I was able to take a couple major steps forward this past week in relation to the healing journey I’ve been sharing with you for a while now.
(If you’re new to the Sunday Quiet and want to learn more about the beginnings of that journey, you can read about it in a series I wrote on Still Forming called Beginning the Work Again.)
One step forward I took was to ask a key person in my life if I can share with them the more specific details of my healing journey when I see them in person next month. Another step forward — one which feels a bit like a small miracle to me — was to write and send a letter to someone I’ve needed to contact for some time now.
These felt like major victories, the first because it means a readiness to be vulnerable and live deeper into the truth of my story, and the second because it means having found a release in an area that had previously felt closed and stalled.
It is with amazement and gratitude that I look at my journey and continue to see movement forward. Sometimes I marvel at that — our ability to keep healing, keep growing, keep taking courageous steps forward into the more true identity being offered to us.
And sometimes I ask how it happens. How do we find that courage? How does that new release come? What makes movement possible?
For me, the image of the animal creature I’ve been telling you about has been crucial to my process. I notice that as I spend time with that image — make it my intentional spiritual practice, as I shared with you last week — movement keeps happening in tiny ways.
As I let myself lay in the arms of Jesus in that image, I find space to be with the truth of my heart in this journey. And in that space, I find myself able to speak truths I’ve fought hard to deny for a really long time. In his arms, I experience the reality of my grief.
Laying there in his arms like that, healing happens.
And somehow in that healing, strength comes. I can step into sharing my story with someone I hadn’t been able to tell just yet. I can write a letter I hadn’t been able to write.
I think the courage I find to move forward in these ways has something to do with receiving the dignity of my story in the presence of Jesus. He receives it all. He hears it all. He sees me. And so my story becomes more real, even to me. As he accepts me, I can accept myself. In that accepting, I have the ability to take another step.
Full acceptance creates courage.
Is there a way you might benefit from receiving this kind of acceptance from Jesus?