The King of Bouncing Back

“Time heals all wounds.”

It’s a saying we hear a lot, especially when going through a breakup or maybe a loved one has passed away. They’re words that are supposed to bring comfort and reassurance, but honestly to me, I never found much peace in them.

I remember sitting on my bed at 16 crying over some teenage melodrama in high school and my mom said to me, “Honey, in a year, none of this will matter.”

It’s another version of those words that I don’t like to hear. “Time heals all wounds. You’ll be better eventually.”

Those words are supposed to feel hopeful but I’ve only ever been frustrated while hearing them.

Maybe I don’t like that saying because it’s so incredibly arbitrary. Time. What kind of time? How long? What if my time is longer than someone else’s? Is that okay?

After my grandma passed away this summer, it took me a long time to really feel happy again. I felt like I was going through new obstacles without her, because I was. And I felt that gnawing feeling that I believe almost every person who has lost loved one where you feel like you never quite did enough for them or spent enough time with them. I missed her a lot and being the human being that I am, I regularly beat myself up for both not doing enough and feeling guilty for even going through a period of grief. Have you ever been there?

I don’t think I had a solid belly laugh until maybe a month into school when I went away on Fall Break with friends and just relaxed. (We watched the entire Harry Potter series and Ron was the source of much laughter; ty J.K. Rowling). After the laughter though, I didn’t really understand why this brokenness chose to stay so long in my heart.

It was honestly more annoying than anything. I’m supposed to bounce back quickly so I can help other people. I’m not supposed to be broken. 

I have a friend who, when he got into my car with me one afternoon, turned to me, and genuinely asked, “Sena, are you doing okay?” The concern in his face made me awkwardly laugh (as if he’d found out a secret I’d been trying to keep) and I looked at him with that side glance that says, “No, actually I’m dying,” but my mouth said, “Yeah, of course! How are you?” And we moved on from that conversation, mostly because I couldn’t believe I WASN’T OKAY YET and I didn’t want to admit it.

The truth is, this semester has been a whirlwind of emotions and learning experiences. I have felt loneliness. I have felt confusion. I have felt rejection. All of the feelings that try to constantly eat away at me and I thought I’d gotten the hang of ignoring them this summer.

However, this taught me that brokenness and being “not exactly okay” are not annoying flaws in the character of a person. Brokenness is a fact of all of us as fallen people who desperately need a savior to stitch us together.

I realized that I had become, in my own selfish way, a type of arrogant person who thought I could fix myself by just “being me”. Being the girl who “bounces back”. But I learned two things:

  1. You can’t bounce back if you’re broken.
  2. You can’t bounce back without Jesus Christ, the King of Bouncing Back (aka the resurrection, am I right).

You, sweet reader, must realize that you don’t have to be okay all the time. You don’t have to force yourself to bounce back if your mind, heart, and spirit aren’t ready for it. Life happens and we are not perfect beings. We feel things and sometimes we feel them deeply. Cuts have to heal. Broken bones have to mend. Hearts have to have time, but most importantly Jesus to form back together.

And now we are back to my first point. I would challenge you to look at difficulty, heartbreak, heartache, and pain not in the sense of being healed by “Time”, but by Jesus. A very real healer who has felt every ounce of the pain you are feeling right at this moment, have ever felt before, or will ever feel in the future.

It’s because of Him that we can be bold and face our struggles and pain head on, knowing that HE has made us strong and worthy. We are not weaklings for feeling pain, BUT we do have more power and light than the darkness that tries to consume us. We have the ability to “be strong in THE LORD and put on the whole armor of God” (Eph 6:10-11).

So do it! Feel that pain, sweet friend, but then turn to your Word and your Jesus and allow him to heal you from the inside out. Acknowledge that without Him, you are fully broken. But you are not beyond repair, and I pray that you allow Him to pull you back together to become something even more powerful than before.

“Jesus heals all wounds.”

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