Many years ago, I sat at my grandmother’s well worn, oak kitchen table talking to her sweet widowed neighbor. This woman lost her husband a long time before our conversation, but her pain was as intense as if he had died the day before. She said to me, “People say time heals all wounds. They’re wrong. It may take the edge off, but there are things we never truly heal from.”
I carried her words with me for ages. I truly believed there were things in my past I couldn’t ever possibly heal from. This is a rather sad and unnecessary way to live.
I recently read a book by Suzanne Eller, The Mended Heart. She believes we can fully mend, and we shouldn’t go at this monumental task alone.
“As you begin to heal, your God is with you every step of the way. You are not alone, and you don’t have to do the work of healing alone.” (p. 28)
Oh how I wish she would have been at that table with me all those years ago. My little girl mind so needed this truth deeply implanted. How different that sweet widow’s life could have turned out with this important advice.
There are many ways our hearts crack over our lifetimes: loss of loved ones, our own sin, the sins of others… We sometimes even find heartbreak at the hands of our church families. Suzanne wisely shares “while a church should be a safe and loving environment, at the core it is simply a gathering of people who need Jesus.”
We all really do just need Jesus. He took all of our burdens upon himself so we could be free. This doesn’t mean we won’t hurt, but it does mean we can mend.
We don’t need to stay stuck. Our lives can heal deeper than just taking the edge off. We deserve more.
My favorite quote from The Mended Heart is this:
Momentum is simply the process of moving forward. There’s no speed limit, and it’s not a race. Momentum is uniquely individual, but it’s also a partnership with God; it’s a “stake in the ground” conviction that resides inside of you and says, “This girl isn’t going to be stuck anymore.”
I tend to feel stagnated if I’m not moving forward at a record pace. Her description of momentum has freed me a great deal. I hope it does the same for you.
As we heal, not only our own hearts mend, but we have a yearning to give this gift to others. That’s where I’m at right now. The next time I feel stuck, I’ll definitely remember how far I’ve come to be at this point of desiring to help others struggling with my many past issues.
I can’t agree more with Suzanne Eller’s thoughts on this topic:
“As you mend, you will discover that you move from needing help to giving it. God will use your story, with the help of the Advocate, to come alongside those who are still a work in progress. They may be traveling down a road you recognize but are no longer on. You understand their challenges. You see through the defense mechanisms and excuses, but you also identify with the deep need. You know in which direction to point in order to help them find hope.”
This is a place of true heart mending…
Where are you on this sometimes incredibly difficult road to healing? Whatever you are struggling with today, know this: He can mend your heart. Keep pressing forward, my friend.
If you have time today, check out the rest of my to be read pile for 2015: