This is not a race. Heal at your own pace.
I can’t count anymore on how many times I have quoted that line written by a Malawian poet, Upile Chisala, to people around me. The timing was perfect. I somehow stumbled upon her words on Twitter (yes, I’m still on Twitter, believe it or not) when I too was struggling on healing, and helping others to heal. So I have clung to those words for quite a while now. I wholeheartedly believe in each letters of it, hanging on to each other creating a sense of serenity that I allow to flow through my veins, calming the storm of doubt inside my head a little bit. And I strongly want everyone to carry those words too and really live them out. Because it’s important to always remember that healing is not a straightforward process. It’s a journey, a slow walk on a long path.
When life keeps giving you lemons
I used to think that there was something odd about 2017. How it started badly for me and I had to watch my friends whom I treasure so much struggled with their never-ending battle. Not to mention the heated political and social issue locally and globally that sometimes makes you just want to give up in humanity and live in isolated North Pole or something. It almost feels like God has become clumsy and has a hard time untangling our strings of life. There were so many times I found myself in my bad days, feeling numb and hopelessly grumbling, “Really God? You gotta be kidding me!”
I’m beyond grateful to be blessed with people who stick around in hard times and help me to keep my focus to The Great I Am. People who keep reminding me to see things in bigger picture and excited to see me grow with each life’s challenge that come. But you bet it will never make the process easy. Instead, healing is heartbreaking, sometimes traumatizing, it leaves you bruised, scarred, and trapped depth in the pit of disappointment. Somehow, most of the times we get tested on the things we hate the most. You hate betrayal, but you keep falling in love with people who break promises. You hate being left out, but suddenly you find yourself crying at your beloved ones’ funeral and friends who turn their back against you. God will always challenge your attachment, that’s why people come and go as they pleased. The hardest part of it is getting back up when you feel like there is no reason to. Life has kicked you down too many times and you started to believe that maybe it’s just a big cycle of bad events that has no end.
Start where you are, not where you want to be
Well, the thing is, my friends, Jesus loves you so much that He welcomes you just as you are. But He loves you TOO much to leave you with your current state. Remember the story of Exodus? Remember how God delivered Israelites from hundreds of years of slavery and took them in a journey to the promised land of milk and honey just as He promised, only to have them complaining? They just experienced the greatest miracle that the world will forever remember, but they were faithless. Just like the Israelites, sometimes we get too comfortable in the captivity of sin than the uncertainty of freedom, then we fail to remember how faithful our God is.
Yes, the process of healing can be very painful. The moment after the fall, the forty years in wilderness. Days, months, or even years of scattered heart and nothing seems good or right anymore. Stumbling along the way, collecting the pieces of ourselves, like the world is against us and nobody worth our trust anymore, might be the most unpleasant experience. But, don’t you get it? Don’t you understand that your old self has to be crumbled down first so God can build the stronger, wiser, better version of you again piece by piece, brick by brick? I mean, if we’re not in enough pain, how would we know He is our only healer?
We are right where we need to be!
Please take a moment to look back at everything you have gone through before you begin to panic and let your current state dictate your faith. Then you’ll find the faithful God. You see, when we set our eyes on Him, we will realize that we don’t have to rush for we know that He is our destination. God is patient, He wants us to take our time because He is the one who puts us there. Life will make you think “Oh, it’s been too long, I should have been back to my happy feet now” or “Why am I not feeling any better?”, but keep in mind that your purpose is greater than your position and you are exactly where you need to be.
Healing isn’t always about a better place. It’s not always about a life without any battle. Sometimes the process of healing is God’s way to equip you with better shield so you can keep your faith and perspective in every warzone that awaits you. Sometimes it’s simply about a better you with a better mindset.
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