When my first book BEYOND THE BOLTED DOOR came out a month ago, I was so not prepared for the vast range of emotions I would have. I have gone from someone in pain who held back tears for years, to someone who cries every other 10 minutes! I hide within the confines of long naps. It feels like all those hidden, bottled up emotions were locked in an old wine bottle, stored in a dark, dusty cellar until that day when the 50 year old corkscrew flew off. I spilled out everywhere! THAT is the best way I have found yet to describe how I currently feel.
JOURNEY TO HEALING
I went through all that journey of backtracking into the cesspool of my hidden past, dealing with its ugliness, shame and effects on my life – it was too much of too much but I did it. I felt like I had to, to break it from being a curse that would come down through the generations of those I love the most. Now, it is done. I did it. And I am exhausted to the core of my soul. I have no more words. I have no smiles. I have no inspiration. I have no joy. I could sleep for days, weeks, months. So, now what. Well, I have learned that AFTER you heal from anything, you need therapy. After my knee replacements, physical therapy was a ‘have to’ in my healing. WHY would I think I could face my demons head on, slay them, and then just walk away like I hadn’t just battled for my life?
There Will Be Pain
When I had double knee replacement, they beat my old knees into smithereens – which means, they destroyed them. All the arthritis, all the decay, all the lameness, all the broken and fractured parts of both of my entire knees. I am SO glad I was NOT awake to witness that.
One week later, I ran in a 5K with my new knees and I won, as I outran every other runner – all 246 of them.
I still have not run in a 5K.
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Point being, I was in excruciating pain. I needed help. I needed physical therapy. I needed to do the same routine day after day, month after month of lifting my knees up and making them bend. It took a long time, not gonna lie. But little by little, my new knees made me feel like I was bionic; reborn even – like I had my teen knees back!
You know where I am going with this.
A dear friend said something so ridiculously simple to me as I tried to put my feelings into words to her – she said, “You need recovery therapy.” In writing my book, I did NOT realize that the road beyond my own bolted door would be unrecognizable to me. Our lives are governed by roads. Roads are pathways. They take us places. Simple concept, right? Except when we all of a sudden realize we are lost, and we have no idea which road is the right one. What if you spend your whole life backtracking to find the right road you should be on, or a detour you missed, or a new road that you never considered taking?
When you decide to get help for yourself, for whatever issue you have – whether physical or mental, it first comes with an admission that something is wrong – something is off. Then comes that stage of denial – I know something is wrong, but do I really want to know what it is. Do I really want to go through what will need to be done to get answers? Is the pain of healing really worth knowing the truth, no matter how dark and deep and terrible? We avoid truth because truth hurts. and it requires change. and it is out of our comfort zone. I mean, really – who says, bring on the pain!
Healing Is Painful
Healing is painful. Hear me. In fact, let me say it again – healing is painful. Anyone recovering from a surgery knows what I am talking about. Yes, you have new knees. Yes, your bone has been reset. Yes, you beat Covid. But there is an aftermath. And really, it is initially why we wait so long before we go see a doctor or get a diagnosis or start treatment. We KNOW it will change everything and we KNOW it will be painful. It seems easier to cover our eyes and ears and pretend everything is okay.
I was not prepared to heal from my shame and the burden of a secret carried for so long, and reappear as a stranger. Assuming, I thought I would know WHO I was when I ran into myself again. I really, really expected this. And THIS is NOT what happened. And THIS is why I have so much more to heal from, so I can share it with you. God has truly held me together and if there was ANY good in me to be seen or partaken of, well – it was only Him IN me. Somehow in all my dysfunction and PTSD and fear and shame, my ‘core being’ grabbed onto God and wouldn’t let go – or, He grabbed on to me and wouldn’t let ME go – or both! “I will cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose in me.” (Psalm 57:2)
PAIN TO PURPOSE
I can see now though something I never considered. We have to be spilled out for God to use us! If I never tell my story, then I never can comfort someone who feels alone in their story. If I don’t let myself feel all the feels, where will empathy for others’ pain be born? Maybe this is where I begin to live out the words I spoke in faith, while I was facing my spill. “You will do everything you have promised; LORD, Your love is eternal. Complete the work that You have begun.” (Psalm 138:8)
For all of us facing any truth of a painful secret or a hidden burden, it is much like having a surgery. It is a Soul Replacement Surgery, done by Doctor Jesus (who, by the way, never leaves random tools behind or charges too much or forgets to check on your progress.) The truth WILL set you free. And it will hurt while you heal. But, you did it. May all the shame and blame and pain RIP as you get your life back, piece by piece, little by little, step by step. Beyond The Bolted Door
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) I have learned I can trust God with my heart and with the road I am traveling on beyond my own bolted door.
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