By Jennifer Miller, campus counselor
After fracturing my ankle six years ago, my orthopedic doctor told me that people who claim to have a “bad ankle” are the ones who did not do their physical therapy right. I had been that person! For years I had never dared to play soccer without an ankle brace on, believing that after multiple sprains and years of soccer, I just had a “weak ankle.” It was not until after the fracture, which forced me to take six weeks of complete rest followed by more weeks of rehab exercises, that my ankle was stronger than ever, no longer requiring the use of an ankle brace!
Deep healing may require going through difficult, painful experiences. This is true physically and emotionally. When I explain the journey of counseling to my clients, I often use the analogy of physical therapy after an injury or surgery. Going to the physical therapy sessions can be very painful and to avoid discomfort, it may be tempting to just skip rehab and let everything heal naturally. However, for the injury to heal properly, physical therapy is necessary. The bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles will not fully heal unless the pain is endured and the therapy completed. It is the same with trauma, with emotional injury. The processing and dissecting of the difficult memories and emotions may be excruciating, but in the end, the healing will be more complete, the unburdening will be more liberating.
- The joy that comes after a period of sadness is even more delightful.
- The warmth and light of spring are more comforting following a dark, cold winter.
- When the 40 days of rain stopped, Noah and his family must have appreciated the rainbow and the sun.
- After wandering in the desert for 40 years, the Hebrew people cherished reaching the Promised Land.
- The celebration of Easter will be even more glorious because it is preceded by a period of repentance, self-denial and confession.
The Deep Calls to Deep worship resource guide suggests: “The wilderness confronts us with our vulnerability and exposes our wounds and our needs. We are called to deep healing by trusting God, who calls us in love.” Could the agony, discomfort and grief we experience in life indeed be opportunities to more fully treasure God’s love, grace and redemption? During this Lenten season, may we feel God’s call to deep healing, journeying through the deep wilderness to the joy and love that follow.