Do you want to be well?
Jesus asked a crippled man this question, even though his broken body seemed to shout the obvious. The truth is, there are hurts so deep, or that have existed for so long, we don't know who we would be without them. Jesus knew this dynamic. He knew that healing the lame man would force him to move into unknown territory-- his entire identity, understanding of self and life would be rocked. And for some of us, that's just too much. We'd rather sit on our mats, broken, but comforted with the predictability of our situation, of our hopelessness.
Jesus asked me this question, over and over again years ago. I very hesitantly responded, taking his hand, hoping that his character would be worthy of my trust.
And it has.
I know two things about healing. One is that we'll never be fully restored on this side of eternity. Jesus leaves pieces of the heartache, shards of the glass and rubble behind, within, to remind us that this is not home. That he alone is home. Were it not for this pain, we might not look to him with desperation as our soon and coming King.
The other truth I know is that he will never stop fighting for me on this side of eternity. For as long as I live, God will be initiating deeper works of healing, prodding and peeling away the callouses, calling me to love better, with my whole heart. This was his command, to love, so he's very much vested in my healing. His healing enables me to love with a kind of love that's unreserved, not-of-this-world, stripped of Selfish Motives and Self-Protection--the very stuff that festers on this kind of wound.
I'm guessing that if you're reading this page, there's a part of you that wants to be well.
I'm so proud of you.
I've got some resources, a few. And I plan to write more about this. I'm not the first to say something about abuse and neither am I the expert--just a girl, here, who is moving from her own shame, one step at a time, towards a God who is good.
So, here are some sites and books that have been helpful for me. And, if you want to email me, I'd be honored to hear your story, too-- amccullohs [at] gmail [dot] com.
- I spoke about my healing journey at church in a fifteen minute interview this past January. The entire message, about dealing with our pasts, is good and worthy of your time.
- Mary DeMuth's memoir, Thin Places
--This is just what it's called, a memoir. It's not a step-by-step prescription for healing. It was a hard read because it's so raw. I had to put the book down several times, at times overwhelmed by her pain, other times, a chord was struck in mine. Jesus met her and the book carries his hope.
- Mary DeMuth's Get Past the Past Audio Series
--This is a step-by-step "prescription for healing." I downloaded it and listened to it on my Ipod. It would be great to listen to on your own, at your own pace. You could also, if you're feeling so bold, get a friend or a small group to listen to the sessions, each on her own, and then meet to talk about them. I loved it. (and I love her)
Mary DeMuth's blog. It's free so no excuses. Read her stuff.
--The book was good. It is the classic Christian go-to resource for healing (and it should be). It was kind of hard for me to process at times, because I went too fast and didn't allow myself time to really take in the concepts.
-- I'm working through the workbook right now and it is kicking my butt. It's freaking awesome, perfectly tailored for the most reluctant of sojourners. Again, another resource you could (and should) do on your own, but would be amazing to do with another, or in a small group (and has questions/formatting for small group use).
Know that you're not alone. Know that God doesn't expect you whole overnight, or even over a decade, and neither should you.
He meets us in the here and now, even in the darkness.
(I just might have written about that here, at a blog called Deeper Story, where there are some insightful and sobering comments as well.)