I’ve already posted about Grace in Hardship, but it seems that I still have more lessons to learn. GOOD lessons! See, I’ve been through a lot, and I’ve endured a lot, and now I am healing a lot. And man, oh, man, is God showing me a lot of beautiful things because of it.
1.) Healing takes time. I’ve often thought when having to “work through something” that the process should just GO QUICKER. I mean, once I’ve decided to forgive someone, can’t that issue just go away? Or once I’ve realized that God’s healing a wound from my past, can’t it just be healed, like immediately? But just like our physical wounds don’t heal immediately, neither do our emotional ones. And why is that? For me, I’ve found that that’s God’s GRACE. Oh how beautiful and sweet it is. My healing process is slow, and it’s painful, and it is freeing. It’s God leading me by the hands slowly. I get the picture of a small child holding her father’s hand while they walk through a dark room to get outside, where it’s light and refreshing. You walk slowly, and he guides you because you’re scared and unsure and sometimes, it just takes time. The Father knows what’s best, he sees the other side, and he knows how to get there. You just gotta keep holding his hand and follow, whatever that pace may be.
2.) I am not broken. For a REALLY REALLY long time (okay, up until two days ago) I had this sinking fear that I am completely broken and always will be. That the moment I think I’m healed and healthy, some other nasty and ugly thing will poke it’s head out and prove me wrong. That I’m doomed to fear and failure. That, perhaps, I’ll just have to learn how to cope better. But a wonderfully wise woman reminded me that we are NEW CREATIONS and we were created in His image. That God’s plan is to redeem us and bring us a new life, life that if full of hope and purpose. Not doom and gloom. So even though I’m flinging off the muck from my past, eventually, that muck will end. And sure, I’ll probably acquire some new muck along the way, but it certainly will not be as difficult as the muck that’s been buried deep for a really long time.
3.) It’s not about where you’ve been, or even where you are. It’s about how far you’ve come and where you’re going. I heard this football analogy recently, and while it may not be the BEST, it’s a good visual. Imagine your life is like a football field, and the whole purpose is to get to the other side to score a touchdown. Some people start out by getting the ball on the 25 yard line and some people get the ball in the parking lot! But if you’re moving forward, yard by yard, you’re all in the same race, wherever you first got the ball. So, I may have gotten the ball way back on the 2 yard line, but I shouldn’t be discouraged. I’m MOVING FORWARD. And I have people helping me make the right plays to advance. (Gah, I love when I can tie God in with Football.)
4.) Not everything is God’s will, but God uses everything for His purpose. It’s easy to be angry about sins that are committed against us, pain that people caused and walked away from without a scratch to themselves. It’s easy to be bitter and scream at God “WHY!?!?” But “why” is the wrong question for me to be asking. There may not even be an answer as to why, or the answer may be incredibly complicated. Perhaps I’ll find that out someday, but for now, my question is “So, what now?” How do you heal this and use this? How can this be for you? I have amazing people around me who have experienced tremendous pain, and that pain, the story of healing from that pain has helped heal my own. I’ve developed community and known a deeper more tender side of God because of it. I honestly don’t know that I would opt out of those experiences if I couldn’t keep what I have now…Community, relationships, love, wisdom, faith…those things I treasure and I LOVE that they have come from an ugly place. It reminds me of how nature rebuilds itself. Forest fires result in MORE LIFE and FRESH GROWTH. Often, when we abandon something, nature takes over and makes it even more beautiful (I could babble on forever about the parallels of our physical world with our emotional and spiritual ones. I LOVE IT.)
Yeah, there’s a lot of lessons. And I’m sure there’s more to come…