This summer, my 5 year old daughter, Annie, decided to teach herself how to be a gymnast. Thank you Rio Olympics. I did not understand the fullness of her tenacity, but she had zero fear when it came to hurling herself into dry patches of grass, calling all sorts of stumbles to her feet “cartwheels”.
A few weeks into her self-training we got the call from school that Annie had crash landed a said “cartwheel”and needed to see a doctor. Initially the doctor said it was disclocated and with a short burst of tears sorta popped it back into place. Annie went back to life as usual with a sling and a DQ treat.
At the follow up visit, a better x-ray was performed and it became clear to the doctor that Annie’s arm was indeed actually broken. But now, unfortunately, it had already started to heal incorrectly. We needed to see a specialist, faced a possible surgery, and talked of metal pins going into my baby. Insert my own burst of tears.
Relationships and life can sometimes feel like a complicated attempt at an ambitious cartwheel. Just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, no matter our tenaciousness, we crash land. Hard. Leaving us in a burst of tears as adults but now too afraid to cry the ugly cry into anyone else’s sleeve. What causes this reflux of emotion? It may be that we are struggling to understand why people do the things they do or say the things they say that hurt us. Maybe a relationship has been cut short or we lost someone we love. It may be that nothing feels like it is going right-we don’t know why the situation or the circumstance is what it is, but it’s more than complicated. Maybe we are feeling used or taken advantage of or unequipped and inadequate. Maybe we are being wronged or judged unfairly. Maybe we lost a job, lost it all, or lost our way. It might have been someone else’s doing or maybe our own. But it hurts.
We try to go on life as usual…. wrapping ouserselves up in this blanket of thick emotion: bitterness, resentment, depression, guilt or shame and sometimes we are left baffled, wondering why we feel that we have been so wronged…
Maybe it’s because at some point, like Annie’s arm, we’ve never really healed correctly. Maybe our moms or dads, our families, our leaders or pastors, our jobs, our spouses or kids, or our own doings and our own faults, broke us. Somehow. Some place. Things weren’t ever set in place and there is still a break. We felt the initial pain but we buried the hurt to get on with life. We settled for the sling which only made things worse. Then one day, to our surprise, the hurt has resurfaced with a burst of hot tears and now we are facing surgery. Heart surgery.
Annie’s arm didn’t end up needing surgery. But she did have a cast for several long grueling weeks at the end of summer. For a while she felt so wronged, like her summer beach days were stolen from her lil one piece sunbathing self. She had to let the idea go of swimming at all because mama was not wrapping her in a trash bag. But you know what? She never doubted she would heal. She wore that hot pink cast proudly and continued practicing her gymnast stretches.
And you know what ? People will fail us, life will have trials, and pain will happen. Sometimes we will have our hearts broken. We will feel wronged, because we will be done wrong. We were never promised a heart or life free from pain or trials. But as long as we don’t doubt it, we keep on stretching, we let somethings go, we too can heal from our hurt. To do that, we must go through our own CASTing process…
The word of God says in I Peter 5:7 to “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you…”
Let go and let God. In a simple prayer. Not by a blowout conversation with those that hurt you, not by harborung unforgiveness, and not by giving up. …because He will take ALL the pain, the hurt, the brokenness, bitterness, the guilt, the shame if we let Him.
Just like that cast after several summer weeks, once ready, we need to receive the healing, repent, and stretch ourselves in the word to deal with our own wrongdoings, or we will begin to stink. If you read the verse before the “casting all your cares” part, we will read that we must actually DO SOMETHING to cast those cares.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:6-7
He is our great physician. We have to humble ourselves under the Heart Surgeons hand, so in His time, He can free us, exalt us, taking all our cares. Because? He cares for us.
Hurt people, hurt people. Whole people, help people. And I believe God wants us all to be humble, heal from the hurt, become whole, and begin to help others who are hurting. It’s not easy, we sacrifice in the process, sometimes letting big things go. Sometimes we have to be wronged ourselves in order to be right with God.
Sometimes it’s at that breaking point–when the sickness, when the chaos, when the heartbreak, when the injustice, when the debt, when the hurt, when the trials–are so unbearably impossible that the pressure breaks us. so He can fix us. Sometimes when we are hurting, we have to believe God is healing. Sometimes when we feel we have been so wronged, we need to believe that God is making something right.
Annie had to teach herself how to do cartwheels again. But she did. She’s stronger because of it. We will be stronger because of our struggles too.
Lord, We humble ourselves under your mighty hand and we place our lives at your feet. We come to you with our pain, our hurt. Forgive us of our own sins and forgive those who have sinned against us. So that in your due time, you can free us, and exalt us. We cast all our cares upon you, because you love us. Amen.