We can’t get healing from something we don’t know is there.
This past week, I got tested for coronavirus. And it taught me a whole lot about healing.
Shortly after graduation weekend, I learned that several people I was with tested positive for corona. When I found this out, I juggled with the idea of getting tested myself, but then was overwhelmed with the nerves of knowing.
It came down to this question: Is it better to know about having coronavirus and get healed, but have everyone avoid you like the plague, OR is it better to turn a blind eye and hope for the best?
I decided I would rather know if I had a fatal disease rather than ignore it. So, I decided to get the test.
How can you heal from something if you don’t know you are sick?
I got my booty to the testing center and arrived with my stomach in knots. Like a scene out of Contagion, these two doctors covered head to toe arrived to the window of my car and stuck a foot-long stick up my nose. (Yup. Not a fun experience.)
Yet, after the torture was over (the tubes were only in there for a couple of seconds), I felt a sense of relief. Driving home, I decided it was better to know if I had a problem than not, because how on earth are you supposed to heal from something if you don’t know it’s there? You’ll never know if you need healing if you never know you are sick.
After waiting a couple of days, my results eventually came back negative. Even so, I was so glad I took the path of knowledge, rather than ignorance.
What problem are you turning a blind eye to?
In our own lives, it’s easier to ignore our own problems, rather than acknowledge them. We’ll turn a blind eye, even if we know that’s exactly the place we need to invite God into so we can be on the path to wholeness.
For months, I knew I had an unhealthy relationship with food. But I chose to ignore it.
I knew my relationship with food was a little too obsessive, and unhealthy. I was constantly thinking about food, at all hours of the day. I knew deep down that excessive calorie counting and meal-planning wasn’t quite right, but I masked it with trying to be “healthy.” I didn’t want to even acknowledge the idea that I might have an issue with disordered eating. So I walked in my own ignorance, for months. And I was miserable.
Every time the Lord convicted me of my unhealthy relationship with food and tried to enter this space, I would kick him out. It was like my whole life was filled with light, and then this one area I hid in the darkness with my obsession over food, and the Lord stood a couple feet away in the light. I drew a line around me in the darkness and wouldn’t let him in. It was almost like I enjoyed being alone in there.
But the more I stayed in the darkness, the more the darkness grew.
Shame grows in the dark.
We think the problems that we ignore will just go away. But the more we ignore them, the more power we give them. We actually take away its power when we are brave enough to bring them to the light.
There came a point where I just couldn’t live in the darkness anymore. And I laid down my struggles with food at the Lord’s feet. And I said, “Here’s this really, really ugly and messy area of my life. I give this to you. And I really need your help.”
After bringing it to Jesus, I eventually found a counselor and started my path to healing. But it was only when I acknowledged that I needed help that I could move to wholeness.
Jesus said this: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Luke 5:31)
Jesus is in the business of healing. And all of us have things in our lives that we are sitting in the darkness, hiding away. And God is just standing outside the little circles we’ve created around ourselves, waiting for us to trust Him with our mess. Waiting to give us the freedom He always hoped for us to walk in.
When we finally acknowledge our wounds, we can finally heal.
What are you in the dark with? Chances are it is telling you that this is where you can be happy, but really it is only making you miserable.
When I was in the dark, I was believing that the more I’d obsess over food, the more beautiful I’d feel. But it only made me feel worthless. In the dark we are fed lies, and it only makes us fall harder for the trap.
What are you leaving God and everyone else out of? Is it also an unhealthy relationship? Or is it abuse that you faced as a child, that you’ve never told anyone about? Or is it the lie you believe that every guy will cheat on you because your last boyfriend did?
When we finally acknowledge our wounds, and give them attention, we are finally able to move towards healing.
With courage and bravery, you can bring these areas to the light. You can reach out to God in the darkness, and say, “Here is my mess. Please help.”
Healing is hard work.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”
This verse from Ephesians really helped me after I told my mom about my struggles. Because it made me see that it is only when we bring our shame to the light that we can experience true healing.
Lemme tell ya – healing is hard work. This is why a lot of people just ignore their issues. Ignoring things is easy, but it’s not best.
We can ignore our unhealthy relationship with food, we can ignore our anger issues, we can ignore the emotional abuse, we can ignore the toxic relationship with a guy who treats us like scum, we can ignore our pain from the past, we can ignore our hopeless thoughts about our future – we can ignore them all because that is what is easy.
But then we go lifetimes carrying weight that was never ours to carry. Although it is harder to acknowledge these struggles, it’s the only way to truly walk in freedom.
We have a helper in our healing.
And we are not alone! We have a helper to walk us through the dark and into the light. It’s really the Lord’s job to be strong where we are weak, and when we are healing from something, we need the Lord’s strength more than ever before.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
It’s time to be brave.
This week, I dare you to be brave. And I dare you to bring what you’ve hidden away for so long to the light. This can look like bringing it to Jesus in prayer. Or it can look like telling a trusted friend or parent. When we are courageous to bring our struggles to the light, the Lord will not leave us the same. He will truly transform us as He takes our hand on the path to healing.
And just like I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders after getting tested for COVID, I am so excited for you to experience that same kind of bliss.
The minute you bring what’s in the dark to the light is the exact minute you start your healing journey. It’s the moment God can bring you closer to wholeness. It’s the very moment where you can experience the joy and freedom you were always supposed to walk in.
You are brave enough to step out of the darkness. You are brave enough to choose freedom and light. Now is the time to walk to the other side, and feel the freedom your heart so earnestly craves. Now is the time to be brave.