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, but I would deal with that someday.
Healing was a wonderful, beautiful, possible thing. For others. Just not for me.
Because in spite of knowing I was broken, I chose to ignore it and instead became numb. And healing? Well, that meant I had to feel again. And my numbness? That was a wall, a barrier from pain, that I had built up for so long, I wasn't about to tear it down.
But there was one who could and would tear it down.....
There was an evening about three years ago, one I won't forget. I was standing behind a few women who were praying, listening to the beautiful, faithful prayers they lifted up to God. They were praying for the physical healing of each of their children. As I listened, my eyes were opened in a way they never had been before. My mind took note of the fervency that they prayed with and in that moment God opened my eyes...I had never asked him to heal my pain, to put back together my broken pieces and to heal my soul. I had prayed for many things, 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.
Instead, inside me rose a need to protect and control these wounds that had left cracks in soul. I continued to try to be the glue that held the broken pieces together, even though I knew I could never make them stick together on my own.
And si, I didn't allow myself to ask for this healing.
Truthfully, I WOULD NOT ask for healing. It was a choice. One that I deliberately chose because selfishly I wanted to hold onto them. The hurt was so deep and buried that I felt as though they defined me. They were mine. I wanted to hold onto them. To give all of that pain to God? In that time in my life, that meant my total surrender. To one who needed to control my feelings and how I dealt with them, the thought of giving all that to God 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 FAITHFUL and PERSISTENT!!! He never stopped calling me to Him. It started with everytime I opened up my bible, I was lead to verses on healing. And so, although I knew God heals, it was as if I was hearing these verses for the first time. And even though I had been aware of the healing power of Jesus, I was aware, in a new and profound way, that these verses were being spoken personally to me. That these beautiful prayers were being placed in my lap because my heart was too heavy to find the words myself.
His gentleness in putting these healing prayers right in my hands overwhelmed me. And as I read them, 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. And I wept more.
I began a journal at that time. And in this journal, as I wrote, I found that God dangled His sweet peace in front of me; never giving up. I wrote down all sorts of things in that journal. Verses, quotes, my own thoughts. I began to read the verses in this journal every day....and listened as they poured over me.
I read those verses 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 beautiful, freedom-filled morning, I opened my journal and realized I was no longer reading these verses. I was praying them. I was pouring my heart out to God in each and every word. I began to pray them more and more fervently. Soon after, I cried out those simple words that I had been holding back, and asked the Lord to heal my brokenness.
My past still hurts sometimes, as God continues to heal me more everyday, and it has forever changed me. But oh how He heals! 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!! And He CAN heal the brokenness and pain inside of you too!!
I wandered in the wilderness for a very long time. Perhaps, you can understand as you have been there too or are in your wilderness right now. But the promised land is within our reach. And with tear filled eyes, I look around and see that the wilderness of numbness and brokenness is behind me. My eyes are fixed on the promised land before me as more and more I see the girl I once was inside the woman I have become. And even greater? I see a new creation that has risen up in Christ Jesus. I am healed and I am healing, as everyday he glues another piece back where it should be.....I am his work in progress.....and IT. FEELS. GOOD.
I hope you join me in asking for God's healing, in whatever why your heart and soul are hurting. Join me in wandering from wilderness to promise,
Psalm 66:16 "Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what God has done for me."
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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