"Sister Gladys, I’d like to see you later please", the pastor's wife said.
"Chei! What have I done or haven't done this time?, I exclaimed to no one in particular in the almost empty church auditorium . "Finally", I continued as I drove for my appointment with the Pastor's wife. "Sister Carol has had enough of my constant "harassment" over her height issue that she has reported me. You see, I love sister carol but she is pint size compared to my gigantic frame. So I've made it a personal honour to plead her case with the lord and "bully" her to achieve my goal! I'm tired of talking with her from my vantage tall position and it’s even more awkward when I wear heels (what is my crime in wanting the best for a sister in the lord?).
After I'd settled in the church office and exchanged the usual pleasantries with my rather shy but amiable pastor's wife, the matter was worse than I envisaged.
"Sister G", she said. "The lord wants you to FORGIVE your baby's dad and forgive yourself”. That came as a shock because she was not privy to my dramatic past. Moreover, I had forgiven my son's dad, hadn't I?
I'd done the "religious act" of forgiving but deep down I was hurting and bitter. I was hurting that he'd treated me shabbily and tossed me out like trash to cater for "our baby" alone. Moreover, I thought moving on and starting a new life was all it took to address the past and heal my wounds. I've realised it’s never that simple.
You see, healing is a process and not an act of magic. You don’t just wave a magic wand to make a pain disappear or a wound to heal up. It is a process that requires conscious effort. The process is always painful but necessary for proper healing to occur. Remember iodine? It is a solution used to disinfect bruises or wound and accelerate healing. It stings and even the brave may cry but it does what it says on the bottle. After, I survived an accident in which I lost three fingers on my right hand; I thought the doctors were a mean bunch anytime they came to change my dressings. removing the blood soaked bandage would hurt even before the actual cleaning and dressing would start. It was never the doctor's intention to hurt but to heal.....however they inadvertently hurt me in the process. Today, I'm grateful for the hurt as they were able to save my hand if not all my fingers.
So with God. He desires a thorough spiritual surgical removal of bitterness and forgiveness for proper restoration and healing to occur. God wants to restore man to WHOLENESS. However, it does not mean there won’t be scars!
After the Holy Spirit revealed the true nature of my heart, I STARTED TO CRY.
I cried for the little girl that struggled all her life to be accepted and be acknowledged.
I cried for the teenage girl that craved acceptance in the arms of different men but was only left with a hollow feeling in her heart.
I cried for the woman who thought a career and financial independence were the -only seal of approval she needed.
I cried for the mother who had to struggle to love her child because in his eyes she saw his father. In the little boy's brokenness she saw a reflection of past failures returning to hunt her.
I cried because in that moment, the spirit that searches the heart showed me the truth. I’d been leaving a lie and going through the motions of Christianity without truly living the TRUTH.
I cried for the lost years and opportunities lost but best of all I cried because of the future.
I cried because the festering wound of the past was finally being treated properly and not covered or wished away.
Delving into the past hurt but that is the first step to healing.
Forgiving hurts but it’s a necessary process for healing.
That day, I cried not about the past but in excitement about the future and the second chance it held out. The journey to wholeness was finally set in motion.