I recently took a short tumble down the stairs in our home. Let me rephrase that, I took a very ungraceful slide down our carpeted staircase. I wasn’t hurt more than a bruised bottom and a few rug burns on my arms. If you have had a rug burn you know they can be very tender. I decided to put a couple of bandages on them to cover them. I found in our “bandage” box only large bandages that would cover the back of my hands. I now had two huge bandages placed, one on each arm. You know, those great big ones.
The next morning I got up early to attend a networking event. It was a very unseasonably warm day in Texas so I chose a short-sleeved blouse to wear. I really didn’t think about the bandages and that their placement would be seen by others in the meeting. Once I arrived at the weekly event, the first person I saw said, “Oh my gosh, what happened to your arms?”. Really, I haven’t even picked my seat or grabbed my coffee and someone is asking about my wounded arms? I don’t want to sound ungrateful for their concern but my tumble was a day before and mostly forgotten (except when I sat down on my bruised bottom).
“Oh, I am fine. Just got a few rug burns sliding down our stairs yesterday.” As simple as my response was I felt a profound kickback in my heart. I felt that someone has noticed an injury in my life, a wound that wasn’t yet healed. What if we wore bandages on our forehead when our mind is wounded or on our hearts when it is broken. The world would see our injuries and maybe they would ask what happened.
I looked around the room as people were settling into their chairs wondering where their bandage would be. I saw a dear friend that recently had lost her father too. I knew where her bandage would be. I saw someone I knew was battling depression and anxiety. A forehead bandage for her. I saw someone that was filing for divorce, another chest/heart bandage there.
I soon realized that everyone in the room should be wearing a bandage. When we see the obvious injury covered by a bandage we are interested and ask. I bet 99% of the people we see daily we should be asking what their injury is and how we can administer aid.
Many people have had their injuries for so long that they are scars and no longer obvious to themselves or others. I deal with many people that are grieving, have been a victim of a violent crime, are lonely, feel abandoned by God, or maybe dressed or anxious. Some people accept their healed scars as just life and they just ignore that maybe that scar can be debrided (definition; to remove (e. g., dead tissue) surgically from a wound).
I worked for eighteen years in veterinary medicine in surgical centers. Probably, if I remember correctly, we would debride an old wound that wouldn’t heal several times a month. The process was to go in, scrape or cut out the scar so that we could attach two fresh pieces of skin together so it would heal. It took the surgical removal of the dead tissue (injury) to offer new healing to the old wound. What if we could do this for people’s hearts and minds?
I’m not a counselor, psychiatrist, or anything clinically competent to offer medical advice but I speak from my heart. A heart that was wounded deeply by a rough first marriage. My heart was so broken and embarrassed I wasn’t sure it would heal. A heart that needed an elephant size bandage. I didn’t want anyone to know. But you know what? My heart is healed. I debrided my heart so new freshness could come in and offer new life.
You may wonder how I did this and I would tell you that the only way my heart healed was to allow God to heal it. God knew my misery, embarrassment, lack of confidence, and feelings of unworthiness. All He asked of me was to put a bandage on my heart so others would see my wounds. He would refresh the break with new healing. It took me to allow that to happen.
Just like in the debriding surgery, I had to look at the scar and assess the damage. My scar was a man who chose his own life over that of me and our daughter. He chose his own pleasures daily instead of what his family needed. I took this as rejection, being unloved, not a good enough wife or mother, and so on. It tore me down daily over and over. That was my initial injury.
I didn’t tend to my injury. I let it fester and ooze for years. I accepted what my situation was and what my life was to be, a wife that was truly a single mother. One night before going to sleep as I looked at my small daughter sleeping next to me, I came to the realization that we both deserved a better life. I cried for hours not understanding how this would happen and when I awoke, the sun was shining through my bedroom window and it was so clear. Move to Texas, be with your family, and leave this life behind. That’s what I did.
As I began to plan the new life for myself and Lexie, I could actually feel my confidence building and HOPE returning. I felt God start scaping the old scar to open it up for new healing. He wanted the scar gone as badly as I wanted it gone.
As my heart had fresh edges, I saw our future in different eyes. I saw a new better paying job, a new home, new friends, new opportunities for Lexie, and most of all we would be with my mom and dad in Texas.
I took my healing one step at a time. I didn’t rip the bandage off quickly so the pain would only be for a short time. I pulled it slowly so it wouldn’t cause another scar. I took small steps in understanding how I allowed my injury to control my life. I looked at how my ex-husband made decisions that were centered on his pleasure. I’m not at fault for his choices. This was the first and best understanding I had of my wound. I recognized the injury and healing that was to take place. I understood that God would lift me into healing and my heart would no longer be broken and scarred. Just like in this picture, sets of hands holding a heart (my young daughter and mine) and bigger hands (GOD) surrounding the two sets of hands, this picture represents how my heart looks now.
Please look at your scar wherever it may be and visualize a bandage on it. Recognize it needs to be healed and trust God to be the healer. My love and gratitude-LoLo
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