I Shouldn’t Be Surprised By The Healer…But I Am!

In the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey goes upstairs to see his daughter ZuZu who is sick in bed.  She shows him a rose in a glass of water.  She takes it out of the water and two petals drop from it.  Distressed she hands him the rose and the petals and says “Paste it Daddy”.  George knows there is no way he can fix the rose, at the moment he can’t fix anything.  Instead he pretends to fix the rose and slips the petals into his pants pocket.  Two times in the movie he reaches for the petals.  At first they are a reminder of the chaos in his life, the second time they are a reminder of how much he has to lose.  This is a favorite movie for me and I never fail to cry.

So why am I telling you about George Bailey and ZuZu’s petals?  Because the rose was broken and in complete faith, ZuZu expected her daddy to fix them for her.  Her faith in him was so strong she believed he could do anything.

In the book Surprised by the Healer, Dr. Juli Slattery and Linda Dillow take the lives of 9 broken women and show how God has made beautiful that brokenness.

I have been on Juli’s book teams in the past.  I have come to treasure the friendships that have been fostered.  There is a closeness that grows from spreading the word about something amazing and Godly.  In this case, that is amplified. As we read the stories, we are touched. As we share our thoughts, our hurts, our secrets, we validate the thoughts, hurts and secrets of others.  They, in turn, begin to share and the opening of old wounds becomes a cleansing, healing exercise.  I posted my heart in the group after I read the book.  I got lots of likes and numerous comments but one of them resonated with me:  Thank You.  That is all she said but because it came from “Hope” in the book, it meant everything to me.  By sharing my heart and opening those old wounds, I put myself on the path to a healing I didn’t even realize I still needed. For Hope, that validated the pain of going public with her story.

I know firsthand how opening wounds leads to healing.  Because Richard and I were willing to be transparent about his affair and our brokenness as a couple, God was able to begin healing at warp speed.  Because of the healing, we were able to start a lifegroup for hurting marriages, because of that act of obedience, we have watched God heal and strengthen other marriages.  It is in the smallest 0f acts that we often find the greatest change.

When Rich and I first started volunteering at the Lifegroup wall at our church, he would point out the different groups and then he would say, “We even have one for hurting marriages.” Couple after couple would light up and say, tell me about that one.  While they weren’t willing to bring up the subject, they were willing to talk about it once it was out there.  I cannot count the times, we stood in the lobby of the church and cried and prayed with couples experiencing brokenness in their marriage. Some of these joined our group.  Others just drifted away but each couple left knowing that they were not alone in their struggles, that others struggled too and that there was light at the end of the tunnel.

Surprised by the Healer is such a tool.   Using 9 different stories of brokenness and healing, secrets are brought to light and in that light we can see how to begin the repairs.  For some in the book, it was resting in the arms of Jesus and being truly loved for the first time.  For others, it was confronting the demons in their past and allowing God to take control of their future.  For still others it was looking in the mirror and seeing what God sees: beauty.

Everyone is broken in some way.  These nine women were broken in horrible ways but the dynamics of their healing will resonate with you.  Putting the book down will be hard.  In my case, I had to put it down after each chapter to process what I had just read.  I am broken.   I have been broken most of my life and I am just realizing how seldom I allow God inside long enough to begin healing.

Which brings me full circle.  ZuZu believed so strongly in her father’s ability to fix a wilting rose that nothing could have her confidence.  Are WE that confident in the ability of God as Jehovah Rapha?  Are we ready to hand him the broken pieces of our life and say, “Fix it Daddy”?



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