Slippery Sheep and Healed Hurts
“You anoint my head with oil.” – Psalm 23:5 NKJV
The continuing blog experience through Max Lucado’s book “Traveling Light“
Ok so I have not wanted to write about this chapter. I’ll give you three reasons why – death, loss and disappointment. Not an easy task writing about the events in your life that have caused you such pain, sorrow and misery. Even though the healing has begun, the holes that have been placed upon my heart will forever remain. Which I believe, makes my vision so much clearer when it comes to grief and the disappointment that comes from experiencing loss.
In the three years and seven months since my daughter’s death I have known what is like to have wounds that seem as if they would never heal. That life just couldn’t be the same, or couldn’t be worth living without my daughter’s bright light that made life so worth living for. In the days and weeks after her death, I lost an incredible amount of weight. My clothes became very loose, the skin on my face seemed to just hang like the clothes; the luster gone from my life. The disappointment of my loss was so very visible during this time.
For many months I prayed for God to ease the pain and the space in my heart that ached with every beat. And over time, I felt like the sheep in Lucado’s story – the shepherd bathed the sheep with oil to keep the bugs from attacking them while they grazed on the pastures. For me God began in subtle ways to bathe my heart with His oil. And slowly but surely I began to come back into the light. But the light, it was hazy and not very bright. Something was missing and I couldn’t see because the pain was still so very evident as I moved throughout my days.
The sorrow still very present, although I was becoming very good at hiding it. So many things had gone wrong in my life for so long, I couldn’t see clearly anymore – life had become this vast space of nothing to me. I was able to work without too much difficulty, which was a blessing. I had seen such a financial fall out from her death that having a job and being able to work kept me busy. But underneath – life was meaningless.
But God being who He is continued to bathe my wounded heart with oil and I began to gain weight and I looked a little healthier. I even began exercising again. Exercise had always meant a great deal to me and it gave me a way to “work out” my pain. Even though I was still grieving terribly over the loss of my daughter, my life and everything I held dear to me; I still could see I was moving toward a new life. The oil was working.
Lucado mentions something interesting in this chapter and I found it very helpful and a reminder that I am still being covered with oil, that God is still on task – taking care of His sheep. Lucado says this about life “The large portion of our problems are not lion-sized attacks, but rather the day-to-day swarm of frustrations and mishaps and heartaches.” I was reminded that even though I have come a long way in my grief, it’s the everyday life that can still hold you back from enjoying the life God intended if you don’t stay focused on Him. Let Him bathe you with the oil.
“If the Gospels teach us anything, they teach us that Jesus is a Good Shepherd” Lucado writes. I know God has seen me through some incredibly difficult times over my many years. I also know that God has a wonderful life still prepared for me, and my job, it’s pretty simple really. I just have to believe. I have to be willing to be bathed with the oil. I have to give up control and let God do what He does best. Heal.
until next time,