joy in becoming wounded healers

write31days-journeying-into-joy-joy-in-becoming-wounded-healers

 

Our wounds cry out for attention. Pain screams for relief. We ache to be better, long for our brokenness to be fixed, and often try everything else at our disposal before asking God to assist us.

Yet what the world offers so often feels like a sticking plaster approach. The hurt goes on festering within, covered over and concealed as it may be. And more than that, without the right attention wounds worsen, grow septic, cause greater danger to our health.

Soul wounds are no different in this respect. They require the Healer’s touch, often deep excision to cut away all that is not fitting for us as children of God. It hurts. It really hurts, but in a good way. Becoming whole is more than a slow piecing together again, sealed with a hug and kiss; it’s complete renewal, total transformation that is needed.

The world may help us with many things but our greatest soul solace is to go to our Saviour, rest in  the comfort of His presence, learn wisdom from His loving heart. We seek the solution only God can offer – complete cleansing and mending. And when we do we just might hear Him speak,  like He whispered these words to me…

Prayer Whisper: Wounds and Joy

prayer whisper image

 

“I, too, bear wounds. Mine are in My hands, feet, heart and head for eternity. I bear the wounds of sin and pain for all humanity. And I will pour the oil of joy into your wounds, bind up the hurt and soothe your pain with My peace.

You will walk as a wounded healer through this world as your wounds enable you to bring My love, compassion and care into the lives of others. You may not be fully healed of them in this lifetime, but you will be able to live with them

Joy waits on the other side of grief and sits with sadness. It is more than a feeling. It’s a chasing after grace, a deliberate turning in My direction when you feel low and wretched.

Joy is a conscious choice you make as you decide what direction your thoughts will take. A mind redeemed and renewed by My Word is a mind set on peace and joy.

Open the windows of your soul and see its presence. Open the door of your heart and let it in. Joy is yours for the taking.”


Our wounds and problems make us feel less than useful or able, so it seems surprising to think we are well placed to help others while we remain wounded ourselves. I believe we can be wounded healers because we know what it is to be broken, dependent on God for the healing we need.

Most of all, we know the Healer himself, sit under the protective cover of His wings, experience His help in all things, witness Him changing us or our circumstances, and are grateful recipients of His grace, mercy and peace.  We can joyfully point the way to our Saviour and be the means of refreshing others.That has to count for something, yes?

31-days-of-journeying-into-joy-badgeWelcome to #day19 of #write31days of journeying into joy.

Do you see your broken, wounded state as a potential means of grace? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

write31days-journeying-into-joy-becoming-wounded-healers

Courage to break free

Brave PJ poem file image

‘Brave’

She doesn’t feel brave at all.

It started with a tentative unpicking

Loosing a thread

Dropping a stitch

that spooled and pooled out

all the dirt, debris and detritus

of a life lived edged by despair

and heavy with deceit

Let it out, my friend.

Let it pour as tears

cascading as rivers down your face

Allow that searing wound to be pierced,

lanced with laser-light of Truth;

be exposed, raw, oozing its badness,

ready for cleansing and healing.

Let God’s healing balm bind up the pain

as more threads are snipped

and a life laid bare.

Unravelling of mind and heart

Whispers in the dark

Furtive fumbling

leaving muddy footprints

of fear, guilt and shame.

Be bold

Be brave, sweet sister.

Only in the letting go

can we be free

as chrysalis to butterfly,

become all He created us to be.

Become new

Washed in Blood

Washed in Light

Washed in Grace

Washed in Love.

You are brave

You are bold

You are beautiful

And you are being

set free

to be fully functioning

as you are intended to be.

©JoyLenton2015

Brave poem PJ file image pin

Putting the pieces together

I see it all around. The very air we breathe is thick with the sound of it.

Sorrow hangs heavy. Need drives us to our knees.

People are crying out for grace ~ but they don’t even know it.

Souls weep silent into pillows when losses outweigh any gains and hopes wither and die.

What or who can save us from ourselves and the pain we have to press past on a daily basis?

When life breaks us apart, where do we go to be put back together again?

In my life, the answer may come quick and easy. But the living out? That’s a lifetime’s work.

Renewal and restoration cannot be rushed. Full and complete healing cannot be hurried.

Jesus saves. We know it. We read it. We believe it. We sing about it. And yet..

This world has a way of swallowing us whole and spitting us out. Broken people living fractured lives.

So what does grace look like?

It wears the face of Christ. It’s the very heart of God. Nothing weak or namby pamby about it.

This is grace:It’s solid, muscular, with bite crisp-clean into a bountiful harvest of real gritty righteousness. It floods and fills all the empty spaces of our existence with strength, power and might. 

Living as we do in the tension between the ‘now but not yet’ of the Kingdom, we are people in transition, works in progress by God’s grace.

Much is changing and moving forward, and much still requires transformation to come.

‘Variant themes’

I’m broken, fractured, full of holes,

splintered, wrecked right into my soul

Pieces from the past pierce and press sharp

tearing fierce into the tenderest of parts

Deep calls to deep in the thundering roar

of Your waterfall’s steady, refreshing pour

Wounds fester and hurts remain sealed

in a life crying out to be rescued and healed

Echoing chasms where Your voice is heard

and we drink thirsty of its life-giving Word

How do the variant themes unite as one

perfect melody, harmony and song?

Strung as pearls, lustre-reflecting beads

shine bright and pure in you and me

Discordant sounds may shatter the air around,

joy remains ~ as seed rooted to the ground

Stop. Slow down. Breathe. Listen closer. Pause a while.

Walk gentler. Carry lighter. Don’t forget to smile.

©JoyLenton2014

As to the question, “How do I make all the pieces fit?”, I think the answer is, we can’t do it ourselves. God never intended us to bear that burden. It’s too weighty for our frame.

And that’s a freeing statement. It opens the door to Holy Spirit intervention.

The shards of our shattered hopes and dreams become a marvellous mosaic in God’s hands.

When we take those broken pieces of our lives, frayed fabric of our days, torn edges of our thoughts, tangled threads of our theology, gaps and holes in our flawed and imperfect understanding ~ all become sacrificial surrender, holy offering, and a handing over to the Master Potter and Architect of our souls.

He alone can fully mend, heal, renew and restore to better than it was before. We seek, ask, do our part, trust, rest, and leave the outcome up to Him. 

It isn’t easy. Everything inside cries out to know and understand beforehand. Relinquishing control is a challenge.

Resting is a conscious choice, and the best way of allowing God’s peace to replace anxiety and stress.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Joining here with friends: Diana, Mel and Lyli. 

Against the tide

In the flotsam and jetsam of life we soon discover our shared humanity.

It is said that time and tide wait for no man. We cannot claw it back or alter its progress.

Similarly, suffering is universal. Pain, loss, grief, hardship, sickness, calamities beset us all.

Though there is no way of assessing its intensity. It is personal and painful, no matter what.

What is minor for one is major to another. Comparisons are useless. We can only accept suffering of varying degree exists and is hurtful to all who experience it. 

Where do we turn to in our suffering? Or, more correctly, whom?

There is One who Scripture depicts as ‘a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief/familiar with suffering’. He took our shared humanity, knows and understands intimately what we go through.

Jesus bore every sin, sickness, dis-ease of every kind on the cross for us.

He willingly embraced it all for the joy set before Him ~ of restoring us back to the Father’s side.

‘Against the tide’

Calamity cracks us open to the core

revealing our frail humanity

exposing vulnerability ~ tender, flawed

Beneath this skin, the carapace I’m in,

lies a raw, wounded human being

If each person is an island , then

we’re all floating in a communal sea

desperately trying not to drown

It takes courage to swim against the tide

when there’s no sheltering place to hide

Until a safe harbour hoves into view

tugging gentle on our heartstrings

willing us to steer strong and true

Vessels rest weary, depleted, worn,

storm-battered, tattered, torn

Ready to refuel and be restored again,

seeking respite for a little longer

we prepare to face fierce winds and rain

Now with our Captain at the helm

these surging tides no longer overwhelm

©JoyLenton2014

Sinking into the arms of God is what helps us stay afloat in the changing tides of life. He holds us up when we’re too weak, weary and overwhelmed to do more than flounder in the waves.

Being found in Him, we can learn to let go of fear. Find peace and rest. Be soothed and settled. Find reassurance and ease.

Love rescues us. Love surrounds and keeps us steady, on an even keel. Love embraces our brokenness and begins to piece us together again ~ bit by bit. It is the anchor for our souls.

And we see we are far from alone. Others are in the trenches too. Many voices clamouring for relief from misery. Brothers and sisters in suffering.

Those who are strong can help to carry the weak. Sit in the ashes. Hold hands and hearts. Listen and lean hard on solid Rock until the tides turn in our favour once more.

Because the best place to take sorrow, grief, pain and suffering is to the One who can support us through it and works to set us free.

Joining here with Diana and other questing souls as we are #livingthequestions and #livingintotheanswers

You are very welcome to join in the discussion.

Out of Egypt

When a friend prayed with me a few years ago, she sensed she had a word from God she needed to share.

It was more of a question really.

It seems God was repeating a personal word I’d heard some time before from our Pastor, yet not fully understood or heeded at the time.

He asked, “Are you prepared to leave Egypt behind?”

As I prayed and puzzled over this, it soon became clear that ‘Egypt’ represented those things which held me captive, were enslaving me to some extent and preventing forward momentum.

Eager as I may have been to let go of them, in many ways they represented all that had become close and familiar.

For example, my childhood was riddled with abuse and dysfunction. I hated it but I knew no different.

Growing up under its shadow was all I knew to be ‘normal’, the very fabric of my being, a deep part of who I was as a person.

In order for full healing to take place, I needed to unearth the dark places in my soul, recognise the pain, address it with appropriate help and support, and find a way to live free of its effects.

It took many years of counselling before a large degree of emotional healing occurred in that area.

Now it felt like God was asking this question of my life in general.

Was I ready for seeing life through the lens of His word rather than viewing everything from my experiences?

Could I accept, believe and receive the truth of who I am in Christ?

By faith in Christ, we are:redeemed, renewed, radically and deeply loved, forgiven, free from guilt and shame, forever set free to live without walls, given every resource we need to be whole and healed….and so much more besides.

He longs for us to see ourselves in the mirror of His word rather than viewing the distorted images playing in our minds.

We all have areas in our lives which need transformation, change and healing.

Our willingness to allow access to them in order for healing to take place is another matter entirely.

I’ve written about this more openly and shared what is helping me in this post from Words of Joy.

The poem below is an acknowledgement of how hard it can be to move forward.

‘Leaving Egypt’

When the prison you know

has walls papered over

with past experiences

faded, worn and torn,

fraying round edges,

it can still feel cosy

warm and familiar

like a house,

a home boxed in

with hedges.

We cling to what we know

with surprising tenacity

in spite of pain

leaching into our souls,

a heavy weight with capacity

to drown us in

suffocate breath and life,

holding us down

hard and fast

in an embalmed state.

Leaving Egypt behind

to enter our Promised Land

can feel like strange unravelling,

so we dig heels stiff,

resistant, into hot sand,

with each tender step

we tentatively take

a reminder of how far

we still have to travel

for our safety’s sake

©JoyLenton2013

Burning bright and clear

The lights are going out everywhere.

Decorations put away for another year.

Brightness losing to grey and gloom.

But what if we deliberately make room for it?

With ‘listen’ being my #oneword365, I aim to use all of my senses more fully.

And as a personal writing challenge this year, I am starting with 31 days of being more mindful.

Notice normal.

Find ordinary extraordinary.

Turn away from doom and drear.

Let my interest in life burn bright and clear.

See God’s goodness and grace all over the place.

Savour the flavour of life ‘As Is’ in a way I may not have done before.

It began on January 1st with this #smallstone offering:

And it has continued since as I’ve shared them on social media. Not aiming for perfection ~ just attention to detail ~ I will share some of them here with you too.

Today’s poem came from reflecting on the change of season and end of Christmas/New Year celebrations.

Maybe I can encourage and inspire you to actively listen to your life and find greater joy and discovery in the everyday? I hope so.

‘Evergreen’

Embracing a new year

means that Christmas decorations

tend to disappear

and all its celebrations

are at an end

Though God’s Light

is not suspended

but shining bright and clear

it remains to comfort and to cheer

Burning evergreen in our souls

perfect for every season

it is the very reason

we are healed, restored, made whole

throughout the year

as it leads, guides and directs

our pathways here

©JoyLenton2014

On a day like this

Each new day holds hope and potential, promise and purpose to be revealed.

Each day is gift and blessing to unfold.

Only some days feel heavy and weighty.

Time disappears and nothing gets done.

Moments slip away like sand.

I have many days like that with M.E when symptoms are worse.

All that can be done is to ‘go with the flow’, be it turgid and slow.

The poem below was written on such a day as this.

‘This day’

This is a day for sheltered darkness ~

windows closed tight ‘gainst sound and sight

curtains shielding all piercing light,

weary frame resting in the bed

trying to still restless thoughts in my head,

feeling weak, exhausted and drained

in a body racked with pulsating pain

as I wonder ~ with some despair ~

if this pain will ever cease or disappear.

And I sense Holy Spirit’s soft caress

in my heart as He draws near

to impart wisdom in the way He does best.

For He can calm and still every storm

bring comfort to all who are lost or forlorn,

bring hope, joy and peace again

to heart, mind and body

made heavy with pain.

All God is asking of me today

is to sink grateful, restful

into His loving embrace

and drink deep draughts

of His sustaining grace,

trust and believe for healing

in days yet to come

while He keeps revealing

strength to endure

this particular one.

©JoyLenton2013

These seasons of pain, stress, strain and disease literally drive us to our knees and make us cry out to God for help and relief.

They are what shape and make us even as they seem to break us.

God knows. He hears our unspoken fears. Sees tears shed and fall and captures them all. Nothing gets past Him.

And when it feels like we cannot go on a minute longer, there is grace given to endure and perseverance to make us stronger than we were before.

Christ-like character is honed in the furnace of affliction and deep spiritual work takes place within.

We can take heart as the heat and flames lick ever closer, knowing our God is in the midst of them with us and will bring us out the other side ~ with ash and soot clinging to our frame maybe ~ but with a deeper dependence on His grace and mercy.

********

Day 31 of 31 days of #poetryforthesoul ~ Thank you for accompanying me on this journey, even if it has taken longer than anticipated! I hope you have enjoyed the variety offered.

And if you are new here, do feel free to check out previous posts. If you have a favourite please let me know as it may find its way into a future anthology. Thanks! I really appreciate you stopping by.