Life gets heavy sometimes. There are things that happen that are out of our control and before you know it, we are left exhausted and feeling powerless. So the question becomes, how do we move forward? How do we take all life has dealt us and press on as whole, healthy humans? This took me a bit to figure out, honestly.
There have been things in my past (some distant, some not so much) that have done harm or just left me feeling depleted. Naturally, I did what any person would do- I sought help. Now, don’t get me wrong, help is wonderful. I found it in dance – it was a wonderful world I went to where I could work out my frustrations physically and find fun and joy. There were Oprah quotes and inspirational apps, books and great nuggets from deep thinkers, and even in daily devotionals from my Bible app – it was all very well and good. Eventually, though, I started to notice something. When I was alone in my room and night would come or when I would wake up with the reality I had to face the day – that depleted feeling came back. In my interactions with others, in my relationships – the way I reacted to many situations felt suspiciously like the same patterns that led me down unhelpful roads before. When my back was to the wall and I was anxious or lonely or afraid or tired – I’d suddenly become the girl I thought I’d left behind. It got the best of me sometimes.
It took a bit, but I realized that I was looking at it all wrong. There’s a difference, I’ve found, between help and healing.
Help is valuable. It’s all the things I mentioned above. It’s talking to your friends who are in the same situation as you. It’s doing things that make you smile and makes your soul feel good. Help makes you happy. Help, though, is not enough. Most of us stop at help, which more often than not keeps us pretty much where we are or convinces us that we can heal ourselves in our own power. I’ve even looked to God for help in the sense that I would pray and cry out and ask Him to fix problems while not doing anything to actively seek His face or change my lifestyle. Instead, I fooled myself into thinking I was relying on God when really I was just saying some words that sounded good and hoping he would pacify my soulish wants instead of nourish what my spirit needed. Help is not bad or evil, it’s good. But good is a band-aid at best.
Healing, on the other hand, is an active process. It hurts sometimes. It’s challenging. It grows us and stretches us and puts us in uncomfortable positions to see just where we are truly in the trust we say we have in God. Healing requires sacrifice – of pride and former ways of being and thinking. And it requires us to sacrifice what our solution would be for God’s will. It’s going to mentors & those who are wiser than us and asking for advice – and then implementing it. It’s praying and laying our soul bare before God. It’s being active in our church – a community of people who will not agree with us to settle or quit and who spur us on in love. Healing doesn’t always feel great in the moment, but what it breeds is complete. It is whole. It is perseverance and character and hope. It is peace and it is a new beginning.
Help tends to be a sticking point, healing is a starting point. With healing, we take our lives back, viewing them in the context of God’s best for our present & future without the weight of the past.
Have you stopped at help or are you seeking healing?