We all have a road of fire that we have either traveled or will travel in our life. That road will either make us or break us; it all depends on what we take away from it.
I’ve shared a few times about things that have happened in my family’s lives. Things that have left horrible scars on our hearts and minds. Hurt that still has not gone away. Because of it, I have a hard time trusting people, people of the church.
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I know this is something that I will have to deal with myself because no one here can change me. The feelings I have will take time to get over. While I don’t know if I will get over them, I know one day, I will have peace about the situations.
This year, I was introduced to a book. The person who recommended it, never recommends books that are not written by people in her circle; as she is an influencer. The book is about a journey from war to faith, forgiveness, and peace.
Kim Phuc Phan Thi wrote Fire Road. Her name may be unfamiliar to you, but you'll know her when you see her childhood picture. Kim is the little Vietnamese girl running down the road with a look of horror and fear on her face. She is running while being burned alive from napalm.
Something Kim and I share – hurt. While my hurt is emotional and only rears its head when memories cross my mind or in conversation. Kim is dealing with a physical hurt, a hurt that happens daily. Each day reminds her of June 8, 1972, a day when napalm bombs were dropped in her village.
As I read Kim’s words telling the story of her life, I am amazed at how a young woman, who went through all she did after the bombing, could find peace in the different situations she faced.
“I would now be known not as a victim of war, but as a grateful ambassador for peace.”
While the peace Kim enjoys didn’t happen overnight; it took time. Time and healing that only One could give. Little by little, she emptied her heart of the black sludge by praying blessings on those who hurt her. Kim was open to forgiving them, because “Forgiveness is always the better path”.
Being rooted in the Cao Dai (cow die) belief, Kim realized there was something wrong; something not working for her in her time of need. With an open mind, Kim began researching other faiths, one being Christianity and Jesus.
Jesus also bears the scars of hurt and pain. He did it for us; he did it for me. Jesus knows what it is like to be rejected, lied about, spat upon, beaten, and even death at the hands of others. But yet, there is one thing He has done that none other can say, He rose from the grave and is alive. There are pieces of evidence throughout the world today that proves this, all we have to do is stop and look for them.
While I know I can cast all of my hurt on Jesus because He cares for me, it’s hard to turn it over and not wallow in the muck and mire of self-pity and pain. Until we (I) realize our (my) hurts are part of “all things work together for good”, that is what we (I) do – wallow in the pain.
Even as I was learning to trust God to redeem all of the difficult circumstances I had faced throughout my life, my story is still my story, and that story is saddled with pain...Once we live something, we cannot unlive it…while I have grown in my faith in Jesus to the point of knowing that all of the bad things really are being worked together for good in my life, the residue of those bad things still exists.
Just because we hurt doesn’t mean we have to forget about it and act as if it never happened. We can take the hurt and use it to help ourselves and others.
We have to let the hurt go and cling to the One who can take the pain away. Let God do what only He can do.
“Choose to free your heart from hatred...Yes, we will be wounded in this life...Yes, we will feel we have every right to make our perpetrators pay for the wounds we received… Only God can right the wrongs we have known. And to carry around hatred and bitterness is to forfeit our one beautiful life...Let go of hatred...Let go of bitterness. Allow God to do what is his, alone, to do.”
As I said at the beginning, working through my hurt is something only I can do. While I do it, I will continue to sing praises to God because He allowed nothing worse to happen to my family.
Fire Road:The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace can be found at Amazon or your local bookstores.
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