Oh it hurt; it hurt so much I didn’t know what to do. It made me want to crawl into a dark safe place where no one could ever hurt me again. But life necessitated that I go on. That I had to go out and do the day to day. Even though I was hurt, no one could know about it. It was my pain to deal with. So, a layer went around my soul to protect myself. Another hurt, another layer. Don’t tell anyone. A cruel word necessitated a layer. Keep it inside. Don’t share the burden. What would everyone think? A devastating event, I put on a few more layers. I had so many layers; my soul resembled a toddler wrapped up for his first outing into the snow.
There is nothing wrong with layers. Sometimes it’s necessary for us to have a layer. Just like when we get a cut and out skin scabs over, so it can heal itself, sometimes our spirits need a thicker protection so they can heal. But what happens when a wound won’t scab over? When it stays open and continues to leak fluid? The wound festers, and begins to smell. It doesn’t heal. In the same way, if we don’t properly attend to wounds on our spirit, they also will fester. Maybe they won’t stink physically, but they will affect how we interact with others. They can make our attitudes pretty stinky.
In my own case, it made me really angry. I was so wrapped up in NOT dealing with my wounds that I would get mad at anything that distracted me from that. I was short with my kids. I would close myself off from my husband. I lied to people. I was so focused on keeping up the appearance that I was fine, that everything in my life had been perfect that I wasn’t real with people. I threw myself into any activity that would distract me from my mind. I kept this up for years.
I knew in my heart I had to change. But how could I change? I had held onto the hurt so long, it was like a friend. One day it was time. Through a series of events that had occurred over about 6 months, I was done. God had been slowly removing my outer layers. It was so humbling to see how my festering spirit had been hurting not only myself, but also the people I loved most. The layers were stuck together and just like a physical bandage that was encrusted with goop, it couldn’t be done quickly. Eventually, God and I were down to the last layer. Oh I held on tightly. It was time though. I no longer had the energy to hold onto the hurt. We had moved to our latest home and had been living there for about six months. Our church was hosting a retreat. And through the speaker’s words and the Holy Spirit, that last layer was taken from me.
It felt wonderful for my spirit to breathe again. To realize that it wasn’t my job to protect myself. God showed me that my protection was so weak and feeble next to His. I could be safe in Him, just as I always had been.
I am still tempted from time to time to go back to my old ways. To start wrapping myself back up. But then I hear that still small voice telling me to run to Him. It reminds me that I need to let God wrap His arms around me and take the hurt onto Him.
He’ll do the same for you if you’ll only let Him.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.” Isa. 53:5, NIV