What’s At Your Root?

Jen’s Gem: Let God heal your scars.

Today as I scrolled through my Facebook memories, there was a post from eight years ago about a spill I took while shoveling snow. It appears that I used my left hand to break my fall. A light bulb went off in my head. Could this be the source of the pain that required surgery a few months back?

For months, I’ve been trying to figure out how I could’ve gotten an arthritic bone in this odd spot on my hand (or an arthritic bone at all. I mean I’m not 90!) It makes perfect sense now that I think about it. The root cause has been identified. All is well with the world.

In my corporate days, I was paid well to find “root causes” of broken processes. As a project manager on multiple continuous improvement initiatives, my job was to ‘look under the covers,’ identify what was not working, and then propose solutions to fix the issue. These solutions saved the company tens of thousands of dollars and I have a few plaques to commemorate the achievements.

Discovering the source of our brokenness is not always fun, is it? Why do we act the way we do? Why do we say the things we say? We’ve all heard the phrase that ‘hurting people hurt people,’ yet this provides little solace to those of us who are on the receiving end of the pain.

I learned a long time ago that no matter what I do, I cannot change another person. They are who they are and I have two choices: accept them and love them anyway or leave. Over the years, I have pruned many relationships that were hurtful and I can honestly say that the people in my life right now are the crème de la crème.

Yet in order to secure these gems, I had to go on an archaeological dig. Not to find them, but to find myself. I had to peel away the layers of past hurts, disappointments, and betrayals to see if maybe, just maybe, the root cause was not the actions of the other person but maybe my own.

What if, oh horror of horrors, I was the root cause?

This is a tough question to ask, yet absolutely necessary if we want to live happier lives and have better relationships. It takes two to tango they say and pointing a finger at others always results in several more pointing back to us.

For more than a decade, I have been peeling back the layers of the various onions in my life. It has not been fun. It has not been easy. However, the rewards have made it all worthwhile. There are no plaques on the wall to commemorate these wins, but the scar tissue around my broken heart is being chipped away.

In the physical therapy I go to each week to recover full use of my left hand, this is our focus. Breaking up the scar tissue that wants to undo the surgical fixes. Interestingly, the work we are doing is also helping to heal a scar from an injury that occurred over fifty years ago. Fifty years people! I have noticed that it is lighter in appearance, I have more strength, and I am able to fully extend fingers that have in the past, preferred otherwise.

I didn’t think it was possible and in my own strength, it isn’t. Just like I needed the expertise of a surgeon and physical therapist in the healing process of my hand, I need the Master Surgeon and Master Physical Therapist to heal the battle scars of my life.

“Nothing is impossible with God,” the Bible tells us in Matthew 19:26. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

God is all about continuous improvement. He loves works in progress. While He does not love seeing us in pain as we strive to break up our scar tissue, He sees the end result. He sees the heavenly “plaque on the wall” with our name that reads “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21 NKJV)

Breaking up scar tissue in our lives is not for the faint of heart. Over the course of the journey, there will be times when you will want to throw up your hands and shout “I am who I am. Deal with it!” I want to encourage you to keep going. Dig deeper. Find the root cause.

While it’s unlikely it’ll appear in a Facebook memory, it will appear and you have the Master Healer at the ready to help you.

‘”Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

I am living proof of God’s faithfulness in helping me to find and deal with the b-zillion root causes of my life’s scars. He never gave up on me and He won’t ever, ever, ever give up on you. He loves you too much to leave you as you are.

“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV) 

I wish you a happy and blessed Valentine’s Day. May the love of God penetrate your heart and heal your scars. 

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