Our newspaper reported the problem of space vehicles threatened by the remains of rockets and satellites, orbiting or floating indefinitely in space with no atmosphere to break them down. You may wonder why I reveal my thoughts, or my work on deeper issues that would be more comfortable to ignore or conceal. Experiences that harm us, cause impeded growth, or lodge as resentment can become like space junk, orbiting somewhere in the background of our lives.
As long as it’s floating, we can’t control our life junk. It’s difficult to protect ourselves from a head-on collision, or worse, heal if we are blind-sided by an unexamined past. And if we have to focus on avoidance, we lose the resources needed to reach our destination, the life we were created to live.
I’ve benefited from various counselors at critical times in my life. Years ago, pain and an intolerable life situation pushed me to seek help. I attended group therapy with a psychiatrist, and grew close to several of the ladies in our post-therapy dinners together. I clearly recall a session with the doctor. One of the women, usually very quiet, talked about various family members who had passed her around in her childhood. She sat forward, hand shaking and ashes falling from her cigarette, and gasped. “No one ever wanted me. No one ever really loved me.” I wanted to run across the room and comfort her, but the doctor simply looked at his watch, stood and pronounced, “Time’s up.” He motioned for the now sobbing woman, scribbled out a prescription for a higher dose of Valium, and turned his back on us.
I wanted to scream, “That’s all? You work for months to uncover her deepest wounds, and that’s all you have to offer?”
She went downhill from there.
And it broke my heart.
That was during a time when I’d felt like heaven was shut up, that God hadn’t answered my prayers in a painful situation.
That I was on my own.
But seeing the devastation in that woman’s eyes, I knew I needed more than myself. More than my own power to heal, and more than any outside help I could engage. In the end, all they could do was try to mask the pain.
I began to pray again.
The sweet Spirit of the Lord shone into my heart, just enough light to see one step ahead. And an assurance, like a gentle hand on my shoulder, that the Lord would reveal what needed healing when I was ready, and that the Spirit would be there to provide the power.
Counseling and therapy can reveal a festering wound or a scar that needs grafting, but has no power in itself to perform the necessary procedure for a cure.
The Holy Spirit became my counselor and healer.
That’s not to say my life has been perfect ever since then! Far from it.
The Spirit of the Lord is limited by how much I will open my eyes to see, and how much control I will give up for the Power to work in me. When you come from a dysfunctional or abusive childhood, that isn’t easy to do. You learn not to see, and to control as much as you can, to stay alive.
It’s been a long, winding road. I’ve been hurt, and made mistakes, and have grown desperate. At been times I sought counseling, and tried to find someone with a faith anchor.
But I’ve never sat with shaking hands and broken heart, looking into an empty well.
When I was afraid, injured or felt abandoned, my Lord assured me I was not alone.
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”…
You have always been my helper.…
O God of my salvation!
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the LORD will hold me close.
The worst years are far behind me now. So much healing and blessing have brought great joy, in spite of physical challenges. I relish time with my family, friends, life itself.
I can live and worship with a whole heart, and sing and share from deep places, carved from healed wounds.
What about you? Are there times when your life feels like a video game, with creatures randomly popping up? You struggle to bonk them out of sight, but there’s always another?