What ideas about your identity are ingrained deeply in you? Does it feel more safe to believe the hopeless parts of you instead of the hopeful?
I’ve been thinking about the lame man in the Bible who was afraid to figure out a way to move into the water. 38 years of being paralyzed. When we read of his encounter with Jesus (who he thought was just a man suggesting he simply try), we’re conditioned to label him as crazy, lazy or simply self-pitiful and disabled by choice.
What a label, “disabled by choice”. Maybe though, disability was what he knew, how he planned his day, accepted the unfairness of his condition. So, what seems crazy was really just fear of different. Unfamiliar.
“They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”
John 5:12 ESV
The man who learned to walk couldn’t really explain it. I suppose he just thought less about who and how than he was astounded to be walking. I wonder how long or if it took him a bit to feel stable, stable in his steps and the miracle that began his embrace of faith. Maybe.
I wonder if he was tempted to lay back down, in a sort of awe and uncertainty life could be this way for him.
If we’re not taught that change can be possible and that even though it might be trial and error, we might “stay on our mat” too.
This is a truth not often expressed.
It’s safer to be the person you’ve called yourself or been called (even if fragile and floundering) than to see our very own growth, to acknowledge how far we’ve come and to slowly dip our toes in the water…the truth of God loving us…until slowly, intentionally and not without moments of backward sliding, we find ourselves lighter, floating, completely and confidently immersed in our healed identity.
If the toil and trials of life have a larger tally it’s likely loss feels more dependable than gain, more believable.
Knowing we are loved because God is love and is patient with those of us who are just learning to swim without the weights of our past keeping us only frantically floating.
Be easy on yourself; but, do step in the water.
It may feel foreign, this trusting the better.
Be easy on yourself.
Continue and believe.
3 thoughts on “Stepping Forward”
This is such a beautiful post. I recently read someone say that when we go through something traumatic it takes time for us to not expect the worst at every turn. It so warmed my heart and helped me to let go of such shame and also to see and thank God for the gentle way He has worked in my heart.
Your post also fits with what He spoke to me at the beginning of the year that I would step out into the new but that I would also fall, again and again, but that that falling would teach me to trust Him like little kids do their parents when they are learning to walk. And He told me that when we share of that tender mercy of His with others, it will embolden them too to step out and fall and get back up again and keep persevering in growing up in Him.
Your post is a gift, Lisa. Reblogged it, hoping more will stop by and read it. God’s compassion is so precious.
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I feel as if I never knew the way my body and mind were so conditioned to trauma that it would acceptable to falter and yet, still move surely towards hope.
Thank you for your words and our connection.
I keep thinking I “get it” and that I am “past it”, until another layer is uncovered for healing. I didn’t realize how conditioned I was as a child. I remember being surprised by my therapist diagnosing multiple trauma in my childhood, as she began to help me see that what I thought was “normal” was anything but.
I didn’t realize how paralyzed by fear and shame I was and how empowering it would become to realize God gave me free will: that I could “choose” what I deep down desired (Him) in places I never realized I had that choice (bound in legalism and spiritual abuse).
Thankful for your sweet encouragement on my continued journey of healing.
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