A few months ago, I was tempted to go on my walk without a brace. After all, I wore cute shoes finally on the Sunday before. I had been walking and even jogging a little three miles almost everyday. I felt almost as good as I did before I broke my ankle.
I remembered the doctor saying that the bone in my ankle may never completely heal. But as the rest of the ankle heals I should not have any problems with mobility. So I chose wisdom over pride or comfort. I thought about how this broken ankle probably happened-well, because I’m clumsy and I was running on a rocky driveway. But maybe it happened as a result of poor health decisions of the past-weak core, bad back, too much weight. There’s also the years of eating whatever I wanted until it finally became a problem, followed by years of taking things out of my diet, like dairy and gluten. Now I have realized that it’s just as important to fill my diet with the things that provide the most nutritional benefits. Even with all the diet changes, even adding exercise back to my daily routine, I’m never going to be 20 again. It’s the reality of not only poor choices, but of aging and of living in this temporal world.
Sometimes, we like to say to ourselves “in moderation”. Just this one roll at Texas Roadhouse. Just this piece of pie. It’s my birthday and I deserve to eat cake. And we do and then we realize the next day it probably wasn’t worth it. Or we may find one piece leads to another and before you know it sugar and gluten are back on a daily basis.
It seems lately God is teaching me some new lessons as I read His word. Sometimes even through music and as I walk and pray-sometimes through both at the same time.
As we go through our Christian lives there is still sin that causes brokenness. We live in a fallen world. It seems sometimes people think because of God’s great and amazing grace that they can maybe sin “in moderation.” As we grow in faith we can see the joy of putting our flesh aside and following Him. We begin to see it’s not just about turning away from sin but also filling our lives with His word and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and to heal us. But sometimes in the healing, the pain may remain awhile. Sometimes our choices not only bring pain in our own lives, but in others’ lives, as well, sometimes in those we love the most.
There are wounds that have happened in our lives, because we were negligent, or acting in the flesh, or maybe even for some wounds were the result of someone else’s sin. There are those wounds we suffer from, because we live in a temporal and fallen world, we or our loved ones become ill or a loved one is taken before we were ready. I think of Job, of Naomi and Ruth, of King David. It isn’t just how the wound came to be but what we are going to do about it. What are we going to let God do about it?
Personally speaking, the struggle I am dealing with right now is how to be a “birthmom.” And I can honestly say God is taking what I hear in those words-“not good enough to be a mom” to a place where I am humbly seeking Him for guidance to be whatever kind of mom He has called me to be. Although, it is a slow (and sometimes painful) process, I know God is doing a healing of my heart. He has taken away the shame, though sometimes I still feel it. It can be pretty embarrassing when others see my sin. There are many reasons I could doubt and even regret my decisions in the past. I pray I am learning, taking responsibility and asking for forgiveness where I need to. I’m trying to give God my guilt, doubts, fears and grief. There are so many triggers to make those feeling flare up. But I know God is healing me-even when I don’t feel it. I can see that God is building something wonderful-it’s so amazing that I get to know my first daughter. It is even more amazing that we have a special relationship, I could have never hoped for. I never dreamed the six would know their sister. He has given me blessing upon blessing, not because I deserved even one. No, He wants to be glorified. He wants to grow my faith. He wants others to see Himself and His goodness in my life. And in His presence I can have joy.
As I experience this joy knowing and loving my first daughter, of being a mother to the six we have loved greatly, raised and sent off into the world, of being married to my best friend for almost 40 years, and oh, those precious grandchildren, there is still a healing of my heart going on. The Holy Spirit is gently showing me the walls I have built up. As I allow Him to tear them down (slowly), I have to feel the feelings. I don’t really like feelings. It was more comfortable keeping them behind the walls. I am realizing, though, as the walls start to come down that there is so much peace and joy! The grief of what I lost may never be completely gone. There will always be reminders of the loss even in the restoration. Satan says I deserve not one of my blessings. And guess what, I don’t. Grace is only grace because we cannot deserve it. Mercy is given, because we so desperately need it. Jesus came so we could live abundantly in Him, because in His righteousness we are made righteous.
I know this does not mean that wounds can’t be deep and that wounds won’t be painful. Sometimes they seem more than we can bear. That’s when we realize we need the Father. Sometimes it takes feeling pain to seek the Healer. Just like the pain in my ankle finally made me realize I needed to go to the doctor. My heart may never be like it was when I first gave it to the Lord at age nine. It has some scars and it has some wounds that are a little deeper than I thought. I probably ignored the symptoms and the need for healing for too many years. My child-like faith has changed but hopefully it has grown stronger. I know He is sanctifying me and in that glorious day of Christ’s return I will be transformed by His righteousness. So I really can say, It is well with my soul, because our Father is good and His love is everlasting. I am such a small part of His big beautiful story, but He fully knows me and fully loves me.
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”Psalms 139:1-18
KP October 2019