I recently asked God for a word for the new year and he gave me the word “healing”. At first, I was excited about this new word.
But then reality hit. Because I realized what healing might actually mean.
You see, when I fall, I tend to try and get back up as soon as I can. I just slap a band aid on it and call it good. I am one of those people who picks myself up by my own bootstraps. When someone hurts me, I tend to dismiss it. I pretend it doesn’t hurt and move on like things are good between us. If they apologize for the wrong, I just say, “It’s ok. I am fine.”
Even if I am not.
It is like when I ask my son to clean up his room and he comes out after only a minute. I ask him if his room is clean and he says, “Yes.”
But I know better.
I go into his room and open a drawer. And in there I find all sorts of books, crayons, toys, trash, and clothes strewn about. He didn’t actually put anything away where it belongs. He just stuffed it all in a drawer, forced it to shut, and moved on without giving it another thought. In his mind, he has more important things to do. More FUN things to do.
But as his mom, I know it is good for him to take the time to put it all away correctly. He needs to learn to put things in their proper place. He needs to learn to throw out what he doesn’t need. And he needs to learn to take the time to do what needs to be done instead of just always seeking what is fun. He needs to learn to do the dirty, hard work that is necessary to keep a life in order.
In the same way we can do that with our emotional hurts and wounds. We don’t like to feel the pain. We would rather just have fun. We don’t want to take the time and effort to figure out where things belong. We don’t want to let go of the things we need to throw away. So, we just quickly shove everything in a drawer deep in our hearts, force it shut, and walk away without giving it another thought.
But God knows us better. He knows that the junk in our hearts will eventually overflow. He knows that what we really need is to take the time to get our hearts in order. He knows we need to learn what we need to let go of. And He knows that we need to learn to clean out our hearts so that our lives are truly in order.
The thing is when we just quickly throw a band-aid on a wound, it can get infected. That infection can then eat away at our hearts and poison our minds It can make us see things in a negative way. It can taint our relationships. It can cause us to be defensive and protective because we don’t want to be hurt again.
God wants what is best for us. He knows that not dealing with the pains of yesterday can ruin our tomorrows. He knows that we need to heal in order to grow stronger. He knows that while healing might hurt. It will be worth it.
Healing might mean ripping the band aid off, rinsing out the wound, removing infected skin, and then bandaging it all up again. But in the end, healing also means that the infection is gone, and the wound is now merely a scar.
Scars might remind us of what happened, but they can no longer hurt us.
God also knows that sometimes the way we healed from yesterday wasn’t correct. Like a bone that isn’t set right, something is still off, and it doesn’t work the way it was meant to. So, sometimes healing means being broken again in order to help us set things right. To get things back to working the way they were meant to. And just like a bone is stronger after being broken, if we allow God to break us, and set our hearts right, we will be much stronger for it.
We just need to remember that there will sunshine after the rain. Hope after the sorrow. Light after the dark. And true health and happiness on the other side of the pain.