On Monday, I promised to follow up with something that I believe can put each one of us on the path to real healing. Since today is officially Wednesday's Words, I'll quote a wise man, and you see if you can pick out what leads to healing.
"If ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."
Can you find the concrete piece of advice? The thing that can help lead us out of the bondage of pain and anger? Service! Now, I know that it says we should serve the Lord, but to quote another wise man, "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."
Sound too simple? Let me give you a very honest example from my own life. After my husband and I had adopted first our daughter, and then our son, and even after our youngest son (who I conceived thanks to five years of fertility treatments) came home from the hospital after 8 1/2 weeks in the NICU, and after I had slowly recovered from the after effects of toxemia and a mini-stroke which led to our youngest being born via emergency c-section nearly 3 months early, I still had a very hard time whenever someone announced a pregnancy.
I had a hard time when women complained about the discomfort of their last trimester, when all I had wanted was for my baby to be big enough that my husband could feel him move inside of me. I still got angry when people wished their pregnancy would hurry and be over, and it hurt my heart to watch mothers leave the hospital the day after giving birth with their perfect, newborn baby.
One night as I was praying about how to move past these feelings, I had an idea. At the time, there were a dozen or so women that I was acquainted with, who were pregnant. The idea came to me that I should make a receiving blanket and burp rags for each one of these ladies as their baby was born. I dismissed the idea. I didn't want to even acknowledge that they were pregnant, let alone make a gift for them.
However, the idea would not leave me alone, so I went to Wal-Mart and bought a bunch of material and went to work. The first few that I made, I cried most of the time making them, and cried even harder after I delivered the gift. It was hard for me. But, I felt compelled to continue with what I had started.
As the weeks and months went by, it started getting easier to make and present my gifts, and before long I found that I was enjoying it. My stomach no longer twisted into knots when a pregnancy was announced. My heart stopped aching when I saw a woman with a 38-week belly. I even found that I started feeling some sympathy for the women who were sweating through a third trimester summer.
To this day, I love to provide service to women who have just had a baby. Whether it's throwing a baby shower, tying a quilt, sewing a receiving blanket, or taking dinner to them, it makes me happy when I serve. The heart-wrenching bondage is over. Healing has come. But not because I pampered and treated myself. Because I reached outside of myself and tried to help someone else.