“O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.” ~ Psalm 30:2
Lately, I’ve been voraciously reading about art journaling. Notice I said reading about it, not doing it. All my life, I have been somewhat artistic – I enjoying sketching, painting, collage, and all sorts of different things. I like to try new things and attempt to use mediums I’m not familiar with. This is, until my husband died. Up until the weeks of his illness, I had been enrolled in two different art classes, looking for a fun way to learn new things. After he passed away, I quit all of them.
And, I realized last night, I quit everything else artistic that I do, too.
When this realization hit, it kind of surprised me. Art is often considered to be very freeing, a good way to express emotions and to give yourself creative space to heal. It’s almost as if I wanted to complete shut off this part of myself, to close the door on the emotions that lurked within the creative part of my brain. But in doing that, I have been forcing myself to tip-toe past these closed doors, cowering in fear of what might happen if I acknowledge everything that is shut up inside.
And I think I’ve been doing this because I don’t trust God to heal all of the hurts that arose when my husband died. It’s as if I showed Him around my heart and said, “You can heal me here and here, but over here, it’s just too much – so we’ll just leave that alone. The hurt is too great.”
But God IS more than capable of healing all of my hurts. I, in turn, have to be willing to give Him the chance to do so. To do this, I must be completely vulnerable with both myself and Him – I can’t ignore or try to hide everything, because stuffing something away doesn’t actually solve the problem. It just obscures it from view…for a while. It’s like a deep wound that hasn’t been treated properly and turns into a frightening, twisted, dense scar. If cared for, that same wound can heal so neatly it’s almost not visible. The loss I have experienced has unalterably changed my life, but God can heal me in such a beautiful way that it is no longer the focal point of everything I do.
I’m sure you know people that don’t allow themselves to be vulnerable with anyone, ever. They play things so close to the vest you never know what they’re thinking, if they’re hurting or feeling alone. I don’t want to become that type of person, especially not with God. I want to be able to hand over the emotional reins of my life to my Creator and give Him room to heal me from the inside out. To do that, I need to trust Him with everything in me and have faith He will do what He promises in the Psalm today, to heal me when I call.