Freedom and courage….

We’ve been going back through old files, trying to pare down / clear out / get rid of…One of the things I found was notes from a Church Women United event I attended in 2008. I wanted to reread my notes from some of the event speakers, and the notes I had written from Nancy Hastings Sehested’s presentation really spoke to me today.

Over the last three years, I’ve gone through some very difficult times at work. Some of it has been tied to the larger economic times, but much of it was also caused by decisions over which I had no control. I had become very angry and frustrated…not a pleasant person to be around. But things have changed. Well…not things, but I’ve changed.

I think some of the things that Ms. Sehested said–and others–must have impacted me in ways that I wasn’t aware of at the time…burrowed them into my mind until I was ready to hear them.

Part of what she said is that the Bible is a record of God’s response to desperate people. That does seem to be when we are most receptive, in my experience!

She was talking about the woman who had the issue of blood–who had gone to doctors and spent everything she had for 12 years…and nothing had changed. She pointed out that sometimes our souls bleed for years because of various personal and institutional issues–and we have forgotten the healing road. I know that was certainly true in my case. And…we want healing to be instant–but this woman’s healing took 12 years!

And her healing only came about because of her courage–in Ms. Sehested’s comments, courage being only “nothing else left to try.” That poor woman was at the end of her rope, and she literally didn’t have anything left to try. That can be a scary place–but it also brings freedom, because when you’re there (again according to Ms. Sehested), you’ve got “nothing else to lose!”

Faith is often born out of our desperation…when there is nothing else we can do. And out of our own experiences, we have a great gift to offer–the gift of our own brokenness. The world doesn’t necessarily need another example of wholeness–something that seems out of reach. It needs people who are willing to walk with others on the road to healing…to recognize that we are each broken in some way…and we can (and must) support each other if we are all to be healed. We can’t do it alone.

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