The Healing Process
The suffered wound might not be our responsibility, but healing is our obligation. To paraphrase what my pastor (Dr. William Curtis) mentioned during a recent sermon, “Sometimes, we become prisoners of the irrelevant.” How we got hurt is irrelevant, but how we heal is extremely relevant. The word healing can be defined as the process of becoming healthy again. Watching an instant replay of being wounded or binge watching every sequence of disappointment and heartbreak makes it difficult to heal completely. The word healthy can’t be spelled without ‘heal’. So in order to become healthy, we have to heal. I learned this after beginning the healing process from a breakup. Dwelling on how I got hurt did more damage than it did healing, and I started to realize that it was taking away from my time to heal. Reliving the pain that I experienced brought me more anger than it did healing. The Good News Bible Translation of Jeremiah 30:17 states the following, “I will make you well again; I will heal your wounds...” We have to learn to shift our focus from how we became wounded to the one that can heal our wounds! The one that will heal us is more relevant than the people that physically or mentally injured us. We can’t expect to heal being connected to the situation that hurt us, and it’s difficult to become well in the place we were wounded.
Rehabilitate To Heal
A part of my healing process was finding the proper mental and physical space to heal. I knew that being around the person that hurt me would delay my healing process. Our mental and spiritual well being needs to be rehabilitated correctly. The word rehabilitate can be defined as returning to a healthy way of living. Writing this blog made me reflect on the recovery from my knee surgery in 2016. After having a procedure to repair my torn patellar tendon, I had to begin the rehabilitation process. The first phase of this process involved six weeks of bed rest. This meant that I had to remain confined to a bed to give my patellar tendon the proper amount of time to heal. A part of healing a broken heart or damaged emotions is to be still, and allow God to mend what has been broken. The Amplified Version of Psalm 46:10 states the following, “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.” Sometimes we have to be still to recognize and understand who our healer is. As we go through our healing process, embrace every part of it. A season of healing allows us to become restored by a sovereign God! Being weakened by your situation or circumstances doesn’t make you exempt from becoming strong again! The Good News Bible Translation of Isaiah 40: 27-29 mentions the following, “Israel, why then do you complain that the Lord doesn't know your troubles or care if you suffer injustice? Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God; he created all the world. He never grows tired or weary. No one understands his thoughts. He strengthens those who are weak and tired.” Isaiah 40:31 concludes this part of the text by stating, “But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Sometimes God doesn’t restore what we lost, he replaces it with something greater. Instead of giving us the strength we once had, he’ll give us the strength that we’ve never had!
Realizing My Loyalty
During a recent conversation, my mom expressed her concern about having a potential knee replacement to alleviate the pain that comes from having arthritis. After hearing others complain about not being the same after this procedure, she had an extreme amount of hesitance about going through with this operation. One doctor eliminated some of my mother’s fear by telling her that some people don’t want to get better. She further explained that getting better or making a full recovery starts with the having the desire to do so. The same applies to our healing process. We have to ultimately assess where our loyalty is. Are we more loyal to the pain or the healing? Are we more loyal to the one who hurt us or the one that can heal us? I initially felt that my loyalty was to the healer, but after evaluating where my time and attention was devoted, I realized that my actions were contradictory. I couldn’t say that I was more loyal to the healer when I spent more time arguing with the one who hurt me! Once I realized this, my focus shifted from revisiting and getting clarity on my pain to beginning my healing process with the greatest healer in the world! We have to learn that we’ll never heal if we continue to entertain or go back to what broke us.
The New International Version of James 2:17 states the following, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Being healed starts with believing that you will be. Your healing moves towards completion once you start working at it. We can’t expect to heal in an extended state of idleness. After my six week period of bed rest came to an end (Knee Surgery), I had to begin physical therapy to rebuild the strength that was lost. I could’ve just showed up, went through the motions and completed the exercises without the expectation to heal, but I knew that wouldn’t be beneficial for my strength. I came into every session with the expectation to become better than I was before!
We have to adapt this mindset if we desire to heal from a difficult season or situation. With each spiritual exercise that we do, we have absorb each activity with the expectation to surpass the strength we once had. How much value does morning prayer have if we’re going to entertain what we asked God to keep us away from? How much significance does church attendance have if our activities afterwards don’t match the message of the sermon? Someone can read the bible every day, but are they reading to check it off of a to-do list or are they actually absorbing and digesting the word? As we heal, we don’t want to become victims of what my late college basketball coach called “False hustle”. This would be someone exerting a ton of energy in an ineffective manner. God isn’t looking for people who act like Christians. He’s looking for people that want to live like him! This isn’t possible if we are seeking revenge or having a desire to show off to the ones that hurt us. After Christ endured the cross for our sins, he didn’t go back and seek the ones who spit on him or nailed him to the cross. He relaxes comfortably on the throne, knowing that his sacrifice changed the entire world! He didn’t have to go back and brag about being resurrected because the sacrifice and resurrection alone said enough! As healers, this has to be our way of living. If God can turn death into resurrection, he can turn broken into healed! God didn’t bring you this far to experience pain forever. Ultimately each of us have to bare a cross similar to Christ, but we have to remember that our temporary suffering is the destination to a permanent promise!