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Learning about wounds

January 10, 2008

While I was in college I experienced some significant knee problems and had to endure five separate surgeries and countless hours of therapy. After each surgery there was recovery time, time that I needed to set aside where I focused on my physical healing and was patient with myself and my body. I learned a lot about wounds through that process.

  • Wounds do not heal overnight
  • Wounds do not heal when they are poked, proded, and aggravated constantly
  • Wounds need time to breath, they can’t be covered up all the time
  • Wounds need to be protected from further damage
  • Wounds can be aggravated both on purpose and accidentally
  • Wounds should result in a reduction in our activity so the body can focus on healing

During my sophomore year I had a roommate who had a very weak stomach. She could not handle seeing anything bloody, bruised, etc. as it would make her quesy. During that time period I went through my most extensive surgery and had to spend time in full leg brace that covered my 12 inch long wound. I needed to spend time out of the brace, giving my wound time to heal and breathe, but I also needed to respect my roommates feelings. Through that I learned that others are not always able to handle our wounds.

A couple weeks ago I found myself desiring to surrender to a process God has been wanting to do in me for a long time. It is a process I started submitting to several months ago, but I have had many excuses along the way. With the holidays giving me free time and some other responsibilities off my plate I found the door open and no great excuses to pursue opening myself up for God to do the type of surgery he wanted to on my heart, soul, mind, and emotions. It has been a difficult journey, but one with many blessings in it and I am very hopeful about what is coming from it.

Due to this process I found I could not attend church the last few weeks. There was a part of me that wondered if that was a healthy thing, especially when I received a message from a friend who told me she was grieved that I felt I needed to hide. After a lot of reflection I realized I was not hiding, but instead was applying the things I know about wounds to my own emotional health. I needed time, space, air, and to open up my wounds. I needed to protect them from further damage and from the chance that I or others might accidentally cause further hurt. I needed to take a step back from my normal activities and change my behaviors for a time. I also needed to respect others and not open my wounds and expose them to the ugliness of them unless they wanted to be a part of that process.

Last night was the first time since this started that I went out and spent time with people outside of work. I met a friend for coffee and we just talked about life, sports, church, politics, friends, relationships, the Bible, family, holidays, etc. It was a great time to just be in relationship with someone. Sometimes when we are working our wounds (and we all have some) we do hide, put up walls, think of all the negatives, or focus on the past. Take time to look forward, find a reason to hope, spend time laughing, and be kind to yourself.

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