Best of DIB: Healing from the Outside Inposted on July 30th, 2012 / by Marsia Van Wormer / 5 Comments
It’s another normal end-of-the day in our house these days. I have raced in the door, kissed all my kids, kicked off my 3-inch heels, and jumped directly into the role of cook, teacher, encourager, listener, mommy, wife, and friend. Nothing unusual to observe; from the outside, it all looks like a normal day in my extremely blessed life. The door opens and I hear, “Moooommm!! Colin fell and his knee is bleeding.” A little rinsing, a chocolate kiss, a Band- aid® carefully applied, and he’s out the door. Life is as usual, fast and furious, coming in my direction, and I don’t have time to really tend to my own bandaged heart.
Until 12:03 a.m. Again. I’m awake and wondering why, since when I went to bed I was exhausted. I think about the recent wedding we attended; it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I can recall. It was so different from the usual fun weddings we attend, but I’m not sure if it was the ceremony, as much as my personal perspective this time. To see a father charging his daughter to be a faithful wife and friend, it was almost too personal to be watching a grown man have tears roll down his face. There stood his daughter, beautiful, and passionately called to missions, walking out an amazing heritage, just like her father, right before his eyes. I left there overwhelmed with love for our friends and saddened by my own lack of such a charge, or heritage. It’s funny to think about my five-year-old’s cut knee at a time like this. He had sliced it perfectly straight across, and although I had put a large band-aid on it, it was going to need some time to heal …
A few nights later, it’s 12:03 a.m. Again. This was really becoming a strange phenomenon for me. I mean to awaken every night at exactly the same time? Sooo strange! I began to think about a friend my husband and I took out to lunch. A father in his mid 50’s, he is heart-broken father trying to do his part to restore relationship with one of his daughters, while not being overwhelmed by thoughts of guilt and missed opportunities in their past. His story resonated in my heart like the night we had witnessed the “wedding of heritage.” Again, I had no father crying inside, pouring out his heart, trying to restore peace, or living with tangible regret. My little one’s knee, un-bandaged now, was healing on the outer edges, but still pretty prone to bleeding and pain in the center of the wound. Earlier in the day, we applied ointment, and I was teaching him to watch how God was healing his cut from the outer edges of the cut, in. His little mind was just amazed at the process …
12:03 a.m. again, I was, you guessed it, staring at my clock in disbelief. I am some kind of freak of nature to be waking up so consistently! My thoughts turned to some sweet friends of ours who had been aching and broken over their college-aged child and some choices that had been made. The father, in such pain, had cried and prayed, and finally surrendered any motivation but the will of the Lord to be done for his wayward child. I felt a twinge of pain, almost envy, as I thought about my own waywardness and the truth that no father had ached, cried, or prayed for my return. Surrounded by so many friends my age, with fathers that selflessly give their time, their love, their prayers, all of their being for their children is almost too much for me to take on some days. On those days, I just retreat, and only come back out long enough to check the cut on my little one’s knee. Yup, it’s healing, almost systematically, and soon, only a slight scar-if any-will ever be seen. Who could even know, looking from the outside in, that my own bandaged heart is in the process of healing slowly?
Again, it’s 12:03 a.m. But this time, I have come prepared, and have been praying for the Lord to show me the truth behind my amazing ability to wake up every morning at the same time. Instead, He whispers something to me, that until that moment, I had not recognized as a deep need I was living with. He whispers, “I’ve been the One waking you up, so that I can be the first One every day, to say good morning, and remind you that Your Father loves you.” I’m stunned. I cry. The pain and open, unhealed wound of living life as a fatherless child has finally caught up with me.
Father-less is a strong statement that implies an orphan or abandoned child at first glance. But in my case, it was a painful choice in my 30’s that has been a hard pill to swallow at times. But yet, the God of all creation, my REAL Father in heaven, knew that my heart was hurting and longing to know that I did have a heritage that looked like His. That HE HAD cried and ached when my relationships were in need of restoration. That HE had wept and selflessly loved me in my waywardness. And that for the last 9 months, I needed to know, first thing every morning, at 12:03 a.m., that my Father loved me, enough to be the first One to say it every day.
To see me on a daily basis, no one would ever know that my heart was like the cut on my little one’s knee, wounded, but systematically healing every day from the outer edges, in. The people who know me best know that this is not living a double life or even pretending in any way. On the contrary, I always wear my heart on my sleeve and am never asked to play any game that requires your face to hide your emotions. But, there is just something about having the assurance of my Father that has helped the process move along, in a forward motion, even as I have continued to carry that hurt, and occasionally having that wound re-opened.
I still wake up at 12:03 a.m. most mornings, but I no longer wonder how or why. I just look at the clock, smile, and sometimes try to beat my Father to the punch and say good morning first. Colin’s knee has completely healed, and sure enough, there is hardly even a trace of his wound. It’s all just a process, an exercise in healing, a lifestyle, and a calling, but now you know that when you look at me that I am healing, from the outside in.
Father, I pray for every father-less woman who has an aching in her heart that some days can’t even be put into words. I am so grateful that You truly are a Father to the father-less, and that you have a Godly heritage assigned to each one of us as your daughters. I ask that You would whisper a word for each broken heart, and that as we live out our lives, we are a mighty witness to the power of living every day, being healed from the outside, in.
In Your mighty Name, Amen.
Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds his name is the LORD— and rejoice before him.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his
Healing from the Outside In was originally posted on Oct 27, 2010. Click Here to see the original article and comments.We welcome new comments on this post as well.