There is a level of work that we can accomplish while working on ourselves. We can listen to the sermons, and make the messages applicable in our minds. We can even debrief about our favorite parts, things that we’ve thought about as a result, and even create scenarios within ourselves that lead us to believe that we have made progress.
And we have.
Yet there are certain areas, if we are honest, that go unnoticed until another is close enough to present against the wound. It is not that we haven’t healed, but that we’ve been hurt there before, and when they touch that spot we attack because the pain of admitting that something still impacts us seems greater. Instead of admitting that our hearts haven’t completely been mended in that area, if we are not careful we may walk away before time. We might trade the next level of our healing for comfort.
I’ve learned that praying for healing doesn’t always mean that God will personally come out of the sky and perform surgery. It doesn’t mean that I will always be caught up in a spiritual high either. But, what if the relationships around us are meant for such healing? What if the very people we fight, the very people we lash out at…what if they are the ones sent to administer the meds to heal us?
Contrary to popular belief, healing hurts if done right. If we are intentional, it means that we have to endure the pain of cleaning the wound, wiping the blood, pouring the peroxide on the cut, and watching it fizzle with reassurance that the infection is being handled. We must be willing to allow the people who we are in covenant with to see us for who we really are. We have to remove the bandages because even wounds need to breathe.
And, it is in the breathing. The long inhales, short exhales. The squeezing of our eyes and the clinching of our teeth that we realize that we need people. We need those individuals who are willing to love us back to health in the areas that we’ve hidden from ourselves.
I’ve learned that when I prayed for a mended heart, more times than not, God sent me a relationship to help with the progress that I’ve made alone. Right relationships bring restoration, but sometimes it doesn’t look like a nice spring day, but a chilly fall evening.
It is our duty to discern our hurts when they surface, and it is also our duty to choose to be healed though the pain entices you to walk away.