I know what you're thinking...YUCK! Who wants to read about that? But I promise this post won't be about things that make your skin crawl. Rather, it is an attempt to tell you all about a very valuable lesson I recently learned about healing.
There is a small scar right above the knuckle of my middle finger on my right hand. In a rush to retrieve my phone from the floor a few weeks ago, I managed to get one heck of a rug burn! That tiny sore turned into a pretty big scab just a few days later. About a week after that, the scab fell off leaving a small circle several shades lighter than the skin on the rest of my hand.
During this process, I found myself likening what was happening on my hand to what was happening in my life. I could compare the swift and startling pain of my initial brush against the carpet to the equally swift and startling end of my relationship about a year and a half ago. The wound appeared; open, stinging, burning, and uncomfortable. Over time, I got better. With the combination of patience, prayer, love and support from family and friends, and keeping myself busy, I guess you could say the scab began to form.
Like any healing wound, despite the scab some elements of discomfort remained. A healing wound might itch. What-ifs became that itch for me. From time to time, despite the progress I was making I would find myself lost in a world of what-ifs. What if I had called more? What if I had visited him more? What if I had expressed my own feelings less? What if I had more money? Ridiculous, right? I had a hard time accepting that the itching was all a part of the process.
Then came the part we all hate. Why is it the scab always falls off when we're certain the wound hasn't completely healed? So there you are, left with a wound you already began to convince yourself was "all better"...open, stinging, burning, and uncomfortable all over again. You see, I'd fooled myself into believing that the healing process of my heart was entirely different from the healing process of my body. The scab fell off, and all of that initial pain I experienced when the wound was created came rushing back. You're reminded of the thing that caused the pain in the first place. You are taken back to the exact moment that it happened. You cry. You cringe. You curse.
Then, as you realize the pain isn't so bad and perhaps that it really doesn't hurt as bad as it did the first time, you start to focus on the process you've already seen happen once. You tell yourself that you know it will heal. You may apply medicine to help speed things up. What was Neosporin for my hand, was time with the people I love and time spent writing for my heart. Eventually, little remains of the wound. Perhaps a lingering scar stays to serve as a reminder, and depending on the depth of wound, perhaps you might even experience a little sensitivity in that area from time to time.
I recently learned there may be occasions when I will need to remind myself that "healing" is very different from "healed". The former implies a process, one that varies from person to person, experience to experience, and wound to wound. So, I'll leave you with this little nugget I stumbled upon a few months ago...
Let's regain control!