“A Healed Heart”
The muffled beeps keep a rhythm as the nurses buzz from room to room in the cardiac unit. We sit 5 days after surgery, thankful that my father-in-law’s heart has found its new normal and is now on the road to healing well. It has been a long, weary week with ups and downs, not knowing what the next moment might hold; spaces in the days of comic relief and also of tears holding pain and sadness, as we diligently pray that the hardest part is behind us.
They don’t tell you how hard heart surgery is. Telling you is one thing; living through it is a completely different story. The complications that may arise, the amount of tubes that are placed within the body to save a life, but also cause excruciating pain. They don’t tell you all the details, because if you knew, maybe you wouldn’t go through with the very thing that would save you. It’s kind of like our journey with God. He doesn’t tell us what is before us; we must rise up and conquer the trials we face, we must push through the walls that hinder truly living. But we don’t do it alone; He promises to be with us through it and to never leave our side. And through this, we grow, we learn and develop perseverance, and even strength in our newly healed state.
The definition of healing is to become sound or healthy again. To make better, make well, cure, treat, restore to health. Oftentimes when illness hits, whether it be in the body physically, or wrecking havoc on our mind within us, we feel vulnerable, weak, alone, and even downright scared. Because at that point, we are no longer “in control.” What may have been just a nuisance early on, a nagging cough, pressure in one’s chest, an obsessive thought or disordered thinking can change a person’s life once illness sets in. It can bring a wrecking ball that changes our life drastically in a moment.
This month, our family had much to be healed from, and so it took a while to even write this, as I felt God was teaching me more through our moments of rest within our family. I needed time, patience and to wait for the Lord to teach me before I shared any thoughts on Healing.
This month, our family is learning the importance of true rest. Not just the idea of closing ones eyes and sleeping. I am talking about the honest rest, where you remove the panicky anxious thoughts and allow the peace of God to take over. That is the place that true healing actually happens. It is not a belief in faith in itself, or the practice of naming and claiming if you will. It is the honest surrender to the heart of God, and through His Peace we are made well as He allows. It is never by our own doing. By His Grace we are saved. And that’s more than just eternally. If we allow Him, He is able to transform us, but it takes our surrender.
“Beauty from the Ashes”
Earlier this month, my husband Matt came down with a nasty case of strep throat. I had learned a Native American remedy for colds, flus, sore throats a few years back when I had been sick 14 times in one year. Cedar tea, harvested from a wonderful tree God gave to us on this beautiful planet, when mixed with honey and lemon does wonders. So I pulled my boots on and made the trek to the back of our field where the cedar grows. As I walked, I thanked God for being faithful, and always providing through whatever we face. And in that moment, three beautiful hawk feathers lay in the path through the wheat like arrows pointing. My eyes looked to the place where they pointed and there, in the middle of our huge burn pile, in amongst the ash that smoldered early in the summer, was the biggest sunflower I had ever seen. I walked past the cedar as I had to see this flower. It was one stock, one stem, but on that stem grew twenty-two blooms. Twenty two sunflowers- some as little buds, some as beautiful blossoms, and a few ending their vibrant bloom, fading back to seed. It was Beauty from the Ashes right before me. In life, you walk through a fire, you see nothing but ash left, you wonder what healing may come from this pile of rubbish. But then, Beauty happens again, this time stronger, and in ways you weren’t expecting.I broke off one of the sunflowers to bring in, collected the cedar for Matt’s tea, and hiked back to the house with a huge smile on my face. We were facing an illness in our home, but what was to come after healing was a promise so good. I held on to that sunflower, and knew God planted it. Here I thought that soil- that pile of ash was our “pit” of ugly on our property, but I learned that day, that sometimes the most ugly of circumstances in our lives, if we are willing to surrender to God, allowing Him do the healing and sowing into our lives, will produce the most beautiful things of life.
Today Matt’s dad gets to come home. We are so thankful for the prayers, the wisdom of the doctors, and God’s faithfulness to journey alongside us all. We still have a journey ahead, but I am trusting the hope and peace God has placed within me. For I know the Healer of all, and couldn’t imagine facing life without Him. I am holding on to the promise of beauty, a miracle even of true restoration.
Life Verses for this Month:
…provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 43:1-4 Israel’s Only Savior
43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
13 For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Rest for the Weary
…27 All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.…