My Daddy passed his strong work ethic down to me. We are busy people, Daddy and I, always efficient and hard-working. We’ve both been known to go in to work while running a fever or nursing a cold. Of course, the underlying current in both of us is a pride that says, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” It drives our loved ones crazy.
I’ve never let discomfort, illness, tiredness, or even pregnancy slow me down if I could help it. (Although in 10th grade I once skipped driver’s ed because of a bad hair day.)
God pretty much has to knock me flat on my back (or give me a really bad hair day) if he wants me to quit.
I once said my motto was “never sit down.” And I really meant it.
Seems so sophomoric to me now as a middle-aged woman.
One time, my Daddy came over to build a wooden arbor above our patio. He was in his no-nonsense, hard-working mode, sweating up a storm and barking commands as he worked. At one point, he haphazardly laid his drill on top of the ladder. A few minutes later, I bumped into the ladder by mistake. The drill fell onto my leg at just the right angle to stab me in the shin with the drill bit. When we picked up the drill, the bit was broken off which made me think it must be buried in my leg somewhere! It hurt like crazy. I couldn’t walk. I hobbled into the house and treated the wound to stop the bleeding. There was no drill bit embedded in my leg, thank goodness, but the pain was deep and excruciating. I struggled not to cry.
But as soon as I slapped a bandaid on the wound, Daddy was back at it and expecting me to get back to work. I pushed through and obeyed his orders. I acted strong. I’m not afraid of pain.
My leg was sore for weeks. Someone told me later that puncture wounds are, by nature, intensely painful. It didn’t look that bad. I’ve had superficial scrapes that appeared much worse. But the pain went deep, down to the bone.
Healing from Church Wounds
That’s what church once did to me. Church left me with a puncture wound.
I thought it was superficial. A scrape that would scab over and heal quickly. But it wasn’t and it didn’t.
My church wound was a low hemorrhage, a bruise bone-deep that is still taking its sweet time to get well. It may not look like much on the surface, but the spot is still tender.
For more than two years, I was one of the walking wounded at church, constantly fighting back tears and screams and big ugly sobs. I held myself together and forced a smile, even though I was shattered inside. I blamed myself, shamed myself, chided myself to get my act together. But the facade I created was just a bandaid and it couldn’t contain the injury.
I read a post a while back about the five stages of church grief. I can relate. Now that I’m involved in another church congregation, I think I’m finally working my way into stage five, acceptance. But it’s been a long, crooked road.
The scars will always exist, even after the wound is completely healed. Scars to remind me where I’ve come from. Scars to change me for the better. Scars to remind me Who my Healer is.
Have you ever been wounded by those you counted dear? Family, friends, or a church that felt like home? Those hurts can cut deepest.
I know how you feel. You aren’t alone, even though it may feel like it. There is a Healer who wants to mend your broken heart, to bind up your wounds and hold you close until you can walk again. He is Jesus and He’s as close as the mention of His name.
Cry to Him and let Him begin to heal your deepest wounds.
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For further reading, see “When Church Hurts” by Shawna at Not the Former Things