For 2021, my word of the year was “healing.” I prayed for healing for my husband, healing for myself, healing for all those suffering from illness, injustice, and other trauma, healing for creation labouring in this time of global warming and climate change.
In this last year, I’ve learned a lot about healing as an act of faith. Here are three lessons in healing that I’ve learned and keep on learning today. May these encourage you in your own journey of healing and as you seek to be a healing presence for others.
1. Healing may be needed in many different areas of our lives.
When “healing” became my word of the year for 2021, I thought mainly about the world-wide coronavirus pandemic and more personally about my husband’s physical healing after six weeks in the hospital and as he entered active treatment for cancer.
But then a friend said to me, “You need healing too.” As soon as she said it, I realized she was right. I also needed to recover from my husband’s medical emergency and long hospital stay—to find healing for my aching heart over his illness, emotional healing from the separation and stress that we had both experienced, and yes, even physical healing by returning to my regular workouts and catching up on sleep.
2. Healing takes time.
“Are we there yet?” No, my husband still continues in active treatment for cancer. I still sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with my thoughts spiralling and have to listen for his breathing before praying myself back to sleep.
So we continue to invest time in healing—spending hours doing lab work, sitting through treatments, talking with medical professionals, going to emergency when needed, calling to schedule and re-schedule appointments, renewing prescriptions and picking them up, researching and preparing the foods that best promote my husband’s healing, praying and staying connected with those who are praying for us, spending time in reflection before God, and so much more. Healing is a journey, and we continue to walk it with trust in God who heals us, and with thanks to all those who walk with us.
3. Healing doesn’t always happen in a straight line.
When my husband was in the hospital, his condition seesawed up and down a number of times before he was finally cleared to be released home. Since then the ups and downs have continued.
One day he’s able to devote several hours to his academic work, then the next day or the next week, he’s too tired to concentrate. Most days his blood pressure is a low normal, but sometimes it dips too low, so he feels light-headed, and I’m glad the chairs I put strategically around the house when he came home from the hospital are still in place in case he suddenly needs to sit down. Yet by the grace of God, the lows are no longer as low as they once were, and he continues to get stronger.
In this new year, I continue to pray for healing, and am certain the lessons in healing will continue. But I’m also pondering a new word that I look forward to sharing with you in my next post.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: What lessons in healing have you experienced in this last year? Will you choose a word of the year for 2022? Why or why not?
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