Last Friday one of my friends Melissa posted a blog post titled Five Minute Fridays and she wrote on the word Tender. As I wrote her small post I couldn’t help but realize what she was talking about was exactly what I was feeling.
The last few weeks have been tough. The last few months to be honest have been rough. And as I sat and read her blog post I couldn’t help but be in awe that what I had been trying to identify was being written out.
I was hurt. I was left down. and I felt incredibly stupid. I wondered how I had allowed myself to get to that place and why I had let myself become so vulnerable. I was back to a place where I thought I had moved past: a place of old ghosts and haunting pain. For a moment, I honestly didn’t know how to move forward. Everyone I talked to I explained why I was alright, how everything was going to be fine and yet… I didn’t know exactly how that was going to happen.
But it did. I moved forward. I took it one day at a time…. I took down photos. I threw away mementos and I allowed myself space. But it still hurt like hell. I cried. I ate ice cream. I watched movies and cried some more.
And then I started listening. I invested time where God had placed me, with my friends and within ministry. I stopped allowing my emotions to dictate what my response was going to be. I remembered to enjoy simple pleasures: belly laughing, sugar hang-overs, bizarre sit-coms, warm beds and cocoon moments with God.
And slowly the pain became less. I wasn’t holding what hurt, protecting it but I also wasn’t going out my way to use it. And then there was only a light pain. As the days go past, as I move forward into the fear that is the future things continue to get better.
And yet in all that I experience those tender moments. When I miss one of my best friends, when I feel as though I never knew him, when I feel alone and when I think about the future. It is when I least expect it, when I’m moving full steam ahead with no thought to what was broken, I hit it and feel the pain.
And that is when I must remember that healing takes time. And it isn’t something I can do myself….
In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis there is a passage that speaks about the undragoning of Eustace….
“The water was as clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg. But the lion told me I must undress first. Mind you, I don’t know if he said any words out loud or not. “I was just going to say that I couldn’t undress because I hadn’t any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that’s what the lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe. “But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that’s all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I’ll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this underskin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe. “Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good. “Then the lion said – but I don’t know if it spoke – ‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it. “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know – if you’ve ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away…Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on – and threw me into the water…”
Sometimes when you allow God to tear off your layers, your wounds it hurts a great deal. And once it is done you are tender to the touch…. but then and only then is when we are able to be fully healed.
And so I put myself into a spot of vulnerability with God: to rip at the huge, ugly, scaly mess that surrounds me, that I can’t quite get off myself and I allow for him to throw me into the water.
I’m scared, hurting and I wish I could do it myself but… once I allow God to fully undragon me then I will be more myself: smaller and softer than I have been.
Do you have areas where you are tender to the touch?
Where God wants to get in and tear off what is holding you back but you don’t allow him to?
I challenge you to surrender to the momentary pain,
for a release that will allow complete healing.
**Please forgive me for an extremely long post!**