Three Lessons in Healing

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.

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

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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12 thoughts on “Three Lessons in Healing

  1. April, Hardy and I will pray for healing for both of you. The aging process alone has done a number on us and we continue to pray daily that God will give us the strength to age with dignity and to embrace whatever comes our way, knowing that we are loved!

    1. Thank you, Elfrieda and Hardy, we appreciate the prayers, and join you in praying over the challenges of aging. And yes, whatever comes our way with health issues, aging, or other challenges, God’s love for us never fails.

  2. Healing cancer journeys can be very stressful! It’s encouraging to hear of your healing processes, April. My husband had treatment for prostate cancer, and our then 38yo son had a brain tumor with treatment following surgery, both within the span of about a year and a half. We are so grateful for their miraculous healings and subsequent encouraging reports. We believe both situations have brought our immediate family closer to one another and has caused us all to continue to cherish all of the times we have together as a family of 16. April and others, may God sustain you as you daily travel these journeys.

    1. I appreciate your sharing, Nancy. What a stressful journey for you and your family, yet with miraculous healings and growing together as a family in closer relationships and treasuring one another. I’m encouraged by God’s work in your lives – thank you!

      1. It’s amazing how God is always working and in ways that are unexpected and surprising! Blessings on your journey 💝

  3. Your three thoughts on healing are so helpful but currently I am yearning for a 4th thought and that is, “How to Pray when the Palliative Stage is “at the door” –like for my son-in-law. Is there anything more than praying, “Lord, may Your Will be done”? I keep thinking that Scripture, among other things says, “Death is the last enemy we face”, so perhaps to pray for courage and trusting the Lord’s strength.

    1. You raise an important question, Sue. A husband whose wife was gravely ill once asked me if it was all right to pray for a miracle, and I said yes, we can pray for a miracle even as we pray for God’s will to be done. We can also pray for courage and trusting the Lord’s strength as you suggest, and I would also add praying for peace, praying to cherish the precious time remaining. These are just some initial thoughts, but perhaps the question you raise could be addressed some time in a longer post.

  4. Thank you for your sharing. Prayers do help but waiting is lonesome for me. We are both healthy but live in each other’s mind only. Lately I was not allowed to see her and can only phone with the help of a care aid. Anne spends about 8 to 9 hours in her big relaxing chair. We pray for more community. Her time to wait is long. – Frank Dyck

    1. Dear Frank, I can only imagine how hard this is for both you and Anne. The pandemic restrictions continue to make life more complicated and stressful and lonely for you and for so many. I pray that your faith in God will continue to sustain and comfort you during this time. And I pray that the pandemic will ease and you might soon be able to see one another again.

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