It was a Tuesday afternoon and this mommy had a rare whole hour to spend kid-free. Instead of tending to the urgent things like a Coscto trip or picking up the dry cleaning, I had been invited to tend to the important things. I sank back into the comfy cushions of the sofa, big thick throw pillows on either side. The lovely room was warm and welcoming as sunlight filtered through the tall trees before spilling in through the window. “Nice,” I thought to myself, “I shall be quite comfortable… while being terribly uncomfortable. Welcome to therapy.”
I’m not sure what I expected. I think I had prepared myself for a dimly lit room with bare walls and the faint drip… drip… drip of a leaky faucet in the background. Probably because that picture mirrored how I felt inside, dark and bare and irritated. A dear friend new I was struggling. She knew that I was stuck, soul-stuck in a hard place. I was stuck in that jagged craggy place of uneven footing that feeds on trauma and fear and anger. I lived in a panicked place and the stress of it was affecting my mommyhood. I was anxious and quick to growl and scowl and lose my temper with my sweet children and dear husband. Overwhelmed by feeling big feelings I tried instead not to feel at all, and then expected my children to follow suit. My friend suggested that I see someone. A name. A number on a scrap of paper.
I held on to that paper for months. I was not brave enough to make that call. I knew that with that call, with that first appointment would come the invitation to unweave the warp and weft of the story of my life, to dig deep and let go and make room for God’s healing hand. I did not think my heart could bear it. I have fought against this unraveling my entire adult life. And then a phone call came, a reaching out from an unexpected place. “Go. For you, for your kids, for your husband. It’s okay to ask for help.” the voice gently prompted me. A father speaking compassion to his daughter, telling her it’s okay to not be okay. Don’t hide. Don’t run. Don’t make-believe. That is not how healing comes.
Healing, I thought, was instantaneous. Jesus saved me. He is my Healer. I am healed. That is the end of the story.
Or rather, I wanted that to be the end of the story.
Jesus could have healed my most broken, wounded places in the blink of an eye. Insecurity, gone. Shame, gone. Anger, gone. But He chose instead to lead me to someone He would use to do this healing work, to remind me that I am not alone. I think of how the sunlight streaked through the tree branches and danced across my arms as I leaned back into those pillows. Expose and then heal. Open and then grow. Admit. Forgive. And then I will flourish, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a friend. I am His and He has good things for me and one of the good things He has for me in this season is therapy, it’s that sofa, that office, that kind smile in the chair across from me. He asks me to trust Him and to welcome His light as He shines brightly into my darkest places.