She had a wound, and she was bleeding (Mark 5:25-34).
Years of trying to stop the bleeding, slow the bleeding, cover up the bleeding, understand or control the bleeding all brought her to this place of still bleeding. Crushed hopes, abandonment, and hundreds of unanswered prayers gifted her with a fierce desperation but nothing else.
People shunned her because she was bleeding. Today my bleeding sisters and I would rather banish ourselves to the fringes of society. We hide our wounds and when the blood spills over we hide ourselves. Some of us bleed jealousy, insecurity, bitterness, and control issues in a way that sabotages our relationships long before anyone can recognize our woundedness.
This past year I looked at myself in fresh awareness and had a painful realization. It’s been 8 years since my dad died and beneath the surface of my clean white bandages, I was still bleeding.
When the counseling and the books and the prayers of those first few years felt like time and money misspent; I settled for the calm I found in fresh starts, new ambitions, and suppressed emotions. God was so present, so comforting, and I felt close to Him through the whole process- little did I know He was dreaming so much more for me. He waited for me to be ready to not only call Him healer, or prescribe Him as healer, but to TRUST Him as healer.
I’m in a season of getting to know “Jehovah Rophi”, God who heals.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- It’s a much longer road than I expected. Grabbing on to Jesus healed the woman of Mark 5 instantly, but I’ve found it to be my starting point.
- It is more painful, more abundantly good, more work, and more rewarding than I imagined. Moments of intensity followed by periods of waiting; surprising and ridiculous grace one day and desperate tears of recognition the next. Intense goodness and grace, intense anguish, and plenty of waiting all dance to a rhythm I haven’t quite learned yet.
- Much like physical healing, so many things are connected. This sounds simple, but caught me by surprise.
- Deep soul work requires a ridiculous amount of energy and focus, I’ve needed to take care of my body and clear my schedule in a way that may not look necessary from the outside.
- I’ve needed more help than I wanted to take. My spiritual director, therapist, husband and close friends have all made it possible for me to have time, space, and perspective on all that is moving inside me. I really wanted to just keep this between God and I. I was ready to pray a lot but definitely not admit to anyone else that I was bleeding. Like my role model in Mark 5 I had to go public with my need for help, and that was harder than I thought. Inviting others into your healing is NOT selfish; it’s a gift to them and a necessary part of the process. Ask God who He has planned to be on team YOU alongside Himself.
If this is all feeling a little familiar or maybe a little uncomfortable, I wonder if you may be bleeding too. It’s easy to limp along, unnoticed, and incredibly painful and scary to take that bandage off for the first time and let the light and air reach a wound.
Maybe now is not your time. Everything is a season, and “healing” is not for the faint of heart- it’s for the fiercely desperate.
What would it look like to recognize your wound and grab hold of Jesus?
Who or what could God use to speak truth, life, and further His work of healing in you?
If you are bold, you may consider beginning with a simple prayer. “God, I’m bleeding. I’m available to hear from you, be moved by you, and be healed by you. I trust you as creator, keeper, and lover of my soul.” And in the quiet moments of the day, with simple breaths continue to pray “I’m available” and wait.
I pray that Christ’s hard-earned freedom would be realized in your life as you walk this path- may you discover a beautiful side of God as you experience His healing.