I suspect I’ll never fully recover. From anxiety. From overworking. All in the name of being seen. When I was younger, I saw healing as a means to an end. It took years for me to even admit that I needed to be healed. Then, healing was sought out in hopes of (if I’m honest) perfection, or preparation for a life in ministry. Healing was the answer.
But the words that interrupted this twisted hope came to me one day, sitting in the rickety trailer that was my grad school’s department library. Library hardly seems a fitting word for this space. Sure, there were books and tables to read at, but really, it was a piazza (and I can’t say the word “piazza” without thinking of Tom Hanks in “You’ve Got Mail” when he’s describing his book store as a meeting place and subsequently is questioned about his use of the term “piazza”). A place to meet and talk. Many real, honest conversations took place in that trailer. Its walls contain the tears, roaring laughter, and “strong language” that characterized our time as students.
I didn’t know Johnie well. He was a couple of years ahead of me, but that day we entered into a light conversation. It eventually took a deeper turn, as conversations often did in that library. I spoke of what brought me to this program in particular, and my hopes of healing so that I could go into college ministry. He nodded slowly and responded:
I used to feel that way, but lately I’ve realized that I’ll always be in need of God’s healing. I’ll never arrive at a place where I don’t need him.
As the truth of his words exploded in my heart, I realized how much I’d just wanted to be fixed and be able to move on.
But being fixed isn’t really the goal, is it? Well, it’s not God’s goal, but so often becomes our own, right? I mean, there is absolutely redemption on this side of life. God is growing me more into his likeness, breath by breath. Yet, whether or not I’m anxious (or angry, or short with others, or falsely believing that I am Wonder Woman), I am still invited into life with God. Which begs the question, do I want God or do I want him just for the goodies? If I’m honest, most days I just want the goodies. Some days though, I want him more. And that’s hopeful.