Saturday, March 3, 2012

No Wound is Beyond Healing...When God is the Physician

Paper cuts are nasty little buggers!  They sure put off an annoying sting for such a tiny wound.  I've never had a severe wound that needed stitching-up or a broken bone requiring a cast. Our physical bodies are made to heal. A small wound equals quick healing time.  Deep wound - longer recovery.  Even though deeper wounds take longer to heal, the body kicks in right away to repair the damage.  Truly amazing!

Relational and emotional wounds are different.  No platelets aggregate to the "injured" area and begin clotting the invisible wound to restore the person.  Actually, I think a person could "bleed out" from these types of wounds if not tended to.  Daryl and I ended up with such a wound in our relationship the 9th year of marriage.  A midst many factors, our time in Eastern Montana needed to come to an end and we needed to start healing our relationship and make a fresh start.  We were "bleeding out" and understood that something had to change.  

"Where does dad live?" Trey, then four, asked me one night.  
"He lives here, Honey," I answered, a bit surprised by the question.
"No he doesn't.  I don't see him sleep here.  Where does he sleep?"
"He sleeps here.  You just don't see him because he leaves early in the morning before you are up and he comes home after you are in bed."  I went into my room and cried my eyes out.

Daryl had grown busy in work and commitments and I had grown weary as a young mom of four small kids.  We argued more all the time - usually about lack of time together.  Nearly four years earlier, we had moved to Fallon so Daryl could start his own window business.  It went well for the first year, but soon tapered off.  We ended up farming.  Ironically, when we had been dating, I told Daryl  "if he planned on being a farmer or a pastor, I was not the girl for him."  At that time, he didn't think he planned on going home to farm.  Who would have known we'd end up there anyway?  We both emerged broken by the end of those years.  Some wounds came just from working so hard with little reprieve.  Some, from personal immaturity.  Some from words that we said.  But overall, it was just a tough situation.  I thought if we could change those circumstances that surrounded us, it could get better.  I will never forget what Daryl said though.  He said, "If we move, we take us along.  What if we find out it's just us?"  

A few months later, we went to a marriage retreat and one of the exercises was to draw a picture of your marriage as if it were a house.  Amazingly, Daryl and I had both drawn virtually the same thing.  A home with paint peeling, a shabby roof, shutters hanging, broken windows but... a strong foundation.  We knew we still really liked each other and we had a healthy, loving foundation the first years.  Over time, we'd just left our marriage unattended for too long and the wear and tear couldn't help but show.  

As tough as things had been, we assumed it would take years to mend the brokenness between us.  But it is startling how quickly a marriage can heal when two people ask the Lord to be in charge of the mending.  "God is in the business of redeeming," we'd often say in the years to follow.  What had been so broken  (and even shattered in some spots), was made new, and even better.  Looking back now, it doesn't even seem like the same "us" that we see now.  We will be married 20 years this August!  Moving did help us to have a fresh beginning with less external stress.  Even the simple act of eating dinner together did wonders!  The greatest transformation started as God softened our hearts toward each other and we got back to that initial unselfish love we had built as our foundation.

It still feels humbling to think back to those years and I have mixed feelings about putting them into black and white, BUT just in case someone is in a marriage where they think their wounded relationship is beyond repair, I want to say, "God is in the business of redeeming.  Please ask Him.  Whether you have a paper cut wound or a severe gouge, He miraculously heals us.  He knows what it's like to have wounds and scars.  By those stripes, we are healed."  No one has been pierced too deep to be healed.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  Psalm 147:3

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