From “Instantaneous” Healing to Loving, Transformational Relationship
Upon my return to faith as a Prodigal daughter God brought such miraculous healing to me from the symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I soaked in my miracle as proof of God’s love for me. I proudly boasted in the steps God had walked me through and saw myself as called to “free” and “heal” others also.
But then, my symptoms began to return. I tried to convince myself what I was experiencing were isolated and unrelated incidents. I brushed aside what I walked through, even as I saw God meet me there powerfully. However, one day all the little triggers culminated in massive waves and I could no longer deny the presence of what I’d prided myself in as being miraculously healed.
Second Corinthians 4: 11 (ESV) says: “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” The return of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was truly God’s gift to birth more of Jesus in me. It hasn’t been, and still isn’t, a pretty or pain-free process because for the new to come the old has to be exposed and laid to rest.
One of the first steps of surrender came as God called me to leave my legalistic church and to sever friendships with those I was enabling in their sin in the name of “grace”. He took me off my pedestal of pride and exposed me as the one in desperate need of grace. He led me to open and then close online ministries, to expose my own legalistic mindset and idolization of self and serving, so I could learn to embrace true relationship with Him and others again.
It has been and still is a painful process of surrender, of me slowly learning to trust my God. Of me learning to take up my Cross, to face my fears and feel pain again. But I am discovering so much freedom and joy, as God is patiently teaching me how to engage again. How to stop hurting my loved ones by defensively detaching and instead speak the truth for grace to flow. He is teaching me anew to receive His Word in love. In sharing my weakness, confessing my sins and baring my heart openly within the safe boundaries He has laid down for me, I am daily experiencing deeper healing.
God has exposed a hunger and thirst in me for what only He can give me. Not for the cold law that was used to shame and humiliate me in my need as a child and as a returning Prodigal, but the love and compassion of a merciful Father, Friend and Counselor, who sees, knows and loves me like no other. A God who never shuns me or turns me away in my confession of weakness or sin.
I no longer pridefully claim to know the steps to freedom for myself or for others. Like Mary DeMuth, I am learning that “The sanctification journey takes more than instantaneous now. It takes time. It twists and moves and steps forward and backward, in circles and oblongs.” (Pray Every Day app devotional, 31 March 2019). I am learning that God alone can transform and heal me and others, day by day. For only He can transform our formulaic, legalistic mindsets into the humble mind of Christ. Only He can draw us into the beauty and compassionate mystery of loving, transformational relationship with Him and others.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Mark 12:43-44 KJV