Posts Tagged ‘healing

06
Mar
17

Middle of Life Grown Up Lessons

soil and plant

I think I might almost be a grown up.  At least, I’m heading that way. I’m 45 years old, and some might think that it’s about time. But, for me, it’s been a process. And I absolutely love it, and sometimes I hate it. It’s hard, and it’s messy. But I love that I’m here, and I love that I’m learning things about myself that maybe I, personally, would not have been able to learn in my twenties. Some of my growth required time and experiences that I wasn’t looking for earlier, and some lessons I actually didn’t even know existed until now.

I get excited when I get to share what I’ve learned and what I’m learning, because, honestly, growth is not really an age thing. We’ve all seen younger people who seem to be wise beyond their years, and we’ve also seen older people who are still demanding their own way and who act like three year olds in old people bodies…it’s not pretty, but it’s a real thing. So I think growth and grown up-hood is not only a thing of grace, but it also has to do with our openness to receiving the gifts given to us. It’s having eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart that’s open to new possibilities.

Lesson #1:  We all have core value because we are made in the image of God…we are God’s image bearers. That’s incredible. However, we all have core hurts that some of us live out of. And after continually walking in those core hurts, it’s hard to know and feel our own core value and virtually impossible to see other people’s value if we can’t even see our own. We are valuable, and we are worth it.

Lesson #2:  Feelings are not bad. In fact, they are helpful in how we figure out why we do the things we do. We have to be able to feel and to realize what we’re feeling, and only then, can we move towards healing and growth.

Lesson #3:  In order to know and love others well, we have to know ourselves. We have to be compassionate with ourselves before we can be compassionate with others. Jesus said, “Love God; love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

Lesson #4:  Boundaries are vital. Everyone has a “yard,” and we get to decide who comes in and out of our yards.  While boundaries don’t initially make things easier, they make things healthier, and eventually, things do get easier with use.

Lesson #5:  We all have a voice. And finding and using our voice is important.  We have to be able to use it for ourselves before we are able to use it for others.

Lessons #6:  We are all unique individuals who have different gifts, and when we grace people with our particular gift, those around us are enriched and encouraged. No one’s gift is better than anyone else’s, so we don’t have to compete and compare.

Lesson #7:  I no longer have to put people in boxes labeled: good box and bad box. If I am establishing appropriate boundaries (Lesson 4) and seeing other people’s core value (Lesson 1), then I no longer have to make people the bad guy and me the good guy. People are just people.

Lesson #8:  You only know what you know. This seems like a very obvious kind of statement. But if we really believe that about ourselves and others, we can begin to not only show people grace, but we can cut ourselves some slack, as well.

Lesson #9:  You are not alone. We are all in this together.  Your story may have different details than mine, but our stories are connected. We don’t have to do this alone.

Lessons #10:  Life is hard. It just is. There is always going to be stuff that we would rather not go through. But as I get older, I ask myself, “What am I supposed to be learning from this?” I want to look for the beauty in everything, but especially in the struggle.

Lesson #11:  Everything is connected. If you start looking for the connections, you start seeing them everywhere.

Lesson #12:  “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am” is not just a nice principle or a cute Bible verse, it’s a real, life-giving mystery. And that’s the “following Jesus” kind of church that anyone anywhere can be a part of.

Lesson #13:  Questions are good. I have a couple friends who ask questions well, and I’m learning from them. If we’re willing to ask, there will always be someone there to answer.

Lesson #14:  Things are not happening to me; they are happening for me. When hard things come my way, instead of asking “Why me?” I now ask “How do I get to grow up in this?” If I look at the world through this lens, I no longer have to be a victim. It’s the difference between knowing that God is for me, not against me.

Lesson #15:  I absolutely have to have solitude and silence and wide open spaces. I cannot breathe well without these.

I don’t usually do lists, but I thought this might be a not-so-Kim-kind-of-way to look at how I’m becoming a grown up. A lot of these lessons overlap because everything is connected, of course (Lesson 11). These lessons have not been easy, and I hope to share stories in future blogs about how these lessons came to be.

For some of these lessons, I’m at the very beginning, while others I’m somewhere in the middle, and other lessons have been long and hard, and I’ve had to endure way more than I cared to. But I have a good Friend who has walked beside me and continues to walk with me on this amazing journey. And I’m grateful for the lessons He’s teaching me on a daily basis and for the friends He’s given to walk with me along the way.

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12
Jan
13

Who’s Willing to Carry You?

In Mark 2, Jesus taught at someone’s house, and the house was so packed with people that no one else could squeeze in to hear what Jesus was saying. Even the doorway was crowded with people. But there were four men that day on a mission. They knew they had to get their paralytic friend to Jesus because their friend needed what Jesus had. And so, these men figured out what they had to do in order to get this dependent, needy person to Jesus for healing, body and soul.

But it struck me, that there had to be four people who were not just willing to carry this man to Jesus, but people who cared enough about him not to be deterred in their mission and who also came up with a plan to get him in when it looked impossible. They could have gotten to the door of the house, realized there wasn’t any more room, especially room enough for a person lying on a stretcher, turned around and made their way back home. But they didn’t. They took the roof off of the house and lowered him down to Jesus. They did what it took. And seeing their faith, Jesus forgave the paralytic man’s sins, and then He healed his body. This man was healed because of their faith, their persistence, their love. They were willing to carry their friend to Jesus.

And the question I ask myself– Are there people willing to carry me? Are there people willing to carry you? I’ m not talking about family here. I’m talking about the people we’re in community with. That means that we have to allow people into our lives so that they can see our needs, and we also have to be willing to let these people help. This means putting away our independent, self-sufficient attitude and pride and allowing ourselves in humility to be loved, to be helped.

The paralytic’s problem was obvious. His friends knew what He needed. But do the people around me know what I need? Do yours know what you need? It’s hard asking for help when pride and fear of rejection get in the way, when we’re so afraid we might inconvenience someone, or that they might not want to really help but feel that they have to out of obligation or duty. It also means we have to reveal ourselves and open ourselves up to the people around us and identify our struggles. We have to admit weakness. And in doing that, we’re admitting that we don’t have it figured out.

The flip question can also be asked. Am I willing to carry others? Once again, this means that I have to be in community with people. I have to be close enough to see people’s needs and be involved in their lives. Not only so that I can know what the needs are, but also so that those people could feel the freedom to ask. I don’t know if the paralytic man asked his friends to take him to Jesus or if these men volunteered, but  Jesus recognized their faith and healed their friend.

In carrying their friend to Jesus, these men demonstrated sacrificial love. They bore his burden. We all need community that can help carry us to Jesus at times…to bear our burdens; we need those people to show up and love us the way Jesus would, not just in word or speech but in truth and action. (I John)




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