Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
// Jacque Anderson //
I was hit by a car last November. Yes. You read that right. While traversing across a marked area with the right of way, a woman turning right on a red decided she didn’t need to stop (or apparently look up) and hit me on the left side of my body. And then, approximately six hours later, I was hit by a car emotionally. In one day, I was physically injured by a heap of tin and rubber and emotionally injured by words of rejection seeped in indifference and laced with cruelty.
By the end of the day, I was a puddle of tears and pain, bowing before the Lord, begging him for healing. I knew it would take time: two weeks, a month? But as the days, the weeks, the months passed, I could still feel pangs of pain in my legs and a deep ache in my heart.
I turned to anything to dull the pain: I drank until I couldn’t see, until I couldn’t remember the night before. I listened to music and watched TV so I didn’t have to hear the dark thoughts bouncing around in my mind. I withheld my body from food to regain some semblance of control, some form of autonomy from the pain that had invaded my mind and my body. I just wanted it to stop. I didn’t want to face it or dip down into the deep pain that haunted me. I wanted an instant relief, a miraculous reprieve from my suffering.
But that often isn’t how healing works.
After admitting to my physical therapist one day that I had not been keeping up with my treatment plan, mostly due to impatience and frustration, she reiterated to me how important it was that I keep doing my stretches and exercises everyday. “You won’t see progress right away, but you have to keep at it, even on the days when you feel no relief. Healing will take time.”
And sitting in prayer later that night, I heard the Lord speak similar words to me:
“Just like your physical healing, your emotional and spiritual healing will be slow as well. I will heal you, but you have to let me. You have to sit before me, even on the days you feel no relief and only pain. I am working. I am mending your heart in my own time. But you have to let me in.”
Healing is slow…painful. It is not often on the timeline we have crafted in our minds. Instead of meeting the deadlines marked on our internal calendars, the Lord slowly and gently brings healing in his own time. And it’s often in the difficult journey of healing, on the tumultuous road to our Resurrection, that we become closer to the Lord in his own suffering, that our hearts are molded to look like His.
In a three-part series on Healing on the podcast “The Place We Find Ourselves,” host Adam Young says, “The core of the Christian narrative is contained in three days: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Jesus was crucified on a Friday. He was crucified and traumatized. On Sunday, he was resurrected. Despite the trauma and abuse of Friday, the Resurrection on Sunday holds and held deep hope. In order to get from Friday to Sunday, Jesus had to experience the hell of Saturday….there is no way to get from Friday to Sunday without dipping down into the valley of the shadow of death.”
We have to dip down into the ache. We have to feel the deep sorrow and pain. But every moment of pain, if we allow it to be, is a moment with our chests pressed against the foot of the cross, looking up at our bruised and bleeding Savior. A moment that we become just a little bit more united to the aching heart of Christ and share in his suffering. A moment that just a sliver of our souls becomes one with the Divine. And moment by moment, ache by ache, our broken, sinful hearts are transformed to reflect that of our Creator’s. We are healed. We are made new.
And after the pain, after the long, gruesome, and bloody journey, we can have hope that we will come to the light of our own Resurrection, even if it takes weeks, months, or years. We know we will be healed.