Imagine that you’re sitting on the examination bed in a doctor’s office waiting to be healed. The novacane you’ve been using to numb the pain has subsided and now you’re feeling the full extent of everything that you have been covering up. The doctor enters the room to hand you a medical gown but you politely decline because you would rather stay clothed during the examination. He hands it back to you and whispers “I can only treat you if you’re willing to be exposed.”
That is a direct reflection of my visit with God in the first few months of last year. I came into his presence after I realized that I could no longer numb myself to the wounds of my past relationships if I wanted to be healed. God asked me to remove my garments and clothe myself in his Word, but I denied because I feared what would be seen. Then he whispered to me “I can only heal you if you’re willing to be exposed.”
For God to heal the wounds of my past, he had to expose every old shell that remained from being caught in the crossfire of looking for love in the wrong places and the crossfire of running back to relationships I had already been wounded in. As a result of being hurt and disappointed constantly, I began to operate in a system of anger and the absence of vulnerability in fear that I would be wounded again if I let my guard down. God told me that he had a greater chapter in my love story he had already written, but I wouldn’t be able to experience it until I was willing to go through the healing pain of exposure to experience the beauty of my blessing.
I began the process of exposure by using two bible verses as a daily prayer. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life,” (Psalm 139:23-24). This prayer was my invitation to God to thoroughly examine my heart and my mind and to begin exposing everything about me that he was not pleased with so that I could align myself with his will for my life. When I began using this prayer, I never could have imagined how powerful it was. It seemed like immediately after I prayed it, God began to fog the life that I thought was crystal clear. My ex came back into my life to fog another situation that God had given me confirmation on. Because I knew that my prayers had asked God to test me to know my anxious thoughts, then I was able to recognize the fog and clear it before I jeopardized my blessing. Then, over the next two weeks I ran into two more of my exes back to back. Things began to look really cloudy once again, so I began to pray and request clarity for my life because this couldn’t just be a coincidence. Everything that happens is ordained by God so I needed him to explain why he ordained me having to face all three of my exes within three weeks. When he answered, he told me it was because he was answering the prayer that I was praying. God was ready to lead me along the path of everlasting life and an amazing love life, but before that occurred I had asked him to search my heart. The only way he could search my heart is to expose the three men that had once held a piece of it, so I could analyze the condition of my heart when I had given it to them. I had also asked him to test me to find out my anxious thoughts. He brought my exes back to test whether I would trust him and believe in a situation that seemed uncomfortable or give into my anxious thoughts about my new situation and revert back to my past where crossfire would occur again. I had asked him to point out anything that offended him, so he needed me to see what happened when I chose to make emotional relationship choices and failed to consult his will for my life.
The process of being exposed was very uncomfortable, because it forced me to take responsibility for my past. There were many times where I didn’t know whether this was worth it and times where I wanted to find a ruler small enough to measure the dimensions of a mustard seed so I could calculate exactly how much faith I needed to move this mountain because I didn’t know whether I could produce an inch more. It was not an easy process, but at the end of the day I knew that I needed this. I needed God to let me see the woman I was back then and not just the woman I pretended to be. As God exposed more and more to me about who I was, I finally learned who I am. The healing pain of exposure exposed who I am as a woman, what I can provide as a partner, and where I am on my journey to become a Proverbs 31 woman that is clothed with “strength and dignity” and “laughs without fear of the future.”