When I first started speaking in 2006, it didn’t seem to me like I had that much to say. People were wanting to know how I survived, how I could get up in the morning. They wanted to hear the story, and they wanted answers. I didn’t know what to say. But clearly God wanted me to speak anyway. So I did. I shared the story of how God was with me the night of the accident, of the verses God had shown me, of how I made the choice to continue to believe, and of what God had done to take care of me. But there was something missing. I wanted to know how to find healing, and I had no idea how. I wanted to stop hurting, and I had no idea how. And really, I didn’t want to stop hurting because somehow it seemed like it would mean I didn’t love anymore. So I begged God for the answers, reminding Him that He was sending me out to share answers that I didn’t have!
Little by little God answered that prayer. I learned an entirely different picture of healing than I had envisioned in my mind. I was looking for the absence of pain. And I discovered that doesn’t exist. Life is full of pain. And the heart of a mother will always grieve for her children. Always. Always.
Through reading several books, a picture began to form in my mind. It was the picture of a wounded heart. In deep pain, the heart expands, almost as if it cannot hold that much pain, and yet it does. As time goes on, the heart has a choice. It can remain as it is, full of only pain, or, if it is willing, it can allow joy to re-enter the heart as well. The joy and the pain then sit side-by-side, in a heart now big enough to hold both. Pain will still grip that heart, but so will joy. That is healing…..not the absence of pain, but allowing joy to enter a heart of pain.
One would think that I would always want that….joy, that is. But sometimes I just want to wallow in pain. It’s interesting that pain is always the easy option. Joy requires choosing to work a little – open the Bible, pray, talk to people, or even cry. Crying is deep work for me, it just hurts soooo bad. But it always opens my heart to be able to feel positive emotions again. Sometimes I just don’t want to face the pain enough to get to the relief. Sometimes I need someone to help me through the process, and welcome their help. Sometimes I throw people to the side who are trying to help me because I am tired of being weak and needing to be cared for. Most of the time I am in my own way to finding joy again.