Refinement—A Beautiful Healing Journey
Beautiful Younger Soul,
What do you do when you know that God wants to refine you but you’re not ready? Do you let Him or are you like me and “try” to delay the refinement as long as possible? Try is the keyword here because it usually happens when God wants it and not when I want it.
I’m sure you’ve heard that song “Refiner” by Maverick City Music. When I first heard this song, I remember crying and thinking that I couldn’t sing this song with all my heart. I knew that the day that I sang it with all honesty and all my heart, God will begin a refinement in my life, which meant that I will hurt in some way. The thought of being refined and going through the fire was not something I wanted. Every time “Refiner” played on Spotify, I would cry and I would say, “Not yet Lord, I’m not ready”.
Here is the thing my Beautiful Younger Soul, God will have to refine you whether you wanted it or not. He needs to do it for you to move into the next season. Sometimes, you just have to let Him in. You can’t delay the refinement too long because you might just miss a blessing that God has for you! So, you might be wondering now, how did my refinement come? How did I finally accept my refinement and what happened?
I had just turned 31 years old and I was celebrating with some friends. I was in the car with one of my friends and we were listening to her playlist. It was a great drive and we were singing along. Halfway to our destination, “Refiner” played and the tears began. I knew in my heart that if I continued like this, I would miss out on a blessing and I would delay my next season. I prayed a simple prayer, “God do what You need to do. Refine me; I want to be consumed by Your fire. Clean my hands and purify my heart. Take away what You want away from my life. Here is my life.” It was a simple, short, and honest prayer.
What happened next? Nothing. For a moment, I thought, I had made a huge deal about this song and God didn’t want to refine my life after all. Actually, I stopped crying whenever I heard the song. What a relief! But…
Remember, it’s not our time, it’s God’s time.
Earlier this year, one of my pastors told me, “a couple of days ago I had a dream about you, in the dream God was doing some deep healing from your past and you were telling me about it. When I woke up in the morning I found myself still praying for you and with a sense the Lord was bringing some deep healing to your life”. When my pastor told me this, I didn’t realize that God was beginning my refinement and it’s not over.
The first thing I noticed was that tears began to flow easier. I hate crying, but lately, it feels that everything makes me cry. It feels that God is taking my heart and softening every area. He is taking the callous and rough areas of my heart and He is sanding them down in a very specific way. I try to contain the tears but the tears just keep pouring out from within. However, with each tear, I feel lighter and lighter. Tears are cleaning my heart.
As the tears are cleaning my heart, the tears are exposing the areas in my heart that I thought I had healed but in reality, I put a Band-Aid over it. One of those areas was unforgiveness. There have been people in my life that have done a lot of damage and in some cases, all the pain turned into bitterness and resentment. I know it’s not pretty, but the truth is rarely pretty, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. God showed me earlier this year that I had not forgiven some people. He showed me that I had persuaded myself to believe that I had forgiven whole-heartedly but in reality, I had put a wall around it to hide it away. I also put up a wall in my heart and not allowed people in because I couldn’t trust them. God had to do a deep refinement in my heart. I had to confront the unforgiveness and talk to some of these people face-to-face and ask for forgiveness and forgive them as well. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it has been hard and I didn’t want to do it, but God is purifying my heart. This part hurt but now, I can forgive quickly and began to trust people and let them in my heart.
As God is refining my life, He has also touched my friends. I’m not saying that my friends were bad influences in my life, but God didn’t intend them to be in my life forever. They were meant to be in my life for a season and not for the journey. Losing some of these people has hurt because they were dear to my heart but God had other plans. He is refining my friends because as one of my mentors put it; “these are people that you cannot take with you into your next season because instead of being a blessing, they will stop your growth”.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to a cottage for the weekend. There was a moment when I was alone while my friends were taking a nap. I was listening to my music as I watched the storm. I began to cry again. The tears were flowing as fast as the rain. It was pouring hard and my heart felt heavy. I began to complain to God and asked Him why was He taking away my friends and why was I crying all the time? Watching the rain shouldn’t make anyone cry, right? As I was complaining, guess what song began to play? Yep, “Refiner”. As I kept pouring out my heart to the Lord, He brought to my memory the car ride and my prayer. I felt Him whispered into my heart, “You asked me to refine you. This is what refinement looks like. This is what purifying you looks like. I know you’re hurting but I’m here with you. I got you.” What do you tell the Lord after He tells you that? Nothing. I cried and played the song over and over again.
My Beautiful Younger Soul, now I understand that my refinement is not over. Actually, it will never end because I’m a broken person and there will always be areas in my life that will need refinement. My refinement will end the day the Lord calls me to His presence, until then, I will always be under refinement. I’m no longer afraid of refinement. I’m learning to embrace my refinement because, with each refinement, I shine brighter and I’m healing. Do not be afraid of refinement my Younger Soul. I won’t lie, it will hurt, but you will find that your heart is lighter. You will find yourself shine brighter than gold and it’s a beautiful healing journey.
Older & Much Wiser You
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalms 51:7-10 NLT