Sometimes, I water down words. I lessen their value, normalizing powerful expressions to the extent strong words become less significant. One word, in particular, caught my attention recently as I listened to a touting of the benefits of a skincare product. The female voice predicted that over time my age-damaged complexion could be new, completely repaired and healed. I realized my idea of healing had for most of my life meant only a slight change, a manageable part of me, that I would always be less than beautiful. I’m thinking differently now; still adjusting but beginning to be less captivated by my harm and more by my healing.
For so long, I’ve held tightly to my harm from abuse. My days and nights have been marked by reminders that prodded the scars of my heart’s wounds, the scars that would be forever tender. Talking with others who understood or at least could attempt to be empathic, I was committed to my mindset, a decision to “keep my stuff”. It was a huge part of me, made me who I am, and it belonged to me. I’d envision myself holding it all gathered up in my arms clutched firmly and keeping it very close to my chest. I protected it, the trauma that was mine. Why would I ever let it go?
Slowly, I’m starting to understand healing, that to be healed is to be repaired. To be healed is to be free and if it was for freedom that Christ set me free, oh my goodness, how could I not believe?
For far too long I’ve worn my trauma like an ill-fitting and badly stained undergarment. Outwardly, I’ve been able to go on with life and even use my trauma stories to help others. Telling other women fleeing abuse that they could pull through, all the while succumbing to the pulling of me back and with every sharing of my story, I conjured up an invisible hand clenched tightly on my shoulder, still controlling me, still hovering, still keeping me in submission. Like the woman who suffered for twelve years yet found the courage to carry on despite damaged condition, finally I believe, it is possible to be forever healed.
You may know and love the story. Jesus heals a woman who interrupts his mission to heal the daughter of a ruler. The crowd is thick, and she hopes to go unnoticed. Careful in her approach, not wanting to be called out, she is brave, and she is hopeful. She barely touches his garment as he passes and is healed. Forever she’d remember the very second, no longer held captive by her condition. She’d remember too, that He sought her when He could have simply continued on His way. He wanted to be sure she knew she her experience was transformative.
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed. Luke 8:46-47 ESV
No longer cowering in the crowd, she proclaims her immediate healing. Like the woman suffering and stained by her blood flow, we who have met Jesus have been healed. We are free to walk unhindered and unashamed because of our former tainted stains. Freedom, healing, salvation, and redemption, all words dispersed generously on the pages God’s word. Words made most powerful when we embrace them, believe and speak them. Like the woman who interrupted the path of Jesus and was content to keep her healing to herself, I sometimes treat my healing like a sacred secret, fearing to truly believe would mean to truly let my past be passed.
Oh, what freedom I’m finding since believing another way. What a change in perspective in a time when all around me are voices telling of trauma and beckoning me to engage. Opportunities to join in talks of abuse and so many women bravely finding their voices and eventually I pray, find healing. May they not linger too long like me in the memories traumatic and see there is joy in forgetting. It is permissible, it is freeing, it is I believe what Jesus desires, that we believe we are healed and that we go, we go in peace and unhindered by past harm.
And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace.” Luke 8:48 ESV
~ Meet Lisa Anne Tindal ~
Lisa Anne Tindal, a non-profit executive director by day, helps women who are homeless, individuals affected by mental illness and people who are struggling with suicide as a possible solution for themselves or someone they love. Lisa Anne is the mama to three adults and a Labrador and a wife to a patient man. Lisa Anne writes mostly about people God puts on her path, the lessons they teach her. She prays her words prompted by the Holy Spirit bring hope to every reader.
Artwork and writing can be found at Quiet Confidence