“Week 3” focuses on how extraordinary women heal. We will meet and discuss this chapter on Monday, June 3.
- Fully alive heart (Doesn’t that sound wonderful?)
- I believe there are two types of people: those who have been shattered by loss and never recovered, and those who have found the heart and courage to learn life’s deepest lessons in the darkness they’ve faced. Oh, isn’t this the truth?! As a school psychologist, I try to steer children in the right path to resiliency. The reality is that it is easier to learn life’s deepest lessons when you remember that you have God on your side. The times my relationship with Jesus is the strongest follows times of sorrow, disappointment, or the like.
- Real healing isn’t just relief from suffering.
Day 1 – How Long?:
- Genesis 30:1-245 (Story of Rachel and Jacob); The Red Tent by Anita Diamant offered a unique perspective on this story.
- “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Whew! I kind of recognize that desperation. Rachel’s outburst was more toward God than her husband. I just asked out loud as I vacuumed recently and the hose kept getting caught up on this and that, “God, why can’t something just be easy?”
- Only it wasn’t what God wanted. Rachel tried to fix the situation on her own, not waiting for God’s timing. “Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her.” God never forgot Rachel…he didn’t forget his promise to her, either. God listened to her. He listens to you, too.
- Embrace your brokenness and let God heal you. Don’t fall for the wrong choices in your desperate search for a solution to your pain. Called Magazine posted on Facebook recently: “When it hurts, run to God.” Good advice.
- The healing of wounded hearts requires a journey. Sometimes, God uses wrecked plans and shattered dreams to propel us into a deeper encounter with him.
- God isn’t shocked when we are honest with him about our pain, and he doesn’t tell us, “Just get over it.” He enters our pain with us and remains present in his love and strength even when everyone else walks away.
- Don’t deny your brokenness. And don’t panic. Bring your heart to the only one who can bring healing. And rest in his love for you.
Day 2 – Don’t Run Away:
- God will mend a broken heart if you give him all the pieces. ~Aesop
- Healing begins when we come out of hiding and start running to Jesus. Crying out to him. Being gut honest. He knows anyway…so what’s the harm in trying if the outcome is healing?
- Luke 8:40-48 (If you were part of Good Morning Girls, you may remember that this is my favorite miracle story. It’s about the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years who simply touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment and was instantly healed. “Your faith has healed you.” Let me repeat that: “Your faith has healed you.”)
- Desperate people do desperate things…this woman still had an ounce of hope.
- I’m serious when I write this: every time I envision this woman reaching out and touching Jesus, or when I read “Your faith has healed you”, my skin breaks out in goose bumps!
- God doesn’t want a business relationship with us. God wants a personal relationship with us, not just to give us pain relief.
- “Come to me,” Jesus invites us, “all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Day 3 – When It Doesn’t Make Sense
- Psalm 73 (God Is My Strength and Portion Forever – A Psalm of Asaph. Asaph is hurting and is struggling with doubting God. ‘Life is so unfair.’)
- It is sooooo frustrating when wicked people seem to have everything we desire!
- Even though life isn’t fair, God is sovereign, and he is working for my good.
- What might have caused your brokenness: Our own sins and foolish decisions; Other people’s sins that wound us; Spiritual conflict; God’s discipline; This fallen world
- Brokenness cries out for healing. Instead of self-medicating our pain, we need to allow God to carry us through it. Maybe you’re hurting right now because of a foolish choice you made. Or because of the evil someone else did to you. Maybe there’s not any simple explanation, except that we live in a fallen, broken, messed-up world.
- If your life feels out of control, remember that God is in control.
Day 4 – Nothing Wasted
- God never wastes our pain.
- Romans 5:1-11 (Paul found God and experienced joy in the midst of his hardship.)
- Often, the good God produces through our suffering doesn’t miraculously change the situation, but changes us.
- Suffering clarifies our vision.
- “Each day should be more than an obstacle to be gotten over, a span of time to be endured, a sequence of hours to be survived.” ~Walter Ciszek
Day 5 – Wounded Healers
- God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. ~Vance Havner (I loved this perspective on how uses brokenness for good.)
- Scars that are a testimony to the love of God that is stronger than your pain…a love that never gives up, even when you want to. (This reminds me of the lyrics of He Said by Group 1 Crew)
- 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 – Paul was living a really tough life, but he set his hope on God. (Y’all know I’m singing another song! Children of God by Third Day)
- The author compared prosperity preaching to how she interprets the bible, which is that Christians endure hardship, suffering, pain, and loss. I offer this: balance. There is balance in the bible. I can’t get into homilies that are all gloom and doom nor all highlights and favor. There is a balance and we need to hear, speak about, and study the whole bible. (Angie’s opinion…)
- Sometimes, we don’t have an end to pain in our lives. This is a tough pill to swallow. I believe it, but it is tough nonetheless. I don’t wish to be a martyr and feel like I have to endure constant suffering, but at the same time, suffering is a state of mind, as Paul describes.
- The experiences of your life and mine influence who we become. We could have a night full of discussion using this one sentence as a prompt. Feel free to write down what has shaped your life and be ready to discuss…or leave a comment sharing your thoughts.
- Truth: “I wouldn’t know God in such a personal, intimate way if my life had been easy.” I think that my life has been fairly easy looking at the big picture; but this sentence still rings very true for me.
- Important: We must avoid the compulsion to act as heroes and try to fix others’ problems. The need to “fix” suggests that our souls are still wounded. We have a profound responsibility to be Christ’s hands to touch lives with his love but we can’t make people respond, grow, and heal. They have to find the courage to take their own steps. One of our chief goals, then, is to know where our responsibility stops and theirs starts. If we cross that line, we’re hindering their progress, not helping them.
- One measure of our love is our willingness to care for people who aren’t very attractive to us: the whining, griping, passive, angry, and annoying people we try to avoid. Can I get an Amen on that?
Usually it is Day 1 that has the most content that relates to me, but Day 5 was the winner this week! So, here are the notes. I will send a reminder email on Sunday night along with asking for any prayer or praise requests you might have. I hope you are all having a great week!
Source: BECOMING A WOMAN OF EXTRAORDINARY FAITH by Julie Clinton (2011). www.harvesthousepublishers.com