I’ll never forget this one sleepover in my childhood. It was a slumber party with a girl that I didn’t know well – a homeschool family that had been involved in a girls group with us a few times, but that was it. The girl was nice and her other friends were very kind and I felt welcome that is, until I really needed something.
The details are fuzzy in my mind. I can’t remember exactly what we were doing on the treadmill, but whatever it was it probably was lacking in a fair amount of intelligence because I ended up flying off the back and getting a gash in my knee. No one saw my knee right after the accident and I rushed to the bathroom to tend to my wound myself.
I pressed it as hard as I could with a wad of toilet paper to try and stop the bleeding and changed into longer clothes that covered it up. I was embarrassed that I was hurt. I was afraid of what my friend’s mother would say and that she would be disappointed in me, or even her own daughter, for my having gotten hurt in the first place.
I kept my banged up knee a secret all that night and into the next morning. My mom noticed it right away when she picked me up and my poor friend’s mother was absolutely horrified that she hadn’t done anything to bandage it up. As a mother myself now, I know how horrified I would be if the same situation unfolded in my house. But it wasn’t her fault - she didn’t even know about it. She couldn’t have helped me unless I asked her too.
I think we forget that it’s the same way with God. God really does hold our free will as sacred. He will not barrel into our lives and wrest control of them from us. But when I think back to that incident in my childhood, when I let the shame of even having been hurt keep me from seeking healing from the person that could’ve helped, I realize how often I still do that with God.
We sit on the street, cradling our broken hearts and bleeding wounds just inches away from the hospital.
We are ashamed that we even need a hospital so we don’t go inside.
Maybe we don’t even believe that they will let us in if we try.
But regardless of the reason the result is the same: we tend our wounds as best we can on our own, which is not very well, and then we wonder why we never get better.
Chances are if you are struggling with a broken identity there is a wound somewhere that never got attention. Maybe you’ve been holding soggy toilet paper to it in an attempt to just make it stop bleeding for years. Maybe it’s even gotten infected and all the sudden your whole life is overrun with gangrenous ills. Maybe your left feeling like whole parts of yourself need to simply be amputated because the idea of actually healing seems too far-fetched to believe.
The reality is that Christ is our doctor and the church is his hospital. His heart is burning with the desire to make you well again, even to make you better than you’ve ever been before. He will offer all this to you and more, but He needs you to ask.
Hobble in to that hospital clutching your heart, clutching your wounds, doing whatever it takes to simply get inside the door.
That’s all you have to do. Just bring yourself in.
You don’t have to know how to heal yourself.
You don’t have to be the one doing the healing.
You just have to come in and let him.
Bring him the lies you’ve believed about yourself since childhood – that you were worthless, unlovable, a burden, a mistake, a scar on the face of humanity.
Bring him the abuse, the doubts, the anxiety, the depression, bring it all to Him.
Like any good doctor, he does not promise quick fixes or instant results. He does not peddle in snake oil. But he will serve you tirelessly on your path to healing.
You will no longer be alone.
You will be folded into his heart. There you can find hope and be strengthened, even if wounds remain. You will never, ever be worse off for seeking Christ and his healing.
Are you like me at that slumber party right now? Telling yourself it’s just a flesh wound and that if you focus on something else it’ll go away?
I encourage you to seek the Healer. Bring him your wounds every day so that he can heal you, whether in mind, body, or spirit.
All you have to do is bring them to him.
Is your identity a wound you carry with you? Have you invited Christ into healing it? Tell us your story in the comments. We'd love to sit with you where you are and minister to you.