A few years ago a woman came to my office. She was only going to be in town for a few days.
It was the last time she would ever be in town. Not because she was moving or didn't like the area.
She only had a few weeks to live.
I smiled at her. My face tried to "pretend" that everything was going to be okay. My heart was sobbing. My mind said that it wasn't going to be.
She came to me because she was angry. She was hurting. She was lonely. She
needed to find peace.
We talked for a few moments and then I asked if she believed in God. She said, "Yes, but like my dad, he wasn't really there for me."
She began to tell me about her childhood.
When she was little, her daddy got "remarried." He told her and her siblings that his "new wife" had to come "first" because that's how it was supposed to be.
Those words planted a seed in her heart and sent sadness spiraling deep into her bones.
And just as children do, she came to an illogical conclusion that day. She decided that her daddy didn't "love" her.
The pain in her heart radiated throughout her body as she grew up. When she would see him "embrace" her step mother, hate began to grow. It began to sprout into something she had never imagined it could be.
Over time, she gradually became a very bitter and cynical person.
Her anger came out in her actions. She made rude comments. She made rude gestures. She had such a bad attitude, others began avoiding her. She knew what they were doing.
She also realized she was subconsciously driving them away. Rejecting them first would hurt much less than feeling the pain of being rejected by someone she loved.
Just like on that day.
The day her "daddy stopped loving her."
The cycle continued. New relationships. Failed relationships. The sadness slowly darkened her heart.
It also fueled the hate. It grew like a festering sore. The infection slowly turned into deadly poison, slowly consuming her life.
It was destroying her body. The hate was breaking her soul.
At 25, she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. On that day, she began to "give up."
Fear and anger began to crowd out any love she had left in her heart.
Life was viscous. It was cruel. No one cared. She began to believe "no one" loved her.
When I asked if "God" could speak to her about her feelings, she didn't hear anything.
The little wounded girl inside was too afraid. She thought "God" would say something that would confirm her deepest fears. "Unlovable." Just like her daddy, "God would see her the same way," she thought.
After reminding her that God's voice is always loving and kind, she finally decided she would try to hear him.
We tried again.
Immediately, a warm sensation covered her body and tears streamed down her face. She described a feeling as if someone had just wrapped their arms around her. She felt loved. She felt safe. She felt that everything was somehow going to be okay.
As the tears poured, she began to share a memory with me that had just surfaced.
At 25, when she received the dreadful news of the terminal illness, she had never felt more fear, emptiness, nor helplessness in her entire life. She said she had never felt a pain as intense or dark as she had felt in that moment of time.
That same day, her dad dropped her off at a bar and quickly drove off. He didn't know how to handle the "news." So he left her all alone to deal with it herself.
She began drinking heavily to numb the pain. She was sad, hurt, and angry that her dad didn't stay to help her. She was angry at God too for leaving her all alone.
As she recalled that horrifying memory, she winced as she began to remember the pain.
She described the black hole of emotions she felt at her lowest, darkest moment of life.
The black hole was all consuming. It was sucking her into oblivion.
Then He came.
Out of nowhere, she remembered feeling a "warm sensation" as if someone had wrapped loving arms around her. No one was around. It was just her and the bartender.
There was only one explanation. It had to be God. She immediately realized that she wasn't alone. He was right there with her. His warm embrace made her realize he had never left her side.
Only a few moments prior, she said that when I asked "God" to speak, she immediately felt that warm sensation again. She felt those same loving arms wrap around her. She immediately knew she was loved. She knew she was not alone. She knew that somehow it was going to be okay.
In that moment, she said the fear left. The hate disappeared. When love came in, there was no room for those other emotions to stay.
When she left that day, peace and joy radiated from her face like nothing I had ever seen.
I knew it was somehow going to be okay. I knew that love had set her free.
That was the last day I saw her. She moved away.
In the past few years, I have secretly hoped that I would run across her at a store or on the street. I would love to know the rest of her story.
But even if I never do, I witnessed a miracle that day.
A lady who had carried the chains of anger, fear, and hate within her heart and on her body, left my office light hearted, overflowing with love, peace, and joy.
Even if it was only for a "few more weeks," she experienced life as it was meant to be lived. She knew she was loved. She knew He was with her. She knew it was somehow going to be okay.
I'm confident, this woman is more than okay. My idea of "okay" and my Creator's idea are not always the same. But I know He is good. He is loving. And his arms hold all the peace and love in the world. Wherever that may be.
That day, on this earth, she experienced "life more abundantly." She had been set free.
"Truth Always Sets Us Free"