Tag Archives: Christian Walk

Why I’m Choosing to Live Open-Wounded–Because Life Hurts and Healing is Never Perfect

“I can see you’re still not healed.”

“You’re not ready yet. You need more healing.”

Thanks people of the world, for noticing and confirming that I’m still a broken, wounded mess. No thanks for the box of shame I feel your words put me in.

The box of the Un-Healed.

It’s the place where I’m told I’m not qualified to handle life yet, that I shouldn’t show my wounds because they’re too messy for people to see, that anything less than perfect isn’t good enough, and that I can’t dare to speak, do, or be anything outside the confines of the walls of the box of Un-Healed.

I’m supposed to heal up here in this box, because only “healed” people qualify to live outside this box–at least that’s the message I’m led to believe.

The “Healed” give me “steps” and absolute answers that are supposed to be the keys to my healing.. They tell me to pray and read my Bible more.

“Go ahead,” they say, “apply these answers to your wounds yourself. It’s what you need to do to be healed.”

They may even call this compassion.

But it’s not.

Compassion, the real key to releasing the healing balm we need for our wounds, doesn’t come from perfect prescriptions from the “healed.”

love heart keyCompassion can only dispensed by the open-wounded. By those who put away their measuring sticks of perfection and revive, empower, and champion rather than rival, empale, and compare.

Connected, compassionate people create nets of healing to catch the falling, the failing, and the ones bleeding too much to ask for help. Because they know:

brutal beautiful

I know I’m not the only one suffocating, suffering, and yes, even occasionally swearing when I feel I’ve been shamed into the box of the Un-healed. I’ve found some of you there and we’ve started talking about our pain and our shame, and we’ve discovered that compassion is the key. Together, we’ve found the courage to punch our fists through the walls of the box, tearing the labels “unworthy,” “broken,” “too wounded,” and “not healed enough” that were plastered on the outside.

We know we can’t live and we can’t heal in here, in the shame of the Un-healed box. Hidden, silent, separate suffering does not heal.

A covered up wound may look better from the outside, but it always digs deeper into the flesh. It always gets worse.

Only open wounds can heal.

Open wounds are messy to look at and messy to deal with. They bleed on our white t-shirts of I-hope-you-only-see-that-I-have-it-all-together. We get stained by each other’s pain.

His blood stains us too. Our wounds became His.

And we. . .

We. Are. Him.

The Body. His Body on earth.

Open-wounded, we are able to love like He does. Bleeding together, we connect our suffering to His, our healing to His

There is no shame in living open-wounded. No. Shame. Anymore.

Yes, I’m Un-Healed. My complete and perfect healing will come the day He calls me to my perfect home. Until then, I’m going to live open-wounded.

So now, to the people of the world who see my wounds and say:

“I see you are not healed yet.”

I say, “HURRAY!”

I’m glad you see it, and I hope you always do. Because I want to invite you into my house that is a mess, with dishes in the sink and mold growing on the leftovers in the back of my refrigerator.

Compassion--the key to healing heartsSee the real me—Imperfect. Wounded. Sit down and let’s talk about the messiness of life. Let’s let the wounds hurt here and have no answers, no measuring sticks of perfection, no formulas for healing. I’ll serve you love offered on the used and abused chipped plate of my heart. It’s what I have to give.

Compassion is the only key that unlocks my healing.

Life hurts and healing is never perfect, so I’m choosing to live open-wounded. To dare to use the brutal to color life beautiful.

We can do this thing called true compassion.

We can put down the measuring sticks of our brokenness, and

pick up the healing keys of HOLY HEALING HEARTS.

Imperfect, open-wounded loving.

Brutal into beautiful.

Let’s dare to live–and LOVE–open-wounded to the hurting ones in our lives today.

Linda

Making the Whole of Life Beautiful

Make the Whole BeautifulI’m in the third year of writing my memoir. It’s a project that can’t be hurried along, even though many days I feel like I’m running late for the school bus and need a good shove on my bottom to get moving.

I long to get through the schooling in the brokenness of my own humanity, and on to the grown-up life of the promised happy ending. But patient endurance must finish its work.

Over and over I must keep going back. Back to study brokenness, back to study pain. Back to study who I was, who I became, and who truly I wanted to be. It’s like picking up shards of a broken mirror, each reflecting a fragment of me, and trying to piece it back together.

Trying to make the pieces, and me, WHOLE again.

I can’t go back and make some of those pieces pretty.

But I am moving forward, and with God’s help, the whole is becoming beautiful!

The book of my life will be colored by beauty, and not by shame and pain. Because:

God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes. Psalm 18:24 MSG

Praying for God to help you make the whole of your life beautiful too.

Linda

She Wanted to Be . . .

Two years ago I wrote a blog post entitled To Wanna-be . . .Or To Be? Confessions from my writer’s desk

An excerpt:

I am a reluctant spokesperson for God. More afraid that my weaknesses will fail Him than I am confident that He can do what He says He will do.

A Moses-like writer, a stuttering failure, who carries a pen as a staff in her hand. And God says,

“Throw it down”

Then

“Pick it back up and write. And I will set my people free.”

I dare not believe it. I can only obey.

Yet I know I am different. God’s taken more control, freed me more from self … to be myself.

And I know … I am no longer a wanna-be.

I am.

A writer. A fool for Christ.

My words have been set free.

But not to teach.

TO HEAL.

Because healing words are not from the head. They bleed from the heart … to transfuse God’s love to a broken world.

I pray my future readers will see the drops of blood I shed on the pages of that book today. I pray God will use them to heal, even as I’ve been healed in the writing of them.

And now I pause in my writing to wonder, have you been a wanna-be too? Can you hear God asking you to throw down what you hold so tightly in your hand? The very thing He has spoken to you that He can use to set his people free?

Will you stay a wanna-be, or will you BE?

Yes, that is the question.

I bet you didn’t want God to ask you that question today, anymore than I did.

But He did. Because it’s time my friend,

to:

…bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

                   -Isaiah 61:1-3

I’m praying for you. For you to BE!

The world is waiting for exactly what you have to share.

And so am I.

She read it.

She wanted to BE. 

And left a comment on the post:

through tears…

i SO want to BE ALL that He has fashioned me to be…may i BE, Lord Jesus, may i BE!!!

My friend Jenifer was a wanna-be writer that God led me to through the miracle of the internet, and told He me, “Help her, give her anything you have that I ask you to share to support and encourage her.”

To the best of my ability I have.

Jenifer had a dream in her heart and a calling from God to take up her pen and lead women to DIVE DEEPER into God’s healing Word.

She is being “launched” into that dream today.

And today, I want to say publicly to her:

through tears of joy . . .

you are ALL that He has fashioned you to be…

and may we follow your lead to BE, Lord Jesus, may we BE!

So many women will be transformed by your writing and your heart Jenifer!

Thank you for having the courage TO BE!

Linda

Jenifer’s book, DIVE DEEPER: Finding Deep Faith Beyond Shallow Religion, is a unique, interactive Bible study of the book of Ephesians. The desire of her heart is for women to fall in love with God’s Word, and she shows us how to do just that. As part of Thomas Nelson’s new Inscribed Collection, DIVE DEEPER is available for pre-order now.

Jenifer Jenifer asked me to be a “captain” for her launch team today, and I am honored beyond words to connect you to this amazing woman of God and share the joy of her dream coming  to BE!

Click the photo below to learn more about Jenifer, her book, and her ministry.

I'm a dive team captain

Faith, Hope, and . . .

A few years back I special ordered a sign with my favorite quote on it for a Christmas present to myself. It’s been in the entryway of my house ever since, where my husband and I pass by it multiple times a day. I read it often, but apparently it’s just been wallpaper to my husband all these years. This week he finally noticed it—and noticed something missing. See if you think something’s missing too:

sign

“What about LOVE?” he said to me. “You know, faith, hope and LOVE? You have faith and hope in there, but where’s the rest of it?”

Immediately this scripture came to mind:

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13 NLT

The GREATEST of these is LOVE. Had I missed the rest of the message all these years? I was hearing and dancing…had hope and faith, but where–where was the sentence that completed the quote? The one with LOVE in it?

It may seem trivial, but this really bugged me. My favorite quote was now diminished, incomplete, and lacking something vital. It didn’t inspire me like it had before. I felt silly that I had never noticed the missing sentence on LOVE before, AND I had absolutely no idea what it was supposed to be.

It took a few days of feeling perturbed before I finally asked God to help me figure out the ending. I had to chuckle when it finally came to me!

“LOVE is letting Jesus lead.”

All this time I had pictured myself dancing alone to the music I could hear and believe. But I haven’t been alone, He’s been there the whole time, a silent partner in the dance, teaching me how to yield to my love for Him and surrender more and more of my movements to His lead–to His LOVE.

Now I know, LOVE was never really missing. God is LOVE. Always present, always holding me in His arms and gently leading me in the dances of my life.

Thank you hubby for noticing what I couldn’t, and for challenging me to find the LOVE.

“Hope is hearing the music of the future.

Faith is dancing to it now.

Love is letting Jesus lead.”

Lead on Jesus, lead on!  

Praying for you–for faith, hope and LOVE. . . and your dancing with Jesus life.

~Linda

Why Don’t I Laugh More?

Beauty is whatever gives joy.  -Edna St. Vincent Millay

I want to be funny.

Not ridiculous. I don’t want people to roll their eyes behind my back.

Well, maybe I do.

It’s just that I’ve been so darn serious all my life, devoting myself to striving for perfection standards in everything I do, and everything I’ve thought I should become.

Good girl. Good Christian. Good wife. Good mother. Good Christian older wife and mother. Good this and good that.

I’ve become adept at drawing confinement lines around my behavior because it takes a lot of serious thinking to work toward perfection. And a lot more serious thinking when I inevitably fail to meet my own expectations. Orderly steps, measured words, tempered thoughts, logical actions…

Confined life.

Except when I can’t stand myself anymore and I break into dance, song, or write silly words. Or travel. Out of my comfort zone, away from my “should life” I allow my diaphragm to relax and inhale and exhale fun.

I laugh. Full belly.

I want to be funny, because life isn’t funny if I’m not. I’m a jaw-clencher, and laughter comes hard, like rigid muscles that have forgotten how to move. Even confessing my serious nature barely initiates my moving closer to funny. Yet, from beyond the confined lines, from the infinite undefined space of thought, comes this:

Beauty isn’t beauty without joy.

Joy in me = joy in the beauty of life.

Beauty isn't beauty without Joy

On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.  Psalm 100:1-3 MSG

And so I pray, help me Lord, to forget the confines of the lines and the “shoulds” so I may color life beautiful today with laughter. With you.

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