Ready for some gut-level honesty?
Yesterday, I woke up and did an interview for Moody radio about my book, Ruthless. The amazing host asked me about the importance of sticking to wedding vows, even when it’s difficult. I agreed and expressed my gratitude for this season in our lives, for being the wife to a husband who is filled with purpose, but needs a lot of help to live that purpose out physically. And I meant it. After the interview, I fed my husband through the feeding tube and was SO thankful that it was available and that it’s working for him. And I meant it. I thought about the mini-date we had planned for later in the morning; our first time out of the house post-surgery, and I said ‘thank You’ to Jesus for making it possible. And I really, really meant it.
Two hours later, scrolling through Instagram I came across a photo from someone I follow but do not know. It doesn’t matter what was in the photo, it only matters when I tell you: I felt a wave of jealousy so sharp and painful that I thought my lungs might burst from the pressure of it. I closed it quickly and tried to move on to something else. Tried to drown out the drowning feeling – but thing is, I’m fasting. And I’ve found that, as I mentioned yesterday, fasting brings your junk to the surface. Fasting also makes you sort of/very/extremely grouchy which means it’s harder to let go of the annoying stuff.
I stopped to try to analyze the mess I was in. The feeding tube that seemed so miraculous before, now seemed like a huge weight of responsibility. The trip to Barnes and Noble felt small and shabby when held up next to the fairytale getaways I was seeing on social media. Bottom line: what I really saw was a big stew of hurt and weariness and sorrow that made everyone else’s life look sweeter and more satisfying than my own. I know in my head that’s not true, but my heart was having trouble getting on the All Things Work Together bandwagon.
I suspect some might be thinking at this point: “Dear Bo, give yourself a break. These feelings are understandable, given your circumstances.” And I would not argue with you, except to say that few things feel more toxic or make me more miserable than jealousy. I hate it, and I don’t want it living in me. Examining this particular moment helped me see how many millions of these moments have sailed by me in the past few years and I have just tucked them away and moved on to something else. I have not dug into the tender ground of my heart to figure out what’s really going on in the places only He can see.
Now I’m catching a glimpse of what’s happening there. This information does not make me angry at myself, it just helps me know what to do next. I don’t need better coping skills or a firmer grasp on the Word of God – I need healing. And, like a child with a wound she’s afraid to let the doctor touch, I have covered this part over with a lot of different, creative-yet-ineffective bandages.
Fasting, I believe, has uncovered the wound. It has laid it open for me to see, so that I could hold it up to the love of the Great Physician. Not just for more comfort, but for real healing. That’s what I want. Because it’s for healing I’m being healed.
I’m not sure how to end this one. I’m not sure my words have done justice to what I see as a pretty major breakthrough in my life. I really am praying for our city and church and neighbors. Not only have I read the Seven prayer card – I wrote it and I care deeply about all the things we are targeting this week in prayer. But I’m telling you, friends: He is at work in me. And I think a healed me will be a gift to my broken neighbors in big ways. As we cover all these other bases in prayer, be prepared for His love to uncover some bases in your life – not because He’s mad at you, but because He loves you too much to let a wound stay hidden.
I wonder if you’re finding this true as well. Is the process of praying for the world outside our window leading to some self-discovery? Are you finding your secrets uncovered in the light of His love? Comments are open.
Uncovered, but safe,
P.S. Oh, you guys! You WOULDN’T BELIEVE how great Steve is doing post-surgery! He’s gaining weight and feeling better than he has in a long, long time. Thank you so much for praying him through that great big monster of a week. SO worth it!