I am definitely not a fan of doctors. Growing up with a semi hippy mom, in a small town in Alaska, I never really went. Once and a while I’d go for a check up, but doctors weren’t a normal thing in my world. Especially hospitals. Yuck! Before the car accident in Ecuador I’d never been to a hospital for an emergency. And then I found myself in full-blown surgery – ambulance, x-rays, anesthesia– all in Spanish. Scary. Hospitals, well, freak me out a bit. There’s that deep down, ‘I don’t want to know what’s wrong. What if it’s major? I’d rather be ignorant’, even though that’s how you die; its still a deep down feeling. And yet again, I find the parallel in my soul to what’s happening in my body.
When the doctor checked me after the car accident he used two fingers and gently pressed across every inch of my chest and stomach asking if it hurt.
Press. Press. Press.
"no, no, no, OWWWWCHH!!!"
There’s a fracture.
Press. Press. Press. There’s a broken bone.
Press. Press There’s a broken rib.
Press. Press. Press. There’s another broken rib.
I didn’t even realize the extent of the hurt and damage until it was pressed upon. I honestly didn’t even know I had broken ribs until he pressed and I screamed out in pain trying to get him away from me and cover the incredibly tender spot with my arm.
Life feels like that sometimes doesn’t it? You’re just going along, thinking you’re fine and then something gets pressed, out of the blue and you find yourself screaming out, wondering when and how that got broken? How long it’s been broken? How did you never realize how fully broken it was until now? How do you fix it? Sometimes everything feels broken at once and you somehow didn’t even realize it.
The problem is there are no x-rays for your heart. You can’t just say, “Well, I think that may be broken. Lets check for sure. Oh yeah! See that little cut on the x-ray? That means its broken in half.” If only we had that for our hearts. How simple it would be to simply look at a picture of our hearts and see all the little fractures and breaks and know exactly the area that needs to be cared for. But there are no x-rays for our souls, for our hearts, for the tenderness of our spirits.
But we have a choice. We can ignore it. “Ouch don’t ever touch that part of me again! I’m going to protect it fiercely and keep it as far away from anyone as humanly possibly”, and so you hold your rib cage and try and play off the break, slowly letting it grow back together, broken and fractured and displaced. Always telling people not to touch you. Sure, you let people around and in – except for that one area. No way, that stays hidden and protected, always. Never being touched, always having a pretty quick response time if someone even comes near. Your arms and heart goes up to defend it and protect it in 2.5 seconds. And even when it is healed, it’s lumpy and disfigured. It’s not the way it was suppose to be.
You gently (or violently) let yourself cry for the pain that is there, but you let the strong hands of the doctor examine it, you let it be x-rayed, you let it be looked at. You let the One who can heal you and fix it, in. You let people in and around that broken area. You don’t hide it or try and protect it constantly. You let someone examine to see what needs to be done for it to be healed. Sometimes it’s been broken so long it has to be re-broken so it can heal property. Sometimes it is still fresh that it can be mended and healed before too much more damage is done. Either way, it needs attention. It cannot, be ignored… it refuses to be ignored. It may hurt more for a moment, but it’s better than the constant ache and disfigurement of a heart that hasn’t healed correctly.
I encourage you, wherever you are in your journey and walk of life, if you have been feeling those tender spots being pushed or hit and you’ve felt the crying out in pain, to let yourself go there. Let your own heart in first to those areas. Ask questions. Where did it come from? How long has it been hurting? Start opening yourself up to the process of healing. Your heart is so worth fighting for, so worth going into surgery for, so worth healing. I know its scary…terrifying at times…. but so worth it. Even in the natural, the doctor said my collarbone would have never (EVER) healed correctly unless I had surgery. And I did. And it was scary and painful and expensive. But now I’m healing perfectly… it’s right.
Let your heart go there. Don’t just let it heal naturally. Be driven and fierce in your own healing. I know, so well, that its hard and scary and painful, and I’m in it with you. Even as my own body is healing, I’m discovering so many areas in my heart and soul that are broken and need so much tenderness and attention. And I’m in it. And some days the pain feels worst than a physical broken bone, but I want wholeness. In every area. Remind yourself constantly, that a healed, whole heart is so worth fighting for.
We’re in this together. You aren’t alone. Lets heal our bones, heal our hearts, and in turn, heal the world around us. We’re all in desperate need of healing, and as I learn it, I can teach others. As you learn it, you can teach others.