Although the month of January is almost over, I’m just getting around to sharing about my word of the year for 2017. Late last fall, I felt the word “heal” tug at me, call to me. And it is one of my favorite words, although that’s not why I landed on this word as my word of the year. I chose “heal” because I need it. To experience it, to receive it.
I want God to minister to me, and when He does that, I imagine it as healing.
One of the verses that came to mind in connection with my word of the year is Jeremiah 17:14, “Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” I remember discussing this Scripture in a Bible study years ago, when Woodrow was a toddler. One of the other women there commented that, when God does the healing, it will be done completely.
That healing occurs over a lifetime, I think, happening at deeper levels as we grow. In 2013, I read a hugely important book called Irregular People. In it, the author (Joyce Landorf Heatherley) explains that there won’t be just one healing in us. God will work healing in me over and over, going more and more deeply. So I can keep my painful hurts as “infection-free” as possible, she wrote.
When I contemplate healing, I think of healing from and healing for. There’s a constant need to heal from wrong thinking about God’s character and about myself, from doubt of His goodness or mercy. But specifically, I’m thinking about healing from disappointment and grief–situations out of my control that have brought hurt.
I also feel the weight of pain from circumstances I at least had a hand in creating. I’ve known for years that I’m motivated by need, but I’ve sometimes found myself in places God didn’t intend for me because I didn’t listen to His voice about which needs I should join Him in meeting. As you can imagine, this can be draining. My offering to volunteer as a Cub Scout leader for a second year falls into that category, and I communicated in December that I’d begin transitioning out of that role. An end-of-year application of my 2016 word of the year “less,” as in doing less volunteer work.
I envision this year, 2017, as a kind of new journey, one of better listening. Listening to the Lord. I want to heal by listening, and I want to heal for listening. So this journey will start slowly, necessarily quietly. I don’t think Jesus should be expected to speak to me against background noise. He’s allowed to be as quiet as He’d like as He waits for me to get silent so I can hear better. The LORD is my portion; therefore, I will wait for Him…we read in Lamentations 3. Because I do believe this journey will involve not only listening, but actions and changes as well. I need to listen so I can understand and then act. I need to listen so I can know Jesus better.
About the situations out of my control that have broken my heart–and I do mean broken my heart? I read in a novel recently–The Awakening of Miss Prim, an unexpectedly fascinating story–about the heart-change of the main character, Prudencia: Her pain had been replaced by a serene inner sadness. To me, this sounds a great deal like acceptance. I’m healing toward greater acceptance, and I have been for years. I also want more of that healing.
We read a good bit these days about self-care. I’m planning to give attention to taking care of myself so that God can take care of me–so He can heal me.
He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3