I do not have a victorious healing story.
I did not have a flash of light which made everything ‘okay’.
I did not wake up one day sick, and another day, well.
I have not been healed.
Yet I have hope.
For me, hope has been healing.
Choosing to hope when everything has seemed hopeless has taught me more about the God of hope that I would have dared to dream.
I’ve recently been reading Matt Bays brilliant book “Finding God in the Ruins” and in it, he says this:
“Healing has no map; every person’s experience is different. But if your journey is going to be successful, expect at some point to end up back at the scene of the crime. staring at the wreckage… And then you must tell your story without making it palatable.”
Quite often, when I tell my story, it centres around the parts which I found God. When mental illness went on a rampage but I emerged with a new calling. The darkest night in which the embryo of ThinkTwice was conceived, the times when I made the right decisions and found the light of a star in a dark night.
I’ve been challenged recently, however, about those times when I’ve surveyed the wreckage and not just found God, bit experienced something of who He is, without ‘making is palatable’.
The truth is, I do attempt to make my story palatable.
I edit my life to hide the parts of my story that I cannot face.
I do not let the light touch them.
It’s not that we need to tell our stories to everyone we meet.
But allowing those who love us to see us in the dark is a gift, not only to us, but to those who hear our stories and hear in our words that God moves even in the most unexpected of ways and in the most unexpected of places.
I have found hope and healing in telling my unpalatable story just a few times, because I think I’ve seen something of how God responds to us in compassion in the faces of my closest friends.
It’s still unpalatable for me.
But it doesn’t seem to be for others, perhaps because they see more easily a God who sits in the wreck alongside us and sheds light in the darkest places, and I have to believe that God created the darkness knowing we would find Him there.
As The Message Bible puts it:
“Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing! – came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the life was Light to live by, The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.” John 1:3-5