“Even though you intended to harm me, God intended it only for good, and through me, He preserved the lives of countless people, as He is still doing today.”
Genesis 50:20, The Voice
For the past 2 years my daughter has an obsession with Band-Aids. A minor abrasion or invisible bump warrants a trip to the cabinet to choose a covering for the hurt.
She has sensory issues & what we find is removing those bandages are more excruciating & uncomfortable for her than the pain of what placed them there in the first place.
A few days ago she fell & received a rather large carpet burn to the knee. The first response was to beg for a Band-Aid, but this time I said, “no.” I explained that some injuries are to be left uncovered, so the body can do its job of natural healing. “We don’t have to personally balm every little thing that causes us discomfort,” I said.
She was shockingly fine within a handful of minutes & hasn’t mentioned it since. Had I covered the area, each time she looked down a trigger would’ve reminded her of injury. She would limp some, demand that pants can’t rub against, bathwater won’t be allowed near, etc. All of a sudden the “healing agent” stuck to the area, becomes a crutch of fear & lack of healing. The bandage serves as a reminder that while it’s there, she’s limited.
This caused me to pause. Thinking of myself & God. His love for me & the areas of my life that He wants uncovered. To stop remembering incidents or pain & start to focus on mending.
There was a lot of hellfire & brimstone growing up in the deep South. I rarely heard a message about a loving, friend God. The pulpit was used as a place to scare people into their salvation by reminding them of the shame & sin they were pressed under.
Being a product of everything wrong, I couldn’t imagine I’d have a spot in the Kingdom of this God. You had to be pure, flawless, & born on the altar to know any provision from this Lord. So I took my hurts & did what my daughter does – I covered them up.
So many coverings. I imagine if they could be seen by a human eye I would have appeared to be wrapped like a mummy. The gauze & the ointments I used felt good to stop pain temporarily, but every time something or someone got too close to the wound(s) my mind would sound the alarms. Careful, you’re damaged. And with that, I accepted my limp.
I spent years questioning God. “Why didn’t He prevent this or halt that? What was the point of having to endure this list of things? Why have both my children suffered through so much? Why did I?” To be honest, somewhere in my secret place I felt this was all a sham. “God doesn’t love ALL. He loves the good ones & punishes the generational line of the bad,” I assumed. Until…
In 2011, after being in Bible studies for the first time in my life, I attended a Beth Moore Conference. I arrived low on faith & life; I was exhausted. My daughter, one then, had hit another low in her medical journey. My husband & then teenage son weren’t even close to a relationship with God. I felt hopeless.
Toward the end of that event, I felt better, more upright, but started to sink inside because I had to go back to my realities when the day ended. The chords struck to Travis Cottrell’s version of “In Christ Alone.” I was so overcome & unglued that I thought immediately, “This is it. I want to die. Permanently die. That’s why God led me here today.”
Once the song finished, wet with tears, I proceeded to the front of the church & I died to myself. I re-dedicated my life, but for the right reasons this time. I allowed God to start removing my gauze one layer at a time. 6.5 years into that journey, He’s still unwrapping me.
After the conference I sat in my living room & had many talks with God. Some were angry, some emotional, some thankful, & many of my words were just tears. Through it all, He answered. I have reasons now; answers. And for the things I don’t have an understanding over, what He has provided me with instead is peace.
I stopped believing IN God & started to believe Him. The promises in His Word really were for all, especially me. “HE LOVES ME! HE LOVES ME!” Is still on repeat every day in my mind. Because of God’s love, I love. Because of His care for me, I care. His love has made my love better, more tender, forgiving, & humble.
I don’t question the “why’s” anymore. Instead I ask Him, “How?” How can I use my life & the long list of traumas to show His goodness & His love to others? It’s amazing where He’s opened doors for me to be what wasn’t available for myself. The stories & pain aren’t wasted; they haven’t left me void.
The years of removing what I assumed had been protective coverings has been excruciating at times. The air & water always sting exposed gashes, even when it’s the Holy breath of the Lord & the living water.
It’s true that God will bind up our wounds personally, but at some point He removes the binding so we can feel, yet heal with the salve & solvent that doesn’t leave us at risk for infection or re-opening of what’s been closed. That’s what His love does.
Overwhelming, washing, immaculate, sacrificial, parental, good, shocking, redeeming, forgiving, warm, intimate, nourishing, affectionate, kind- these are words I hold close today, when I explain what real love, Godly love, means to my soul.
I pray today, if you’ve been tied up in the formalities of religion & feel all churched out, that today you’ll sit at the feet of the Master & ask for a tidal wave of understanding to know His love; to experience a personal relationship. And finally receive the feeling of wholeness & complete repair.
It’s time to put away your Band-Aids, too.
INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:
John 9:1-3, NLT, As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”
Job 42:1-6, NLT, Then Job replied to the Lord:
“I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you.
You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,
things far too wonderful for me.
You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!
I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.’
I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
I take back everything I said,
and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
Are you in a season of believing in God rather than believing Him? Has the true experience of God’s love taken a backseat to religious activity & exhaustion? Have you bound your own wounds for so long that you’ve accepted numbness as real healing?