We Long for Healing

For 2020, my word of the year was journey, and I thought of it mainly in terms of my journey more deeply into the writing life. I was about to complete my first year as resident author with a liturgical worship community, and looking forward to developing further partnerships with other churches where I might speak on a regular basis throughout the year. I had plans to produce another ebook to be distributed through my blog, and to work with a traditional publisher on a new book project.

For all of my plans, I was also open to discovering new things on my journey. I wrote that for me, journeying meant receiving each day as a gift, learning along the way, and being surprised by God.

At the time, none of us knew that the year’s journey for all of us would include the novel coronavirus that would become a global pandemic with millions of cases around the world and over two million deaths. The health crisis soon became a political, economic, and social crisis with widespread shut downs and stay-at-home orders, massive unemployment, increasing political polarization and racial tensions, and so much more.

We were all taken by surprise last year, and not in a happy way. The learning curve was steep as we were met with new challenges. In spite of the optimism of some that we’d make it through the pandemic together, not all of us made it as many lives were lost along the way, and the death toll remains high especially in particular hot spots around the world.

As if all of that weren’t enough, my husband’s health crisis last fall set us on a personal journey that included a sudden trip to the emergency room, followed by a six-week hospital stay, followed by just three weeks’ recovery at home before beginning treatment for the cancer that the doctors determined to be at the root of his health issues. This has been—and is—a hard journey, but we are grateful for good medical care, that he is able to be at home and receive treatment as an outpatient, that we are attended by God’s daily mercies and the positive thoughts and prayers of many. Truly each day we have is a gift.

As this more personal journey continues for us, as the coronavirus pandemic and its global impact continues for all of us, the word that keeps coming up for me for this year is “healing”: healing for my husband, healing for myself, healing for all those suffering from illness, injustice, and other trauma. I long for healing. It seems to me that the world cries out for healing.

As I’ve been pondering healing as my one word for 2021, I learned that the Godspace Writers Community that I belong to will focus on Time to Heal as our theme for the next few months. I appreciate this litany of healing written by Godspace Founder Christine Sine that ends this way:

God of health,
God of wholeness,
God of love,
Heal our bodies,
Heal our souls,
Heal our spirits,
Heal our world.

Go into the world knowing you are touched by the God who heals.
May your life shine with the holiness of God.
Let your heart be transformed by the peace of Christ.
Let your ways be filled with the joy of the Spirit.


May it be so.

Image by Daniel Kirsch from Pixabay

Other Recommended Links

O Healing River

On Not ‘Beating’ Cancer

by Brian Doyle

Maybe if we celebrate grace under duress rather than the illusion of total victory we will be less surprised and more prepared when illness and evil lurch into our lives, as they always will; and maybe we will be a braver and better people if we know we cannot obliterate such things, but only wield oceans of humor and patience and creativity against them.

Illness as Hermitage: How Parkinsons Became My Spiritual Practice
by Janice Jean Springer

I don’t know what the future will bring, but then, I have never known that, even if I pretended that I did. I’m not sure if I’ll always be capable of finding the peace I’ve found at this point. For now, my work is to receive whatever each day brings. My limited self and the limitless God come together to empower me to walk a path I never expected to walk and to walk it most days with gratitude.

Writing/Reflection Prompt: Where do you long for healing?


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10 thoughts on “We Long for Healing

  1. Thank you, April for sharing so personally about your struggles. Our strength comes from the God who heals us! It may not always be the way we envision it, but God knows how to heal us! Putting ourselves into the hands of our great healer is the best way for us. Listening to the song was itself a healing process!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Elfrieda. I really appreciate your words of encouragement. Yes, God is our great healer, and while we may not know the way forward, God does! We’re resting in that healing river.

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. The word for last year is so powerful and needed even in 2021. Two words The Lord has dropped in my spirit for 2021 are encouragement and discipline. I look forward to studying both words and the guidance God gives for each. Be encouraged my Sister on this journey of Faith. Blessings

    1. I’m encouraged by your response, Phyllis. As I continue this journey of healing, as you continue to study encouragement and discipline, we know that God is present with us and will guide us. May we follow in faith, hope, and love.

  3. April, I’m glad I read this for your update, but also for the healing that we all need. I was talking to a woman at the wellness center where we go. Her husband died about a year and a half ago and she made the comment that if she had known that the coronavirus was going to impact all our lives so horribly she would have wished to die when her husband died (he died on her 80th birthday when he went to bed peacefully and did not wake up). But I think she is making progress but I’m sure many others (especially elderly couples who are torn from their spouses) need healing of spirit and soul. Thanks for your post, and I hope and pray for healing for your husband and in your own life.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Melodie. When my husband was first admitted to the hospital, I focused so much of my attention and prayers on his healing, and when he was finally able to come home, we were very intentional about what he needed to recover. But then a friend pointed out that I needed healing too, that I also needed to recover from my husband’s medical emergency and long hospital stay and the separation and stress that had meant for both of us. I hadn’t thought of healing in quite that way, but it rings true for me, and I’m sure for many others as you mention. Thank you for your caring and prayers.

  4. May God enfold you in the love of His everlasting arms, April.

    “Healing” seems an appropriate word for you this year. Last year, 2020, felt like such a big ruckus. My hope for you and others is to feel quiet peace and calm refreshment. I wonder what you are doing for self-care. Walking? Listening to music? A writing project? Staring into space is good too!

    I will pray for you. ((( )))

    1. I appreciate your prayers, Marian—healing is needed on so many levels both personally and in our world today. For us this last week has been a bit of a break as we wait for the next stage in my husband’s treatment. We take time each morning to read a devotional book together which is a good self-care practice for both of us. My other self-care practices include Scripture and prayer, listening to music, taking an afternoon nap, and I’m wanting to get back to my regular walking and work outs. I’m also still speaking 2-3 times a month and writing some short pieces, and while the work of ministry isn’t exactly self-care, it’s grounding and lifts us both beyond the endless round of medical appointments. Thank you for asking and for your care.

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