Healing. That is a word I am familiar with. As a nurse, it is something I try to do for others every time I work. As a mom, I kiss the bumps and bruises, wipe the tears and counsel broken hearts. As a woman, I knew there were things inside myself that were completely broken and needed healing. Probably. Someday. However, it was not something I ever really considered. Healing was a wonderful, beautiful, possible thing. For others. Just not for me.
One evening, I heard some beautiful ladies praying for the physical healing of their children. In that moment God opened my eyes: I had never asked him to heal my pain, to heal my soul. I had prayed for peace and strength. I had asked the Lord for courage, wisdom, and safety. But, I had NEVER ASKED GOD TO HEAL MY INNERMOST AND SPIRITUAL WOUNDS.
One would assume that with this enlightening revelation I would have gotten down on my knees and asked God to heal me that very moment. Nope. Instead, inside me rose a need to protect the control over these past wounds, even though I knew I could not heal them myself. I could not ask for this healing. Truthfully, I WOULD NOT. It was a choice. One that I deliberately chose because selfishly I wanted to hold onto them. They were so deep and buried that I felt as though they defined me. They were mine. I I wanted to hold onto them. To give all of that to God somehow meant my total surrender, and to one who needed to control my feelings and how I dealt with them, the thought was terrifying. Not only this, but I knew without a doubt that this would mean I would start feeling again. The pain and hurt had been my armor against the world for so long. Tearing down the wall meant vulnerability. A Vulnerability to God, to myself, and to the world. To ask for God's healing meant trading my own armor for God's Holy Armor.
I won't lie. That brought out a struggle in me that had me in tears for weeks. But GOD IS GREAT! He never stopped calling me to Him. When I opened up my bible, I began to look for verses on healing. I heard Him speaking through these beautiful words. I knew he was gently putting these healing prayers right in my hands. And then I began to weep. A lot. I wept like I had never cried before. I had not allowed myself to cry in years, and as I read His word, the flood of tears held in for so long swept over me. I was beginning to feel. Really and truly feel. God was putting the proof of his healing power in front of me and I knew I needed to be obedient. Still, I was a rebellious child and did not pray for my healing.
I began a journal. My healing journal. In this journal, God dangled His sweet peace in front of me, never giving up on me. I wrote down all sorts of things. Verses, quotes, my own thoughts. Everyday I read this journal and the verses within it. I listened to the words God was speaking to me. I read them over and over again. The emotions I experienced were overwhelming but I continued to read the journal daily, as I felt the Holy Spirit encouraging, beckoning me to do so. The existence of healing began to seem so tangible and how I wanted that! More than I had ever realized! An understanding began to flow through me that while I would never forget my past, the things that had happened to me could be used for God's glory someday. I longed to be rid of the anger, shame, and pain. I WANTED TO FEEL all that God designed my human heart to feel.
One morning, I opened my journal and realized I was no longer reading these beautiful verses. I was praying them. I was pouring my heart out to God in them. So I prayed them more fervently. Soon I cried out to the Lord with all my heart to heal my broken soul.
My past still hurt sometimes and it has forever changed me. Allowing myself to feel and be vulnerable is a choice I continue to make with God's grace and strength. But the load is lighter now that Jesus carries it. My anger is gone and I feel things I had not been able to feel since I was girl. God NEVER gave up on my stubborn heart, even though at times I thought he did (and wouldn't have blamed him). He will never give up on you either!!. Tears fill my eyes as I see a part of the girl I once was inside the woman I have become. I am healed more and more everyday.....I am his work in progress.....and IT. FEELS. GOOD.
Wife. Mother. Writer. Photographer. Child of God. Encouraging others in faith through a lens of grace and seeing beauty in the ashes.
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