I am honoured to host this excerpt from my blogging friend Kris Camealy’s first book, Holey, Wholly, Holy. The best title of the year, isn’t it?
“We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love” (Psalm 44:25-26).
We begin collecting wounds and piling on scars from birth. Ejected from the safety of the womb, we immediately meet with a sinful world ripe with suffering. We grow and endure hardships of varying degrees from the mildly wounding to the most atrocious cruelty. We survive deep cuts and gashes and sometimes, if we can manage, we block the memories, and the pain dulls just enough.
But God has something better in mind. We can do more than simply limp along—His desire is for us to be complete. He longs to restore us, to strengthen us for the call He places on our lives.
In pursuit of life, of our own dreams, of our own magnificent imaginations, we have a knack for running right into the boiling furnace without even seeing it coming—“We sow on bright clear days the seed of our own destruction” (Capon 52).
God’s desire for closer relationship with us requires us to be purified. Though He accepts us as we are, He has even better for us. He loves us too much to leave us in our mess. He collects our broken shards and creates beauty from mere fragments, but the process does not come without pain.
The truth of the Christian life is that we grow most in our faith through adversity. When our faces are pressed against the dirt, that’s when our eyes are most open. The weight of the world presses us lower and it’s there, in the spaces where we can scarcely breathe, that we find He is closest, holding our hands, lifting our spirits, filling up the holes in our cracked-up hearts.
Restoration is a process. It’s not that He doesn’t miraculously heal, certainly there’s plenty of testimony to this kind of miraculous, instant healing. But for most of us, soul healing comes slowly—painfully. You’ll know it when He’s calling you toward His refining fire. The smooth surface you’ve long stretched over, covering the cracks underneath, begins to ripple from the heat. Memories surface, old wounds begin to weep—the cracks widen and hurts spill.
This is not a time to turn and run, though that may be our instinct. This is the time to stand still, to listen to what He’s whispering, and to allow Him to strip you of the covers you’ve been hiding under. Trust me when I say you’ve not got anything He hasn’t seen before. Stand in this fire, let Him purify you—this is how He loves us. This is the process of sanctification.
An excerpt from: Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement
* * *
As a sequin-wearing, homeschooling, mops-coordinating mother of four, Kris Camealy is passionate about Jesus and her family. Her heart beats to share the hard, but glorious truth about life in Christ with anyone who will listen. When she’s not writing, she gobbles up books like they’re going out of print and plays in the kitchen. She’s been known to take gratuitous pictures of her culinary creations, causing mouths to water all across Instagram. Once upon a time, she ran 10 miles for Compassion International, a ministry for which she serves as an advocate. You can read more of her heart-words in her new book, Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, and on her blog Always Alleluia. Find her on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.