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Take Nothing for the Journey
How healing your past can help you move forward to where God wants you
Stuck in the past, I have been musing on what may have happened, why it happened, and how. As much as I’d like to move forward and have, the thought of answers and closure and truth flood my mind to bring an end to the boundless questions I have about what happened. While many people have admonished me to simply move on, I disagree. I have found so much healing and value in sitting with these things before the Lord.
God is all about not letting us carry our baggage with us into the new land He is sending us into. Jesus’ famous words, take nothing for the journey, echo in my head as I have carefully sorted through each detail of the recent explosion that took place in my life.
As someone who has a career in the field of criminal justice, with a passion specifically in the areas of mental health and crisis management, I have found that in the direst of cases and the direst of times, people just want to be heard. Being able to talk about the thing that’s ailing us, sets that thing free. The thing that is holding us down is the very thing we need to release to our Lord to move on. And for those that do not know God, we can all be vehicles of love and listening on His behalf. Not telling people to forget about it and simply “move on,” but allowing a safe space for people to open up, let go, and feel the love of our Lord.
In the last six months, I have gone through great healing. And as I get ready to enter this next phase of my journey, I know that my time asking God those hard questions was not in vain.
Healing is not translatable to one specific modality. Healing is deeply personal and crafted by God to bring supernatural light and wisdom.
And this is what I prayed for as I healed, truth and wisdom.
What I love about being Catholic is the free healthcare. No, not in the traditional sense, but in the spiritual one. The sacraments provide a tangible and living way to get better as God sows His love and mercy within me. And while healthcare in this country is becoming increasingly overburdened, Christ never is. He is there to offer His medicine every day of the week in the Eucharist and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Why then are we not running into the arms of God?
This time around I did that. I went to daily mass, sat at Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, found a Spiritual Director, and went to confession. My healing centered around the Eucharist, the God of the Universe. And while at times I reached out to comforting friends and family, ultimately I was redirected to God with all of my questions, tears, and prayers. God knew the whys and hows were what was going to help me to heal, so He gave me those answers. But only when I learned to trust Him.
I met a friend for coffee several days ago and we talked about God’s providence, and what that looked like in our lives. He was of the belief that we sort of start out being directed by God and eventually do our own thing. I told him that I believed God was involved in every intimate detail of our life.
As I was talking, I realized that the conversation was more about me than maybe it was about him, as I talked passionately about the God of the universe who loved and cared about me, and about him. And as I kept talking, my heart kept swelling, not doubting any longer that it was true, and I could see the look on my friend’s face change too. He looked at me intently and said, “Well, you’ve given me something to think about.”
As I am nearing the end of this healing journey I have come away with many truths. These things are personal to me in the form of lessons, friends, and ways in which I need to move forward. But the lesson I have learned that is for sharing with all of you is that God can heal, and does, in a deeply personal way. There is no recipe or right and wrong for that, He is aware of how the deepest recesses of our hearts work, our needs, and the way in which we need His loving and guiding hand.
Today, if you are working on your own healing, may I suggest starting with a journal and writing down all the things you’d like to ask God. Bring them with you when you go to Mass or Adoration. Make an appointment with your priest to talk about them, go to confession and talk about them. Keep at it until the Lord has softened your heart so much so that you will be ready to hear Him.
The past is not in the past if it haunts you. But the past can provide you a place for spiritual growth and healing when you allow God to work and vow, like the disciples, not to carry it with you into your future.