“I was praying about you and the awful situations you are going through,” she said sincerely, leaning over to grasp my hand, “With this level of spiritual warfare, you must have a great destiny in the Lord!”
I wanted to say, “If this is a war I am losing. I would trade destiny and everything else to have a husband not die, to be able to walk, to have children free from fear and anxiety and to live anywhere but here.”
“Thank you for praying. I appreciate it,” I said and then walked away. I wish I could have as easily distanced from the fury her comment inspired.
So all of this is supposed to be about my destiny?!?!?! It’s supposed to be preparing me for some great work for the “Lawd”? Burying my parents, crippling poverty, nearly losing my husband and parenting kids who watched their Pappy die are all part of a plan to prosper ME? If it is-count me out!!!!
My friend recently preached a sermon called, “It’s All About Me” and it’s really messing me up.
Messing me up by challenging the comfortable martyr status I’ve settled into.
Messing me up by ripping the band aid covering an ancient wound of mistrusting God and His promises.
Messing me up by reminding me it was His people who used and abused me in His name-it wasn’t Him.
Messing me up by raising the level of accountability to life and death levels.
Messing me up by taking scripture and applying it to the reality of what it means to “take up our cross” daily.
Messing me up by taking me out of the equation and making it about something so divine, so deep and so loving it will take me a lifetime to fully experience it.
If you have time today, will you listen to her sermon? She will HATE that I am sharing it with you, she doesn’t know how much her life, her witness and her heart mess me up. It’s one of her best character traits.
Listen then please share if it messed you up.
To quote lyrics from the musical RENT, “I’ve got baggage. I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine.”
Bring yours in for a bit. Let’s set it on the side of the “It’s All About Me Highway” and journey forward, eyes on the horizon rather than ourselves.
“It makes no practical sense for me to be here,” I shared with my grad school cohort, “I should be home, resting, taking care of my husband and kids.” I gave voice to the guilt which, like a rash, crawled on the skin of my psyche.
“He’s doing so well,” I went on, rationalizing away the guilt…for the moment,”and the kids are troopers.”
12 hours later fever set in and we again made a frenetic dash to Hopkins. He was fighting an infection. And sometimes, I knew, infections win.
On my way, I had an appointment with a surly orthopedic surgeon. He was prickly, abrupt and announced I probably wouldn’t need surgery and certainly didn’t need the scooter. I told him to navigate the miles of Hopkins’ halls I would keep it.
No ankle surgery? A surprise and a beginning of the mending.
Something happened in the kids. The first trip was scary, overwhelming and they made me crazy. This time, as we all piled into the king sized bed like a litter of puppies, their presence was comforting. There were far less whines and far more, “Can I help you?”
Waiting rooms weren’t buzzing with nervous energy as before. In fact, with the right book and atop a pile of coats they could be quite cozy.
“The pancreas is a mean organ,” the surgeon told us, “This infection is common. He will make a full recovery.”
Common. Full recovery. It seems ankles and abdomens are designed to mend.
That was the prayer of my sardonic grad school professor after I told him our story. He thanked God He designed us to mend.
I’ve been in the battle so long I forgot there is an end. I’ve been limping so long I forgot what it was to walk. It’s been a long, long season.
Yet, from the very beginning, my husband, my kids and I were designed to mend. We were created to uncover beauty from ashes. Wisdom from mistakes. Life in the midst of death. It’s the scripture promise that we are given life abundantly even if it takes place on surgical wards, atop scooters or sporting an ankle cast.
Mend. Even the word is soft, as the promise it whispers. There are miles to go before we sleep, but sleep we will and mend we shall.
Share with me where you are mending. Where are you walking where once you stumbled?
Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “To thine ownself be true.” Therefore you must become acquainted with ‘ownself’ first! A friend, who lives her life praying more and loving abundantly, shared an online personality test. It was free. It was easy. So I took it. Here are my results. INFP=Healer Definition
In short, I hate convention and adore creativity. I am crushed by others expectations but live to raise others of themselves. I abhor routine and work best in a creative and flexible environment. My values are solid and the main rudder with which I navigate life. Cue the irony, but writing is at the top of the list for professional and personal pursuits for an INFP. Most surprisingly, I seek to heal others.
To be called a healer took me a bit by surprise. In recent years I’ve been working so hard to keep my own head above water, I rarely peeked out from beneath my blanket of misery to notice others. Recently, however, I’ve had a moment or two where someone asked me to speak into their life or situation. Surprisingly, with each conversation to lift others I found my own spirits to be raised.
Someone very close to me recently brought his broken heart and lay it in my lap. My dearest love bared his bruises and asked me for an ice pack. His heart was slashed by familiar blades. I pulled my sleeves down over my own, similarly shaped scars.
My first reaction was to crawl back under my blanket of misery and hide. After crying, quite a bit, one of those ugly cries which would never be seen in a movie, I realized something. I was healed. I was no longer the broken one in this particular area. My scars are a badge of honor, not a scarlet letter.
I am a healer. I am a healer because I have overcome much. I know what it is to be the victim. More importantly, I know what it is to be the victor!
Therefore, armed with the grace poured out through prayer, I’ll be true to my own healing. I’ll help my dearest love to find his own healing. To my ownself I will be true, scars and all.