There are so many hurts in this world. You can't turn on the news without seeing horrible stories of hurt. For that matter, you can't even make it through an election year on Facebook without seeing how good we are at hurting one another with our words. Sometimes the hurts we experience have nothing to do with us. Sometimes the hurts we have are because of the choices we have made. Sometimes the hurts we have are because of circumstances beyond our control like loss or abuse. Quite simply, we all have wounds and hurt in some form or fashion.
I don't care what anybody says, if you tell me that you have NO hurts, I am simply not going to believe you. EVERY single one of us hurts. We just manage or cover up our hurts in different ways. Sometimes we learn healthy ways of dealing with our hurts and sometimes...well, we just don't. Sometimes we bury our hurts deep enough that we even forget we have them.
What stinks is that once you put a bandage over a hurt (or hurts) with denial or addictions (like food, drugs, workaholism, alcohol, shopping, co-dependency, pornography, etc.), that bandage has to come off eventually in order for the wound underneath to ever completely heal. And, taking off a bandage really hurts, doesn't it? Sometimes the bandage has been on so long we don't even know what we started trying to cover up in the first place.
What are your hurts? What is your bandage? Do you recognize them? Of course, God wants to be our ultimate healer. He wants to be the kind of bandage that comes with the antiseptic built in to speed the healing process even if he cannot erase the scars. Do we let him be the bandage or do we keep turning to our own bandages?
If I'm going to ask you, it seems only fair that I answer too. I cover my hurts with food addiction. This is something I've learned to manage much better over the years. But, it is still an ongoing bandage that I turn to whenever old hurts surface or new ones develop (a large quantity of Nutella was the culprit most recently, but at least I ate it with a banana, right?). I realize this "red flag" and understand it about myself. When I find myself turning to food when I hurt (rather than when I'm hungry), I know I'm opening up my box of bandages and not letting my God be the bandage instead. My journey toward exploring peace in this life has included trying to rip off this bandage of an unhealthy relationship with food. And, although I'm hurting and imperfect just like you, I hope we can work toward disposing of those old bandages together. I hope that we can get a glimpse of the healing that God provides each of us. I hope that we can listen to him and follow his urge to be real and honest about our hurts.
When we are honest with ourselves and with other people, we can walk toward disposing of those old bandages and only replace them with his bandage because it is the only one that will never have to be removed. His bandages heal us and the scars left behind remind us of who we are and where we come from. And, by sharing with others (not just the five of you who actually read my blog!) that I realize and understand that God is not hiding inside a jar of Nutella, I will be able to remove my bandage much easier and find his peace. And, you can too. Wherever you turn, recognize and become accountable to your bandages, it will become easier. Blessings to you as you continue this journey toward peace and may those wounds heal with God's help.
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson,
Exploring Peace Ministries, unless otherwise indicated.
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