Saturday, June 6, 2015

Wounded

I've spent the past week trying to live like pre-cancer me. I went to work one day. I picked up around the house. I even cooked dinner once! Even though that is a fraction of what I normally do, those simple tasks quickly caught up with me. By Wednesday, my incisions were itchy, burning, and red hot. Small spaces in my stitches began to open and ooze. I developed an ugly infection. The extra activity, the summer heat, and an allergic reaction to a new surgical tape took me down fast.

For the first time since surgery, I realized I had wounds... I was wounded. And it's not the first time. I've been wounded before. But sometimes my wounds looked much different.

There are physical wounds, and there are emotional wounds -- and I'm honestly not sure which is worse. I've had many deep emotional wounds over the years. You probably have, too. The injuries to our souls come in all sorts of ways:
  • When you're a child and someone you trust abuses you.
  • When you're repeatedly bullied.
  • When an engagement doesn't turn into a marriage.
  • When a marriage turns into a divorce.
  • When a loved one dies. Too soon. It's always too soon.
  • When a dream dies, and you're broke.
  • When you've been to war, and you can't escape the nightmares.
  • When an addiction destroys your relationships and everyone avoids you. 
  • When your child suffers and you're powerless to stop it.

Life hurts. There's plenty of pain to go around. At least with most physical wounds, they can be be treated -- sometimes rapidly. My infection is already healing, and it's only been four days. The medicine is working quickly to restore my health. The same fast approach would never work for my emotional wounds. Some have taken years -- and a whole lot of Jesus -- to heal. 

That's because emotional wounds can be tricky. You can pretend they don't exist and sometimes function quite well in spite of them... at least for a while. You can hide them. Or you can bury them in destructive behaviors -- promiscuity, substance abuse, overworking, overeating. The list goes on.

The good news is emotional wounds can be healed, too. Mine were. Do the work. Find a therapist. Find Jesus (if you haven't already)! Find a better way to cope. And then give your pain a purpose. No one was meant to suffer in vain. Your wounded past makes you a prime candidate to reach out to people hurting around you. Whether you encourage one person or one thousand, God can use your pain to speak Hope into someone else's suffering. And you can speak with authority because you've been there, too. 

Have you been wounded? Have you been healed? Who can you encourage?

Always remember to point people back to your Healer. It's not you and your story they should applaud. It's Him. He gets the glory!


Love,
Emily


"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." - Psalm 147:3










   

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