Wednesday, March 2, 2016
When Healing Hurts
My vision has been double for long enough now, that I've almost gotten used to it. I forget - until I take my glasses off and everything becomes wobbly. Instinctively, I close one eye or put my hand to my forehead to rub it a bit and, in the process, cover my left eye to correct my sight.
The neurologist told me, at my last appointment, that my eyes were beginning to heal. I didn't notice a difference, but behind the scene, things were beginning to mend. That was a month ago. Just now, I am feeling my eyes begin to change. Yes, I can actually feel something going on inside my head that I understand to be the healing process. It's uncomfortable. It hurts. I feel messed up with my glasses on and with them off. A slight nausea follows me throughout the day. The work of focusing and dealing with the mixed up neurological signals, wears me out. At moments, I almost wish I would stay broken. Sometimes healing hurts.
It makes me think about the girls I met in the safe houses. Like me, their world changed over night from one of freedom and childhood to one of pain and victimization.
For several weeks I did everything I could to numb the pain. I walked around with one eye closed. Sometimes I would just put a hand over my eye while reading a book or crossing a street. At home, I resorted to wearing a bandanna, pirate style. It was infuriating because I was helpless to do anything until I received glasses. I would imagine the girls stumbled around, doing everything they could to ease the pain. I watched them while at work, drinking glass after glass of alcohol, doing what the could to make it through the night, and to numb the pain.
When a girl makes the choice to leave the sex industry and join a safe house, she has taken the first step for healing to begin. The mending, the healing, putting the broken back together again, takes time. Sometimes healing happens in the quiet of the night. It goes unnoticed and you awaken to new life. Other times, the healing hurts. You are aware every moment of your broken condition. Past memories need to be dealt with, forgiveness needs to happen. Tears need to be shed, over and over again. We know that Jesus is right there with us, wiping our tears away. He understands the deep pain and healing that must happen because He shed tears of His own when his friend, Lazarus, died. I loved this about each of the safe houses we visited. They understood that healing would take time. They understood that the process would be painful. They understood that ultimately, Jesus was the only way to bring true healing to the wounded heart.
There have been moments in my healing process where I have wanted to remain static in my broken condition. I have the thought that it would be easier to just use the glasses and not drive for the rest of my life. But that is not what I really want. I want to have the freedom to drive. I don't want to have headaches every time I take the glasses off. Without an all-encompassing understanding of the healing process for the girls and the need to provide sustainable income, many return to the red light districts. This was another aspect that the safe houses I visited, got.
We all go through various brokenness and healing in our lives. It could be physical, relational, emotional or spiritual. The next time you go through physical healing, stop and take time to think about it. What insight could it give into the life of someone you know? Use your pain to better understand the deep wounds within their hearts. It will open up a world of grace to you.