand why we are standing alone. but i think those are the days we look back on His faithfulness, on the days the battles were won with an army He called up for us. and on those days, i’ve found standing besides others in the midst of their battles strengthens us for ours. it reminds us that we aren’t ever alone and that our pain will not defeat us, because the army that scatters fear is our daily grace.

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