Saturday, September 17, 2011
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
-- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
I know about seasons. I feel like I've lived a thousand Winters. A million Falls. Not enough Springs or Summers, but, indeed, I have had some. There have been times for "every activity under heaven." I have been born and I have died. I have planted, uprooted, killed, healed; I have woven in and out of all these seasons in the span of maybe ten years. Is that what the Lord means?
Or are we just supposed to know that there "is a time for everything?" Perhaps we aren't supposed to go out and do all these things, but simply know that "there is a time."
There is a time for this and that. For trouble and for goodness. What I get from that is that we are not supposed to plant ourselves in one spot. For instance, the problem I most have is that I lean backward into the past too often and get caught in memories. Memories with their own fragrance, their own theme song, their own attic room. There is a time...
I feel God saying to me, however: "But, Lisa, not all the time."
For there is also a time to let go of things, to plant yourself in the present with present-day people, children, friends, home, job, following Christ.
I found this excellent article on letting go of your past - not in the tossing-aside into the trash way that some may think, but rather in a gentle way that God calls.... read the article, Letting Go of Your Past and read how, exactly, you are called to do so. Do not be confused. Do not think it is bad to be caught up in your past, as I used to think. This article takes you through the gentle steps God calls.
As I write this, we are letting go of the carefree days of Summer and entering the sobering, school-filled-excitement season of Autumn. Fall. I often "fall" during Fall due to it being the anniversary of my mother's death. It will be 5 years this November. Historically, Autumn has brought with it ghosts and pain. Now, November 6th is a different kind of anniversary. Besides being the day my stepfather called me on the phone at 1:30 in the morning and told me to "be strong... your mother died...."... it is now, since last year, the day that I came to the Lord. The night I laid in bed beside Husband and he, first, prayed fervently for our marriage, for our walk with the Lord to increase, for us to fight wordly influences and take up the Cross and raise a Christ-centered family... now my day of opening my heart and life to the Lord is the exact day of the anniversary of Mom's passing. Accident?
God didn't want me to dread the season of Autumn. He didn't want me to fall every Fall. To let the pain and trauma take me over during the months September all the way through January. I didn't deserve that. My mom didn't deserve that. The people around me didn't deserve that. He wanted to give me a different idea of death. And now, I do know that Mom is with Him in heaven and yes - I will see her again. And that is comforting.
The air is crisp. Shades of gold, orange, yellow begin to warm the air and my view of the outside world. The season is changing. And that's okay. I am ready for this season. I am ready to view it differently. I am ready to let go of the past seasons and how they have stuck to me like molasses. I am ready to move on into celebration.
For there is a time to mourn and a time to celebrate. A time to die and a time to heal.
And without the Lord, I could not ever, ever move on to a different season. I would continue to be stuck in my old stubborn Wellington boots. Ready to walk through puddles and nothing else. Ready to see only the storms and not the rainbow.
There is a time...
Are you moving into the next season?
Bless you whether you move with ease or some gentle prodding....
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I used to heal in a vacuum. Meaning I believed that one healed through one's own devices, whether that be self-medicating, or, for me, therapy. I was raised in the therapy world of the 1980s, 1990s and early to mid 00s. Therapy was where I sought relief; I depended on my therapists to counsel me and therefore be "on the road to healing," as they would say.
I had a traumatic background. I learned early on that I would most likely be in therapy for the rest of my life. And so I hopped from one therapist to another the way children try different kinds of candy. But my pieces of candy had promises attached to them, promises that were given to me by my parents, by well-meaning friends, and other important people in my life. They wanted to see me helped. Healed. I really thought I could be healed through therapy, through a lifetime in someone's office, talking it all out, swallowing medication prescribed by well-meaning but undereducated psychiatrists. The healing would take place by myself, in the vacuum of my life.
This morning, while I drove to work listening to the contemporary Christian music radio station that is always on, I heard one of my favorite songs:
"Healing Begins" by Tenth Avenue North
I listened to those words carefully and I realized that I was not done with my healing - and more than that, I had gone about healing the wrong way. For doesn't it say in Proverbs 3:5:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding ?
My own understanding (and my thearpist's) was all I ever knew or depended on. So did I make an idol out of my therapist? You bet I did. And now that I'm Christian and following God's Word, do I take this verse a whole lot deeper? You bet I do.
So as I listened to "Healing Begins" this morning, I thought about the concept of healing. I realized that I am healing a little every day - and not just from past wounds. Healing is not only a past-thing. I am assaulted every day with trappings of my ego and forces that don't want me to walk with God. Every day is a constant battle to remain faithful, to remain confident in the knowledge of who I am under God.
I am under a lot of present-day, constant stress and I bet you are, too. But with the grace and presence of God - through the Bible, prayer, other Christian resources such as friends and books, healing becomes a constant effort. Does it have to be an effort, though? Life can be so effortful as it is. But this I tell you: pray unceasingly. Keep open your mind and heart and dialogue with the Lord. Walk with others who walk with the Lord. And as we realize that, with God, we are healing every day, life becomes less overwhelming. Day to day. We are not doing this alone in a vacuum. With God, there is no vacuum. When we love Him, we open ourselves up to a huge, expansive world of supernatural love that can make a tough day feel like a mere annoying itch.
So when I need to heal, I don't depend only on my therapist or medication. I turn to prayer. I turn to God's Word. I turn to Him and ask His help. And always, always, I feel relief.
"The light meets the dark..."
His light meets my dark...
and I am washed in His love.
I wish you healing of a deep and profound nature and that you recognize the need for God's almighty assistance. Sit on His couch and try that one for size.