I have mentioned before that healing comes in levels. This was initially surprising to me, but now I realize I need to experiment in my brokenness to get to complete healing. I have to feel comfortable enough to try things I would not have done in my brokenness. Stepping out can be scary, but each time I find the courage to do it, it takes me a step closer to wholeness.
It is only in experimenting that I can find where the areas are that still need work. I can not know that trust is an issue if I never put myself out there to trust again. I cannot experience love again if I don’t experiment loving again. I can not experience forgiveness if I don’t first forgive.
There have been times, like with trust where I have been able to experiment and fully give myself to trusting another, only to have trust broken again. Often, I have found that broken trust creates a completely new wound. For example, when my trust is broken by a new person that I have not had a history with before. I remember a small group of people that I shared my dreams with for the future. One particular woman acted as if she wanted to help bring those dreams to fruition. We started down the path, but ladies several warned me not to trust her completely. I did not heed the warning. I later found out that she liked my dream, but wanted it for herself. She turned on me and turned others against me. I walked away from that experience with a broken trust, but it was a fresh wound, one that God quickly mended in ways that I had never imagined. The woman’s actions had not stopped my dream, but instead showed me where I had gone astray. Her actions helped put me back where I needed to be with a fresh vision of a dream not of my making, but of God’s making.
However, there have also been times where the broken trust, opens a wound that never truly healed completely. I have been married for almost twenty one years. It is our second marriage to each other. Our first marriage lasted only a year and a half. It started on rocky ground and it only got rockier as the months went by. We both hurt each other a lot, and there were a lot of deep wounds. We reconciled after much counseling, and had a better foundation to build our marriage and family on the second time around.
However, when small things would happen, I often found myself questioning my ability to fully trust my husband. We hit a rocky patch about five years in, and my trust was broken completely. He wanted counseling again, but I was not sure that what was broken was worth restoring. I realized that I had never fully healed from our first marriage. I have allowed the wound to scab over, but the scar remained and underneath was an infection just waiting for the right combination to fester back up and destroy our relationship. That wound had to be reopened and cleaned out again in effort to truly heal.
For the weeks and month that followed, we met with a Christian counselor weekly. I had to agree to experiment with trust. I had to allow my husband to build back what was lost, but the only way for restoration and healing to fully take place was one experiment at a time. During that time, the littlest things would scratch the surface and all the poison from our previous marriage would come spewing out my mouth as if he needed to be reminded of failures from nine years before. That would put him on defense and instead of healing, we would just dig a little deeper into the wound. With lots of prayer and Godly counsel we made it through that time.
I realize now, that because of our relationship and the intimacy of it, he has the ability to open up wounds that he didn’t create. He has the ability to go deep enough with me that even the smallest bit of unhealed hurt in my life can come to the surface. I have to be willing to recognize that is not his intention. He loves me and does not intentionally want to hurt me. I have to experiment with being vulnerable enough to let him know when his actions or words are taking me to a place that I still need healing. I have to experiment with being open enough not to put up walls immediately instead of being open. He has to experiment with being with me in the brokenness without getting defensive. We have to experiment in the brokenness together to find healing.
Every hurt is not the same. Every wound has the potential to open up other wounds or to just create a new wound. Wounds heal differently. It means experimenting in the very areas that we have been broken, being vulnerable enough to allow another in. It means experimenting with how much we open ourselves up to others, especially those we are closest to. It means experimenting with giving the benefit of the doubt and sharing what we are feeling and experiencing in the moment. Brokenness does not have to be final, but it does take experimenting with stepping out of our comfort zone to find healing.
This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.