The weight on my chest was crushing and I could feel the sobs pushing their way to the surface.
I never knew silence could be this loud; that solitude could be this tormenting.
It felt like I had ‘broken legs but still chasing perfection;’ like even though I was alone, my shaky voice wasn’t the only one I could hear.
I knew the patterns my life had taken lately were pulling and pushing and dragging me farther from God than I had ever been.
The gaping void was agonizing.
There was a period of time several months after I had moved out on my own and first debuted as an ‘adult’ where I truly felt detached from God; as if I was standing on the cusp of this massive emptiness longing with all my heart to return to Him but not knowing how.
Fast-forward a year and a half and not much has changed. I’m still living in the same town and working the same job, but that void has since been bridged.
It didn’t just happen though.
I wish it would have. I wish I could have just woken up that next morning free from the fear of silence and solitude, having been instantaneously placed back in the centerfold of God’s embrace, but then what would I have gained? How would I have grown?
The skit done to the song Everything by Lifehouse is a beautiful representation of the process of sanctification.
When I first saw this video almost 5 years ago, I remember being moved to the point of tears at the extent of God’s love for His children and His relentless pursuit of us.
I clung to those truths and watched that video over and over again, but eventually my thoughts were whisked away to other things; other Christian literature, music, podcasts, and learning.
I stumbled across this video last night though and was once again reminded of the beauty of God’s pursuit of us and His unconditional love.
Something else struck me though.
The way the directors of this skit chose to emulate the process of sanctification was absolutely stunning.
I love the rawness of this video; how it doesn’t really seem like they are holding back. I can’t help but feel bad for that poor girl. She had to have been feeling pretty beat up after performing that skit.
But that’s reality, isn’t it? Don’t we often feel beat up and defeated as we try to fight our sins and worldly passions and idols?
Sanctification is the process of being ‘made holy;’ the process of being moved from the darkness into the light.
As this girl fought past her addictions, her sin, and her mistakes and sorrows, she was slowly and what looked to be painfully stripped of her darkness, revealing the spirit within her that had been washed white as snow by the blood of Christ.
It didn’t just happen though.
She was hard pressed on every side, but not crushed.
She was persecuted, but not abandoned.
She was struck down, but not destroyed.
She got back up.
And eventually, she was able to stand, washed white as snow; removed from the darkness and embraced by the Light.
Sanctification is a lot like the process of purifying a precious medal.
It is placed in the fire in order to draw to the surface all the impurities, which are then removed. This process is done over and over again, until the blacksmith can look down at the precious medal and see his own reflection, free of filth.
We are sanctified when we are placed in the fire; when we face those struggles and internal battles between the desires of the flesh and the longing of the spirit.
It was in the deafening silence and the tormenting solitude that God drew to the surface the impurities of false security and hope, fear, unbelief, pride, and my wrong thinking about God’s goodness.
And it was in the muffled cries into my pillow and wordless prayers that he removed those impurities.
I still don’t think I am at the point of fully reflecting God and His character.
I don’t know if we’ll ever get to that point this side of heaven.
But I can look back on that period of my life with peace knowing that it got me one step closer.
Fighting through my fears, removing those insecure platforms of false hopes, addressing my unbelief in God’s goodness, and coming face-to-face with my ugly pride did more for me than any ‘good day’ ever has; moved me more than any sermon ever will.
The process of sanctification is becoming more and more like Christ; of removing the darkness that we clothe ourselves in to reveal a reflection of the Light within us.
This is not an easy, painless process, but it is worth the fight.
It is worth everything.