At what age does fear kick in? Have you ever seen a toddler or elementary school kid playing? I remember when I was in elementary, and would climb to the top of the jungle gym, do flips, use my legs to hang upside down, and swing from bar to bar (skipping some), with no fear whatsoever.
Then at some point, doubt and fear kicked it. I rationalized it by calling it “reason”. Thoughts like “this is actually dangerous”, and “I could get hurt” started to flood my mind, and quench the free & lively spirit that once thrived in me. My free spirit now turns into “I’m just being careful.” Careful of what? To live? Careful to not get hurt?
Pain is inevitable, but I’ve realized that the more I try to avoid pain, the more I notice it all around me. BUT! When I think about it, I selectively choose the type of pain I’m willing to experience. Even though I have horrible scars on my left knee, shoulder, and head from a fall I took while running, the pain didn’t keep me from running again. The scar on my right knee during a fall while playing basketball didn’t stop me from picking up a basketball again. Cutting my thumb with a knife while cooking didn’t stop me from using a knife again. The excruciating pain of child birth rarely stops a mother from having a 2nd, 3rd, or 6th child.
And yes, I am fully aware that emotional pains are much harder to heal than physical pains. But what if we took the same approach to emotional hurts like we did for physical hurts?
Many times we don’t realize how wounded we are until we begin, and fully engage in the healing process. If you break your ankle, you don’t just drag your leg around in the hopes that it will heal with time. You go to the doctor, so you can receive the proper care & support your ankle needs to be made strong again. It’s also like getting rid of a knot in your muscle. A whole lot of pressure & heat needs to be applied to eventually bring the healing, but many of us never finish this process because the initial steps feel more painful than the actual knot itself. So we choose to continue walking around wounded because it’s “safer”, it’s become a part of us, and it’s become easier than applying the pressure to be made well. If a broken bone or knotted muscle cannot properly heal on their own, why do we assume emotional hurts will be different?
So now what? Pray! Tell God the whole truth of what you are feeling. God wants the real you, not the “proper” you. Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you. He wants to bind up your wounds and carry you. Also, working with a trusted counselor, and having a support group/friends, all do wonders to make a heart strong again… if you are willing.
If you want your burdens lightened , you must take the necessary steps & time to heal. Only then can we jump right back to swinging on the jungle gym… free spirited, joy filled, and not afraid to fall.