My deathbed didn’t scare me. At fifteen, I was told I had a month to live. Four weeks. Thirty days. Yet dying didn’t scare me. (And not just because no one had told me.)
After two years of misdiagnosis, I wasn’t able to feed, bathe, or dress myself — basically, all I could do was roll over. I lost my home, my health, and my friends. Dying didn’t scare me, but to be honest, it was mostly because I was too sick to notice. Thankfully, God guided my family and me through a miraculous healing journey. Four years after first getting sick with Lyme disease, toxic mold poisoning, and multiple chemical sensitivity, I am now well along the road to recovery and full healing.
But you know what? Healing intimidates me in ways illness never did. Healing means finally processing the fear and pain of what I went through. Healing has been hard, long, and in some ways, perhaps even more painful than illness was. Healing means taking risks; doing things that two years — or months — ago, would have sent me into a major health crash. Like going for a walk — it would have sent me to bed for the week. Or going to family worship night — a single loud noise would have found me curled up on the floor in the fetal position, crying involuntarily. Or eating a full meal — I would have had my head over the toilet all night.
Healing means stepping into life again, even though so much has changed. Now, I’m an adult. Now, I’m broken and scarred. Now, I’ve seen the awful parts of life no one should have to see. Healing means facing what I’ve been through so I can step into life again. It means facing the pain I ignored in survival mode.
Healing is terrifying.
What if I stray from God when I’m no longer forced to turn to Him for every breath? What if my body falls apart again? What if the relationships illness stole and broke are forever irreparable? What if I fall when I take a step forward? What if I get broken again?
Maybe you relate. I don’t know what you’re facing, what your past holds, or what you’re healing from. Maybe it’s a heartbreaking divorce. Maybe it’s the death of a loved one. Maybe it’s abuse from your past. Maybe, like me, it’s a chronic illness or three. But chances are, there are parts of the healing that scare you, that intimidate you in ways that nothing else has before, even the trial itself.
Courage, dear heart.
Many may not understand how something so good and happy like healing can be so scary. But you are not alone. Many warriors of faith have struggled with the same doubts and questions and lies and realities that you now face.
One of those warriors is Joshua. You know the verse. It’s one of those “John 3:16” verses that we see everywhere and hear from everyone.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
There is so much truth in that one Scripture. But there is one part that’s stuck out to me in this healing season — this healing battle. Joshua needed this encouragement, not in the forty desert years but on the brink of the Promised Land.
We may be scared to enter healing, but he was scared to enter the Promised Land! He was afraid of something good and beautiful, afraid of claiming the gift. Like I am. Like you might be.
But at God’s command, Joshua went anyway. He chose to stand in the promise. He chose to take courage by the horns and cling to it.
Maybe that sounds nice but seems impossible. Sure, courage is for some ancient warrior who’d witnessed miracle after miracle, but for us? For a modern-day mom or sister or daughter or abuse survivor or chronically ill woman? Yeah, thanks but no thanks.
Here’s the thing: God didn’t just say, “Be courageous.” He gave a reason Joshua — and we — should be courageous. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. You know how God was with you in the trial you’re healing from? Well, He’s going to continue to be with you in the healing and recovery process. He is faithful. We can be courageous because our Father is holding our hand. He is walking with us into the pain of the past and the promise, hope, and struggles of the future.
That isn’t to say the healing won’t be hard. Though Joshua entered the Promised Land in courage and victory, it still included a lot of blood (literally) and sweat and tears. Entering the Promised Land wasn’t a once-and-done type of thing. It was years of war as the Israelites reclaimed town after town, territory after territory.
Yet because God was with them, there was victory. You are a warrior. Healing isn’t easy, but in God’s power and grace, you will make it. Stand in Him — there you can have courage. Because God is with you, you will have your own victory.
Healing isn’t easy, but in God’s power and grace, you will make it. -S.G. Willoughby @R535Blog: Click To Tweet