The Day He Asked Me Why | Entering Into Healing

My son has this obsession with Band-aids. I'm going to be honest with you--it drives me completely crazy. There are band-aid wrappers all over the house, and even worse, used band-aids in odd, and questionable places. For every owie, and everything that could maybe, potentially be an owie, a band-aid is a must.


Today I asked myself a couple of times, "why don't you want to get healed?" An interesting observation on my part, because my prayer life would reflect that I do, in fact, seek healing in specific areas of my life, and yet when approached with the opportunity, I hesitate.

Interesting.

Later on I heard that same question but from my Savior. "Why don't you want to get healed?" You see, when I ask it of myself, I do so under the false assumption that I have some sort of control over the matter, which would be the reason why I never actually answered myself in the first place.

But when asked that question from the One who holds within Himself all power to restore and renew, I feel the breath lost from my lungs. There's a gasp in my spirit--like embarrassment mixed with shame mixed with maybe-I-can-pretend-I-didn't-hear-myself-the-first-two-times.

The Savior Jesus wants to know why I don't want what He wants to give to me.


Remember my band-aid obsessed kid? Well, one of the reasons he drives me bonkers with these band-aids is that he will keep them on for. days. I tell him repeatedly, "Malachi, if you do not take it off and let it heal you will get an infection. I don't think you understand what that means--you will have to see the dr and get a shot and it will be so so so so so so bad." (Maybe my tactic isn't the greatest, but I'm grabbing at straws on my best days.) And as I drove home from work today I saw that I am, in fact, worse than my son.

I want my band-aids; my coverings. I want my hope and security in the thing that is hurting in me to be found in something tangible instead of trusting that time and fresh air and healing balm with make it all better. If I cover it up then that must mean it's safe. Phew. Except that that couldn't be further from the truth.

Often times, I will find Malachi with his hand wrapped around the finger of his other hand, strenuously attempting to keep a gross, no-longer-sticky band-aid on. Today I see myself doing the same thing. I've got wounds that have been around for more years than I can recount, and I'm still here, a 32 year old woman of God, working that bandage like it's the day I put it on.

So I guess I might need to give Malachi a little slack seeing as I'm more of a band-aid freak than he is.

As I sit here and ask the Lord, "what do I do with this? How do I get to a place of uncovering so that You can do what You do?" And immediately I'm reminded of a restorative holy yoga class I led last weekend. I asked the women 3 questions and today He asks me the same:

"Is God good?"

"Is God good to me?"

"Is God good at being God?"

It's as if I can see His face, and hear His gentle voice as He whispers over me the very same words I whisper (or shout) over Malachi: "You have to trust Me. I need to be the best Savior that I can be, and that means asking you to do something scary and trusting Me while you do it."

I have to reach my hands out, however shaky they might be, and I need to loose my lips, however much they might quiver, and I need to let Him do what He does. I need to say yes to healing, and believe that even if the other side seems scary and unfamiliar, that He is in that place, too.


I don't have any answers for you and I can't proceed to give you a testimony of received healing. I'm walking this out, today. But I know that His question to me is also His question to you. So, my dear friend, 

"Why don't you want to get healed?"

 

The Last Time

I had a thought yesterday morning whilst putting on my makeup--

when was the last time I did that thing I used to do to my hair?

It was this braid thing and I used to do it all the time and then, for some reason in my subconscious I'm unaware of and unconcerned with, I stopped. This revelation led me to another more serious one, which is usually how revelations go in my brain, and I found myself thinking of all the lasts in life.

The last time I fed M a bottle.

The last time I sat with my parents over a late night bowl of cereal.

The last time I woke up for a midnight feeding.

I'd say with 95% of our lasts in life, we don't know they are happening; which for overly sentimental people like me that's probably a good thing. I then began to think about all of the lasts I have yet to experience, like the last time I'll read to my kids, or the last time I'll send them off to school, or the last time they will sleep under our roof.

It's depressing, I know.

But what about the others lasts? The victorious lasts. The whole-and-free-and-alive lasts.

For all the things we do that don't serve us: what if there was a last-time for those?

The last time I self-sabotaged?

The last time I overate?

The last time I said those words to myself?

The last time I danced that age-old two-step with sin and traded my pretty shoes for hiking ones and trekked a new path towards the things of God and away from the things of my sin and flesh and failure?

There are so many things in our lives with lasts that are long overdue. We keep going back to our sins and our patterns of behavior because they are familiar, and if we are honest, the idea of being done with them is scary. Familiarity is a trusted companion but not always the best one. 

As I continued getting myself ready for the day I wondered at what it would be like to not remember the last time I said those worthless and devaluing words to myself. Or how it would feel to have this life of comparison and "not enough-ness" be but a hazy, distant memory. While I realize that women deal with these lies long into their golden years, I also stand with my two feet firmly planted on the Truth that I have a Father who is in the business of wiping away desolation and bringing life to dry bones. So for me, I long to fight for my golden years to be just that: golden. And with very little memory of the things that plague me today.

Let's fight for some more lasts:

The last bow to failure

The last whisper of defeat

The final act of worship to the deceiver

and lets fight by actively inviting in more firsts.

What firsts do you need to welcome into your life? What new habits, behaviors or thoughts do you need to actively integrate into your mind, heart and body so that you can say goodbye to things that don't serve you?

The first gaze of self-acceptance

The first inhale of pride and love

The first memory made full of love and laughter without a sliver of self-deprecation 

And once they're gone, let's not sit and ponder when the last time was that we _____. It's not worth the mourning. 

 

 

BONUS:

What are the lasts you can't quite remember but you should?

The last time you initiated holding your spouses hand?

The last time you asked someone new to go out for coffee and get to know one another?

The last time you put away all of the to-do's just to play with your kids?

Make a list and then make it right--give yourself a memory to go with each so that when asked the question, you can give an exact answer of when you last did that because you make a point to do it often.

#freedomin15--The Magic In The "Slight"

freedom in 15 It's February! Can you even believe it!? I saw an advertisement for something on February 25th and I thought, "yes... I can't wait for February 25th because then it's nearly March." Can you tell I'm over winter? Come on Spring! Caitlin and I are so very excited about all that God has been doing even in just a month of opening up to receive and experience all that is offered to us. He's been moving hugely, and it has been nothing short of blissful being able to excitedly share these things with one another and with you. So without further ado, let's get into what the Lord has given us going into a new month.

receivingF

Meditation

It has only been within the last year that I have realized I have been dwelling in a wilderness for the last ten years of my life. Have you ever been there? A barren, desert place in life that leaves you dry and wandering? This particular wilderness space has been a place of numbing loneliness and quiet for me--I haven’t heard or felt God because I haven’t been listening for Him. I was unfaithful to Him, simply existing and not seeking.

Yet, in His goodness and love, God has been there all along, whispering to me to come back

You see, sometimes the Lord actually leads us to these wilderness places. In Hosea, a scripture that has become near and dear to my heart, we get to see God’s love for his unfaithful people through Hosea’s story. God has called Hosea to love and marry Gomer, a woman he knows will be unfaithful to him, essentially living out a real-life allegory of Israel’s unfaithfulness to their Groom.

In chapter two, after God says all that He will do for Israel’s unfaithfulness, the Lord softly speaks saying: But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. (Hosea 2:14, NIV)

The Message version says I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her.

What a revelation that was for me, realizing that the Lord himself leads us into the wilderness, not to punish us, but to romance us. He leads us into the wilderness not to leave us alone, but to pull us away from the distractions and to Him.

Though our wilderness spaces may seem barren and dry to us, though we feel as if we are wandering, we are never lost and alone. The Lord is with us in every moment of our wilderness, whispering to our hearts and romancing us to come back to Him. These are the spaces where He works deepest in our souls, bringing us back to the days of our youth. These are the spaces where He offers us restoration and transformation.

Where He offers us hope and freedom.

Has this first month towards freedom been dry or quiet for you? Have you hit some obstacles or faced emotional battles? If so, you are not alone friends. The Lord is working in all of us, calling us to a wilderness space of sorts for this year. To move forward in freedom, we have to let go of the chains, and that means we may have to enter into places that are uncomfortable and places where we must grieve. But our faithful God is ever present, romancing us, calling us to enter in, promising freedom on the other side.

-Caitlin

*Looking for a great print for this months meditation? Check out this one from Stephanie Moors. You can also print this one out or save it to your phone for a great repeated reminder of His heart and pursuit of you.

experiencingF

Thoughts On Body Image

Entering into this year I felt so hopeful that this would be my year. The year that I ditch these haunting thoughts and replace them with freeing truth. I wonder what it feels like for God to watch us head into a storm totally thinking it's just a sunshower. That was me. January 1st. Ready to get a little sprinkled. Little did I know there was a hurricane coming.

From adolescence until now, I've been in one of two modes: hiding or protecting. There's been a lot of hurt, so my body and mind have learned how to cope--how to live in survival mode. So it's no wonder God is asking me to give Him my heart and trust that it's safe out in the open and in His rescuing hands. Having said that, it is important to recognize one very important truth if we are to fully entrust our hearts to Him: our body image cannot be dependent upon another person or persons. It must be dependent upon our God alone. Just when you think you've attained a healthy view of yourself something will happen, no doubt at the hand of another, and your lens will immediately cloud with doubt and despair. And going into 2015, my body image was still dependent upon another. You see, even your most intimate of relationships here on earth can and will wound you. Most of the time not even on purpose, but the reality is that these loves of ours are fallen just like we are. So our body image absolutely must come from our view through the lens of Christ.

My body image has been shattered over and over because of the actions of others or of my hopes of what others will give me. That, my sweet sisters and brothers, is a house built on sand. And you know what? Life happens... God allows certain things in our life to shape and mold us into our original design, and He doesn't do patch work--he does complete renovations. So while I may find a recent shot to my body image earth shattering, He sees it as vital in getting a good work done.  In love He lets me stumble and grasp after false self worth and knows that with each scraped knee and scuffed hand I'm getting closer and closer to giving up on all that is less than Jesus. He's a really patient God. He wants to give me the gift of wholeness but He wants me to appreciate the freedom found there, so He's not going to give it to me willy-nilly. He's also not a rich and disconnected daddy trying to win my affection with instant gratification. He's after my heart. Not always my comfort.

So body image is a journey, and I don't think I'll ever fully achieve full satisfaction in this body, but I wonder if I'm supposed to. Our bodies are decaying, and if I were able to find complete satisfaction in this one then why would I long for my heavenly one?

I think one of the very first steps to receiving freedom in our body image is simply accepting the journey. Taking a big, deep breath and gearing up for the long haul. Like venturing out on hike up a mountainside, we step out knowing what awaits us: challenge, fatigue, small victories, breaks to catch our breath, and always, always, always beauty along the way. One day we will reach the top and the view will be breathtaking. And He is good to give us such beauty along the way, too.

Take a deep breath and venture on, dear ones. He's got this.

-Laura

Yoga Poses

If you are working on your heart space, hang out here. If you are working into your hips and lower body, head on over to see what Caitlin has for you this month!

January brought with it some unexpected bumps, but God knew what I didn't and He was faithful to supply all my needs and show me that the change is not found in the yoga but in Him. With a few simple adjustments to my day to day life as well as to my practice, I've already been able to experience some incredible freedom in the opening up of my heart space. It's so very good.

Firstly, let me encourage any of you who are looking to correct your upper body posture and create some more space in your chest--it's so about more than just your yoga practice. How are you standing? How are you sitting? How are you sleeping? Begin to check your posture in all of these places. When standing have you let your belly go? Did you know that your entire core should always be slightly engaged when you are standing? It's not just your legs that keep you up; that core of yours is vital. It's so essential to all movement. Even just the movement of living out your life.

This month I have made a conscious effort to check my posture, and when it's off I draw my shoulders back, draw my skull back, tighten my belly a bit, and bring my weight back in line with my ankle bones. You can check out Christina Mroz for incredible insight into all things alignment. She is a wealth of knowledge and has helped me immensely.

Otherwise I've just made some slight adjustments to a few common postures in my practice. Consider moving into these variations as you practice at home or in a studio, as no instructor would (or should) tell you otherwise. It's your practice so do what your body wants and needs.

Chair Pose with Heart Opener (Or as my husband calls it, "ready to jump" pose)

Forward Fold with Heart Opener

Extended Side Angle with Wide Reach (that's my own made up name for it, anyways)

Crescent Lunge with Cactus Arms

Try incorporating these variations into your practice and see if you don't notice a significant difference in your heart space afterwards. It's freeing, reassuring and oh so wonderful. I've felt the goodness and closeness of my Father just in making these seemingly "slight" changes. He's doing the work of reassuring me that my heart is safe with Him. I'm beginning to trust Him in that, and willing to keep doing the work to receive and experience all that He has for me.

Be blessed this month, beloveds! Let's see what He has in store for us in February.

laura b

Don't forget to show us how God is encouraging you to join in on experiencing the Freedom He has given by hashtagging #freedomin15. You can also tag your yoga/body-image specific posts with #experiencingfreedom and your meditation/soul-changing posts with #receivingfreedom. We can't wait to see what He does in and for you throughout the year!

Being Set Right - #freedomin15

freedom in 15 When Caitlin and I entered into this year-long commitment of receiving and experiencing the freedom we've already been given in Christ, I knew He would have some deep heart work planned for me. But that's how it usually goes for those of us who say "yes" to more of Jesus--we go in, guns blazing, with no clue of what's waiting for us as we venture in. I'm actually thankful for my ignorance otherwise I don't think I would always choose more of Jesus.

I entered into 2015 on the heels of some major loss and grief and weirdness in life, assuming that the worst was behind me, and that it was "safe" to give my boarded-up heart to my Redeemer to do some healing and setting right. I sort of laugh at myself, and the control I thought I had in this act of surrender. It wasn't exactly surrender, it was leaving my thumb and first finger gripped semi-tightly as I handed my wounded heart to God.

And the thing is, life has continued to happen, and because of that I've:

  • Exchanged regular practice time for regular study and reflection time.
  • Exchanged heart opening yoga postures for awareness and correction of my normal, every day posture.
  • Exchanged feelings of "rightness in the world" for questioning how things are the way they are.

See, all of those things I thought I'd do and feel as I ventured in were all within the realm of my own understanding. His realm of understanding is remarkably larger...

I taught this morning on 4 things: He is our protector. He heals our broken hearts and binds our wounds. He is still good. He is still God. I need all 4 of these things. I need to drink them in, have them hit me hard like a wave, and surround me and seep into me like the water does when I'm fully under it. But one thing stuck out to me as the Spirit moved and spoke today:

As he wraps up and binds my wounds, He needs to first set them right. The way I saw it in that moment is that in the midst of heartache there are two options: let the break heal as is, and heal incorrectly creating dysfunction in how life is lived thereafter, or let the wound be set right, so that it can heal as it was originally intended and go forward in victory and in wholeness and restoration.

When I entered into this year of asking my Papa to heal my heart, He knew He needed to do the painful work of setting some things right first. He needed to break some things so they could be moved and changed into their original design.

I began to question the other day if I should keep teaching, or if I should take some time to heal. But the Spirit kept telling me to get on my mat. So I planned a heart opening class this morning and practiced as I taught. At the very end of our active practice I ended us in a forward fold with heart opener, the very same pose I began my year of experiencing freedom with... And guys, I sunk into that pose like the comfiest of sweaters... Like the most perfect embrace... Like my heart felt safe to come out of hiding. I can't explain the feeling beyond saying that it felt like home. A smile crept across my face and in that moment I knew what He's been doing all along.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Setting things right.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."-Psalm 147:3 (ESV)

It's hard. It hurts. Sometimes I want to yell out in pain and sometimes I want to drown myself in silent tears. But I remember that He hears my cries and He collects my tears, so in whatever I do, it is all for a greater purpose--becoming more like Christ and less like Laura. Nothing is wasted.

I'm totally ok with that.

So if you're joining us on this year of Freedom in '15, let me encourage you to keep letting Him do the hard work of setting things right. Keep leaning into Him, in all the unbearably hard times, and reach out and ask others to lift you up when you can't do it on your own. It takes a room full of people to perform surgeries and fix bones... It's no different in the spiritual surgeries either. He's equipped some awesome people around you to assist Him in creating a good work in you.

Keep placing one foot in front of the other, friends.

laura b

If you are joining us on this journey we would love to see your progress or your postures you hope to find and experience space and freedom in. You can post them here or join us on Instagram by tagging #freedomin15.