Healing is a thorny topic for many of us, therefore we are delighted to have Lisa Anne Tindal, writer, blogger and contributor to ‘I Heart Mom: Stories of women held together by the strongest of threads in the thin frayed edges of motherhood’ as this week’s guest writer, sharing her personal story of healing with us today. You can discover more about her below. Over to Lisa…
Every summer it’s the same. I’ll talk a big game and make bold claims. I tell myself, sometimes, my husband and my children, “This is the summer I will not be afraid to jump in, this is the year I’ll learn to swim, and I’ll dive from the board into the deep.”
It was the sweetest thing when they were younger, my children would position themselves in the pool like coaches and they’d say things like “You can do it” and “We got you”. We spent hours there and they wanted me to be brave as much as I wanted to show them I could. They longed to have me there, safe with them in the water.
With maturity and impatience, their desire waned. I suppose they grew weary of promises every May, forgotten by September. The scene, the same every summer, I’d position myself on the diving board, hands on my hips, hands off my hips, stalling and shifting tiny steps, and then paralyzed, my toes clinching the board.
I was afraid I might hit bottom and not come back up. I felt safer; but, ashamed where I was. Alone eventually and no one to help me, to convince me to jump in, I abandoned the goal.
Fear can be paralyzing, our steps become stumbles and we walk with a limp, almost lame from the places we might choose to stay. We become blind when we stop believing in what we cannot see. The courage to move from the place we’ve made safe before long, you realize now has you stuck.
You look around for something to fulfill, to move you forward and you glimpse the occasional notice; yet, you’re never satisfied in your seeking of validation. Seems everyone is in the giving hope and healing through words pool and there’s no room for you or it’s doubtful anyone would help you in.
Early in my heart’s believing I should write, I struggled to read books published by other women. I was jealous, I felt defeated, felt there could be no way I’d ever be allowed in. I developed a resentful spirit and I decided to give up. I handicapped myself, sent my abilities and God’s calling to the bench, sidelined. For a time, I became invalid as a writer.
Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. A pool in Jerusalem that was called Bethesda was known for its healing waters. Many invalids immersed in the water were healed. They were no longer lame, blind or paralyzed. When Jesus encountered him, he had been paralyzed for many years. Jesus asked if he wanted to be healed.
The man’s reply was about all the reasons he had given up on healing, of being welcomed into the healing water. He figured every time he tried he’d miss his chance, someone else would get in first or he was convinced there was no room for yet another sorry soul like his. But he gets up when Jesus tells him to and he walks, he is healed.
“One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk.’ And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” John 5:5-8 ESV
There’s room for more healing, not limited to a few, each of our wounds uniquely redeemed. Us all. I am a student now of other strong women, invited in by a few to join them in the creative waters. I’m less afraid and less handicapped in the need for validation.
I’m no longer as pitiful waiting and watching and hoping to be invited in. I am more like a confident swimmer gliding across the water, diving more deeply in to the places of before and coming up to the surface confident and filled with hope to share.
Summer’s just around the corner; perhaps this year I’ll dive in, unafraid of what I don’t know in the places I can’t see. I’m challenged and encouraged and I’m learning with every prayer, and asking for His will. I wait for words to share, every word with hope and affirmation as I give God the glory.
Thank you for healing me, Jesus. Thank you for showing me I can stand up strong and walk forward. Thank you for words to tell my story as an invitation, a gentle beckoning that others come closer to the edge, to see there is always more healing, more room in His waters for all of us made invalid by sin, by our doubts, our fears, our shame and even our resentment.
Lisa Anne Tindal writes in hopes that her story will strengthen the belief in others that God is for us and not against us. Lisa is the mother of two adult children and wife to a patient husband who understands and allows the quiet space and time for writing and painting. Lisa works as a Director of a small non-profit that serves those affected by mental illness, suicide, and homelessness. A daily prayer is to be blessed indeed, to have God enlarge her territory. Each opportunity to write or to paint she considers and answer to that prayer, like Jabez, she asks and anticipates God will bring chances to glorify Him in ways unexpected. Isaiah 30:15 is her Life Verse.
You can connect with Lisa here: