I get suggestions all the time for new exercise routines and diets. That’s to be expected, I imagine. After all, all these long 2 years and 2 months, I have stubbornly stuck to a plan that is not a plan, a diet that is not a diet. All I have done is hang onto a promise I made to God: that I would let Him teach me how to love my body.
That has to be frustrating, from outside of the wondrous world of Karen’s brain. We like plans. We like lists. We like things that can be measured. They are easy to share and by far easier to follow than a directive like, “Let God teach you…” anything at all. I share what I do, but none of it is at all a plan or a list or measurable.
The suggestions are not unwelcome. After all, some of the time, that’s how He teaches me. He puts information in front of me and when I press into it, another piece unfolds itself to my understanding and becomes a permanent change in me. Other stuff that I come across is just a temporary try, and soon enough reveals itself to me as more *my* idea or understanding than His – so I let it go. Sometimes you can’t know without trying, eh?
I’m in the middle of a conversation with God right now and I have no idea whether it is related to this promise I made, though it seems likely that it might be. We are talking about healing. We are talking about the fact that I “believe” on some level that He can and will heal…have witnessed it up close…have experienced it myself, even…and yet on some other (experiential) level, I don’t believe it at all. And I don’t know how to fix that.
He and I are talking about the woman with the “issue of blood” in the New Testament. You know…she touched Jesus’ robe in a crowd, reaching for the healing she was sure was there in Him, and sure enough, she got it…followed by a huge spotlight of attention on her as He turned to see who she was and commend her faith. That story.
Yesterday morning I had been pondering the story, simply because I was just coming off of a wicked bad “I don’t enjoy being a girl” day and pondering the horror of TWELVE UNINTERRUPTED YEARS of that. Before yesterday, I hadn’t ever stopped to ponder how much compassion Jesus must have felt for her pain. It was still kind of just a “Bible story” in my head. You know…like a nice flannel graph (if you ever did Sunday School, maybe you know what a flannel graph is) or a movie done with cheesy costumes and makeup and poor production values in general, but…not REAL…not “reach in and move my heart or twist my gut” real.
Yesterday as I pondered it at the start of my day, I got that He understood an ocean of pain there. I got that His calling her out of the crowd was a celebration with her, not just an object lesson to play out in front of the 3 who would write their accounts of it later. Yesterday, I was undone by it. I love when that happens.
And then I got to church and…whaddya know…my pastor talked about the same story. HELLO GOD, I AM LISTENING!!
One of the things I noticed, that I don’t recall noticing before in my entire long lifetime of hearing the story in church, was that she had spent all her money trying to solve this problem. I’m sure I heard it before – I just never NOTICED it. At first blush it can just seem obvious. If you have a medical problem that won’t go away for more than a decade, chances are you’ll have spent a ton of money – maybe even every spare penny you ever had and then some – in search of a solution.
So what? Just a historical statement, right?
Then I think about this journey of my body. All of you out there who have fought weight over years can testify to this: you try a lot of things. You buy books and read a lot of advice and try ludicrous things that might have worked for someone else. You give a chance to diets that are ridiculously unpleasant and inconvenient. You sign up for memberships to gyms and Weight Watchers and TOPS and the Weigh Down Workshop and Curves and on and on…and sometimes your weight goes down. For a little while. And then those pounds come racing back to find you, and they bring friends with them.
Maybe I hadn’t spent “all of my money” in the search…but I had certainly tried everything that my own common sense, flailing hope, or flat out stupidity could muster. And while I had experienced temporary relief from time to time…always I went back and found every pound I had lost and then some. Always. My own resources were tapped out.
I feel like what happened in the conversation where I agreed to let Him teach me to love my body was very much a “touch the hem of His garment” moment. All hope, no backup, and not the tiniest bit of my ability in it. Just a giant PLEASE as I reached. And I feel like He’s been celebrating with me ever since.
Somewhere in that lesson is the key, I think, to this conversation we are having about healing. Somehow, I have to let go of my resources and understanding and solutions and knowledge and just reach out, staking all on HIM and Him alone. That, I suspect, is where I will finally get free of my inability to believe for physical healing.
Next step: hold that up to the light and wait for Him to do what He will with it.
No answers in today’s blog. This is an all-process one. If you came all of these 1,006 words for an answer…sorry!