I've shared a few times here on the blog about "that getting healthy thing God has been calling me to" but it's always been pretty vague. I've felt lately that it was time to share a little more about what that has looked like for me.
One morning earlier this year, I was reading my Bible and came across the story of the paralytic by the pool of Bethesda. If you're unfamiliar with this scripture passage, you can read John 5:1-9 here but basically Jesus comes across a man who has been paralyzed for a long, long time. This man is waiting by a pool for a chance to be cured by it's healing waters. Jesus asks him, "Do you want to get well?" then proceeds to heal the man.
I'll be honest, scripture doesn't usually jump off the page at me but on that particular February day it DID. I knew deep down that Jesus was asking me that same question. Do you want to get well?
The question stayed with me for days. I'd already has the sense that God was directing me to "health" this year but I didn't realize how desperate I was for it. Like the man by the pool in John 5, there were/are some things in my life that have kept me spiritually, emotionally and relationally "paralyzed" for a long time.
A few summers ago, I was desperate for physical health. I was dealing with a recurrent health issue and was so tired of taking medicine that only treated my symptoms and left the root cause untreated resulting in vicious cycle of infection/meds. Once I finally identified and began to treat the root of the issue, my health improved drastically. As I pondered Jesus' question, "do you want to get well?" I realized that He was really asking me if I'd quit trying to treat some of my "soul" symptoms and let Him heal those root issues in my heart.
It's kind of scary to deal with your own "stuff", ya know? The paralytic in John 5 initially responded to Jesus' question about getting well with an excuse, and I found myself doing the same thing. I really prefer to think I have my act together most of the time and I can take care of myself thankyouverymuch. The truth is that I don't have it together--not even close. The truth is that trying to treat your "symptoms" might bring temporary relief, but it's ultimately exhausting and will only keep the vicious cycle going.
I was still wrestling with the "do you want to get well" invitation and my multitude of excuses when I went to hear Christine Caine speak one morning at New Life Church. She is an amazing speaker and said so many good things that day but the only note I took was this:
The only thing I could do after that was to submit!
For me this healing process involved identifying and pulling way, way back from a lot of things that weren't good for me. It also involved a lot of self-examination and a lot of prayer, as well as some counseling. It hasn't been easy (two steps forward, one step back) and I'm still not where I desire to be but it has brought tremendous peace and blessing in these four areas of health: spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical.
Stay tuned for Part II.