Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Continuing from my previous post, some more thoughts on the issues I'm facing... some wisdom brought by continued prayer, and by some time I spent meeting with my best friend.

The first thing is realizing that the things I'm dealing with are not trivial. They're not inconsequential. They aren't meaningless. And the right way for me to deal with them is not for me to just kind of ignore them and try to keep going. God is a God of healing. He wants to heal our wounds. He loves us so much that He died to heal those wounds. But if we ignore them, hide them away in a box somewhere and try to just forget about them and keep going about our lives, He can't heal them. And no matter how much we try to ignore them, those wounds don't go away. It doesn't matter how thoroughly you cover up a physical wound and try to ignore it, because from the moment you get it, it will begin to sap your physical strength and endurance, and the longer you just live with it instead of getting it healed, the more it drains you and weakens you, until eventually it comes to dominate your physical existence. Trust me, I know... I'm dealing with that process with a nasty muscle pull in my back right now. The thing is, it's easy for us to recognize that process in our physical bodies. It's often harder to realize that the exact same thing happens with every kind of wound we take - it's just as real a process with emotional and spiritual wounds, except that those tear us up inside, where it's easier to pretend they don't exist to the rest of the world (and even ourselves), and it's easier to think they'll just go away if we ignore them.

But they don't. Just like a physical wound, they drain us and eventually consume us. Which is part of the difficulty I've had over the last several months. I'll be totally honest: I've taken some pretty deep wounds from what's happened. As I noted in my last post, it hurts. The difference is that my response before was simply trying to ignore the pain. It doesn't work. Which I also noted in my last post. Eventually there comes a point when the wound just tears you apart. It doesn't help with the wound gets torn open and has lemon juice sprayed liberally over it every week or so. Which has also been the case this summer, because I simply hadn't dealt with the wound itself. If a wound actually gets healed, not just "fixed," the area in question is actually stronger after the fact - broken bones are actually stronger when they heal normally than they were before the break. But if you try to ignore the injury, it doesn't go away, and what "healing" that does occur is so messed up that it leaves the area susceptible to more injury, to repeating the same injury. And sometimes it just flat doesn't heal, if you don't give it a chance to.

Until the last day and a half, I hadn't. I didn't even realize I needed to, because the only message I was hearing from anyone around me was basically, "Ignore it and keep going." It wasn't that they were intentionally trivializing it - in fact, to be fair, that wasn't necessarily all they were saying, though it was a major component of it, but it definitely was all I was hearing - but the result was a trivialization in my mind of the issues I've been dealing with. They're not that big of a deal; what's my problem, anyway? Why do I keep being hurt by this? Why do I keep having this pain; shouldn't I be able to move on by now? How much am I failing God by not just getting past this the way He wants me to? And so forth and so on.

So: realization - I've taken very real hurts, very deep wounds this summer (and actually, going back several months, but it really hit home with that "I don't want to be close friends anymore" statement I mentioned last time). Those wounds need healing.

Even more important realization: God cares about those wounds. They're not small to Him; they're not trivial or insignificant. They matter. Just thinking about that brings me close to tears - again. That the things I'm dealing with on an emotional level matter to Him when there are world-shaking events going on right now is beyond belief. But it opens the door to so much freedom; it lets me open my heart and trust Him with it because He cares! He cares! I could repeat it a million times in million ways and not capture how much that means. My words simply can't contain what that means. No words can. It's too big.

Final realization: this is far from the only wound I've taken but left undealt with. High school had plenty and then some. Deep, aching wounds that I've just ignored, set aside, tried to pretend (especially to myself) that they don't exist, that I'm okay with them and have moved on. From family. From friends. A general sense that who I am - not in the sense of the areas of sin which God has tried to change, but in the areas in which I have passion, the areas I love, the things I delight in - is simply not right. I need to change. I need to be different. All those things I have to put aside in a little box. I can read about them, but not talk about them. I can think about them, but never let them spill out, gush forth in the way I want. I can't even speak or write the way I love to do. Don't get me wrong; there were very real, very big issues in my heart throughout high school, especially in terms of my pride and arrogance, things that God had to - and did - change over the years, and continues to change. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the things God made in me that are good, that He wants there, that He's given me for specific reasons. Those things have gotten stifled, along with the bad. And that, too, hurts. It wounded. It ached. And, just as I've tried to do this summer, I buried it, hid it away, and tried to move on, smarting every time something probed too close to those areas. Why do I tend to be so defensive about certain things? Two reasons - (1) the same reason all humans are: in my fallen condition, I resist God-driven change in areas; (2) because I have taken deep, painful wounds in those areas, and I don't want anybody going near them. Both of these have to be dealt with; defensiveness is never the Godly response. It has been my response, much too often. Issue #1 is something God is going to continue working out in my heart. Issue #2 requires me to allow Him to heal those wounds, just as I have to allow Him to heal the wounds I've taken this summer.

I took a huge step in that on Monday night. I believe, totally and completely, that God has removed the shackles that bound my heart so tight. I believe that He's reached down and touched those wounds. He is restoring.

So what does that mean? Instant stopping of the pain? Instant ability to simply be who He wants me to be, free of all the things that have bound me from my past? No. It means that a process has started. A process of wounds being healed - the poison in my heart slowly drawn out and the wounds salved, bandaged, given time to mend. A slow but steady learning to walk in who He says I am, not who anyone else (and that includes me) thinks I ought to be. Unlearning and relearning take time. Healing takes time. It's a process, not a change of a moment (in most cases). I saw the firstfruits of that healing yesterday. I also saw that it is a process, and it's going to take time. The pain's not going to vanish in an instant; I'm not going to be able to walk in the fullness of His calling for me immediately.

I know this, though, now more than ever: God loves us. He delights in us. He cares for us. He wants the very best for us. He wants to heal us and make us whole. He wants to wipe away our tears and break our every chain, setting us free and filling us with joy. He wants our days to be filled with dancing, even in the midst of sorrow. And He's made the way for the fulfillment of all His perfect desires for us.

- Chris


  1. A difficult thing you may find along the way to healing is that you need to talk with somebody. The Word says that we are to confess our sins to one another that we may be healed. It may not necessarily be "sin(s)" that you are specifically dealing with, but the condition of your heart. That healing will come as you talk about it with those you care for and who care for you, and can help you.

    You already know, because you have hidden God's Word in your heart, that God cares for you and Jesus is ever interceding for you before the Father. That is Good.

    What you are learning is that God uses imperfect people, who are also capable of hurting you, to be the instruments He uses to work healing in us.

    You are in my prayers.

  2. I haven't time to leave the sort of comment this post deserves. But I want you to know I was here, appreciate the intent and content of your wors, and appreciate your thoughtful, heartful approach.

    your friend...


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