Kayak Wounds & Healing.

About a week and a half ago, Hub and I took our church youth group kayaking on the White River, here in central Indiana.

What a perfect Saturday morning it was. Overcast. A little chilly. A wonderful breeze blowing. 18 of us piled on in to the neon-colored kayaks, and we set off. It was a 5 mile trek. Approximately 2 hours. Nothing major.

Sounds of laughter, teasing, joking, and advice tips floated through the air as we starting finagling and paddling our way down the river.

I truly love being in nature, doing little adventurous things. And, this was no exceptions.

We were about an hour in, and someone piped up, “Hey, do you have blisters on your thumbs yet?”

I stopped paddling for a minute and looked down. Wouldn’t you know? There they were. Two big blisters starting to form, one on each thumb. I hadn’t even felt them yet.

As the trip continued, I started to notice the blisters more. They just kept rubbing against the paddles. I even tried to adjust the way I held onto the paddle and tried to row a different way. But, to no avail.

The blisters ended up popping. And burning. They were fiery red. I tried to dip them into the water for some relief. Probably not sanitary in a somewhat stale river. But, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to survive. Right!?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

And – here I am. 10 days later. The blisters have scabbed over. They’re still there. They’ve started that natural peeling process, though.

THEN, tonight – I just realized tonight, “Ugh! These scabs are itching. SO ANNOYING!” Quickly, the mature side of my person reminded the immature kid inside my head that this normal and is just a sign that H E A L I N G is taking place. Pretty soon. . . the scabs will be gone, and fresh, new, pink skin will be waiting underneath the “peel-age.” (P.S. I just created that word, I’m pretty sure.)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

That’s when two things happened.

  1. The lightbulb went on in my head.
  2. The grammar nerd inside me sensed a metaphor for life.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

And, I felt like I almost heard Jesus whispering: “That’s just like the wounds of life, my child.”

Ouch. Wounds. I don’t like to be wounded. I don’t like to get hurt. I don’t like looking back on those rough patches, those hard and seemingly impossible moments of pain, fear, grief, and insecurity. Those (metaphorically speaking) bright red blisters that popped up out of nowhere. Eventually bursting, hurting, and breaking my heart.

I think to myself, “Why does the healing process never really end?”

Why is it that those used-to-be-blisters, even though they are scabbed over and healing. . . just “itch” sometimes. Show their ugly heads. Try to tell me that I’m not enough, I’m not safe, I’m not whole.

I know why. . .

Because H E A L I N G was made to be a messy process.

Not quick. Not carefree. But ongoing.

This process was made messy (the wounds itch) so I won’t forget that. . .

  1. My HELP comes from Above. (Psalm 121)
  2. I can’t do it on my own. I need Jesus.
  3. I can get past the pain, but I should never forget the lesson learned.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

When your wounds itch. . . When those painful memories rear their ugly heads at the most vulnerable moment of your day. . . When shame and fear and doubt try to overwhelm you. . .

R E M E M B E R these three things:

  1. You are STRONGER today than you were yesterday!
  2. You are NOT defined by your mistakes; you are defined by GRACE!
  3. You are OWNED, LOVED, and ADORED by the Creator of the Universe!



Photo creds: ME

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