May 20, 2007

Ripping Off The Bandage

I remember being a little girl growing up in northern California. The last day of school each year, was the last day I would wear shoes until school started again. All summer was spent outside playing with the kids in the hood, swimming in our neighbor’s pool and cruising around Lake Shasta in our boat. From sun up to sun down I was outside; barefoot and half dressed. My best friends were the neighbor boys so there were lots of skinned up knees and stubbed toes, and I’m sure we owned stock in Band-Aid.

In fact I was a pro when it came to Band-Aids. It only took a few times for me to realize that it hurt to take those things off. Unfortunately my mom bought the good kind, the kind, it seemed, that were adhered with superglue. It didn’t matter how many days I wore it or how long I soaked in the bathtub at night, but that puppy wasn’t coming off without a fight.

I would always try the slow peel first and I can still remember the feeling of those first few bleached blond leg hairs slowly ripping off as I peeled back the corner. Who in their right mind would keep going after that kind of pain? But I sure couldn’t leave it dangling now, because the minute I put my pajamas on, I knew it would be a slow painful night as the bandage rubbed against my jammies and peeled back a little more. So on I would go. My stomach would churn in anticipation of the pain. I winced and cried and sweated, pulling it off slowly as it tore every little leg hair with it; finally leaving a smooth shiny burning patch of skin in it’s place.

A couple of those torturous moments and I knew I needed a new plan. The next time I tried the fast rip. I took a deep breath, stuck my grubby fingernail under the corner, counted to three and jerked.

YOUCH!

But the pain only lasted seconds and then it was over. This, I realized was the way to go! And from then on I ruthlessly yanked them off at night, knowing that I would much rather have a quick sting than the prolonged agony of pain.

So here I am today. I’m a big girl now and I still get owwies. My owwies aren’t the flesh ones much anymore. Most of them are heart hurts and the pain of God pruning and changing me. But they still hurt and the band-aids cover my wounds as they heal from God’s removal of my bad attitudes, sin, resistance, and stubbornness. I’m realizing that in the final process of healing, those protective bandages need to come off so we can see that the wounded things are whole again. And sometimes I don’t get a choice as to which way they come off. Sometimes they are a fast rip, where it hurts for a moment but there is a quick relief that it is over. Lately they’ve been the slow painful kind, the kind that pulls and stings and seems to never end. And I really don’t like those! Those kind make me want to pat the band-aid back down again and just keep it there until it conveniently falls off at another time.

And I question Him sometimes when they come off slowly.

Why is this taking so long?

Why are you doing this to me?

How come it hurts so bad?

And my comfort comes in this…..

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

So I’ll trust Him in this too. Knowing that He knows what is best for me, for my hope, for my future.

2 comments:

emily said...

Does it help to know that your BFF prays for you?

I liked your word picture. You painted it beautifully. :)

Cindy said...

Oh sweet friend...that was beautiful. I have no clue what is going on in your life, but I am hurting for you. And I'm going to go and pray that as the bandage is ripped off, you will see complete healing and the protection He has provided for you.

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