What Healing Requires
When you are entering into a season of healing, it is with urgency that you must withdraw. It is vital to your health—emotional, mental, spiritual, and otherwise—that you pull back. And you do so not to benefit others around you that you may be worried about affecting; you do so for yourself that you may be well.
The pressing issue isn’t that you necessarily be in close fellowship or interaction with this friend or that family member. Sometimes we cannot fully heal through those relationships. The pressing issue is not even your achievements in school or success at work. The pressing issue is that you are well, that you are okay. Your well-being is an extension of your right fellowship with God. It is there, with him, that you must remain.
This pulling back from friendships or activities is hard but necessary. It is distasteful even, but helpful. Your fears and insecurities creep up on you like changing weather in season, and you are never quite sure when they’ll stay and when they’ll leave. You are afraid of not being seen, and afraid therefore of being forgotten. You fear not being able to pull back when you truly should. But don’t be afraid. God will give you the strength and dexterity you need to pull back in the moments you need it most—but not a moment sooner, and not a moment later.
When you ought to invest in friendships or activities amidst your healing is ambiguous. The timing of it is ambiguous; the thought of it is ambiguous. The ambiguity is painful and it rattles your heart. But you are aware that you are not afraid of the ambiguity of time, of when you will see this person or participate in that activity. This is because you are gaining awareness of Who loves you and Where you belong. You might wrestle with uncertainty toward those of whom you are unsure of their love, with those whom you are unsure of your belonging. But embrace the tension. Struggle through it. Smile at it and spit at it until you become more aware of God’s love for you and the love from those around you. For where the love of God is, you belong.
The greatest temptation when traveling through darkness and beginning to heal is giving in to the desire to plant seeds with your presence. You must trust that if the seeds have already been planted, they have also already been sown because of the One who has planted them. Yet you also mustn’t worry if seeds have or have not been planted with your name and memory on them in the lives of those whose love you long for, or in the big picture of your vocational pursuits. You are still loved and still belong while you spend most of your time in the shadows, and will continue to be thereafter.
Be still, embrace the tension of ambiguity, and remain faithful to what has been entrusted to you now. God, who gives generously, will give you what you most need when you most need it.
What might scare you about pulling back? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.