He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 ESV
I’ll start off with a journal entry that I found from my time at Mercy, April 26 2016 I wrote this: ‘Healer. I’ve grown up reading and seeing how you are healer but I’ve never wanted or asked you to heal me. It felt impossible that you could replace my ashes for beauty and mourning for joy, & some days it still does feel impossible. But then I catch glimpses or have new thoughts, realizing you are healer in my life as well. I’m not the exception in this world that you choose not to bring restoration to, healing is here and possible in my life when I’m willing and open to it. I thank you that you are doing a new thing, that my deepest hurts no longer define me. I thank you for your everlasting joy Lord! I believe for healing and restoration in my life, I choose to seek, be present and let you be my hope today. I love you Lord.’
Have you experienced God’s healing before? Physically? Mentally? Spiritually? With others? This is my story. (When I read that last sentence, I hear it in the voice of the guy who does the intro for Law&Order: SVU. Just me?!)
A day or two before my 21st birthday, I found myself on my apartment porch crying out to God. I told him that I felt broken, brokenhearted to be exact. Brokenhearted about several different aspects of my life, mostly about life in general. I told Him that I didn’t want to feel this way anymore and asked Him to help, heal, lead and speak to me as I surrendered this feeling of brokenness to Him. He lead me to a specific scripture that was quite comforting to my situation at the time but I honestly can’t remember it anymore. I moved on and didn’t think much of this a few days later.
I was a chaperone at a youth retreat weekend at camp, spending some much needed time in prayer and worship with some wonderful teens and youth leaders. As I continued to hear from God and draw nearer, satan began working hard to discourage me throughout the experience. It was hard not to get caught up in it and by Saturday I felt defeated. That night I was sitting in the back row while the preacher spoke, I wasn’t paying much attention to be quite honest. I was fighting lies about myself that I had begun to believe again. Towards the end, I heard the speaker ask us to stand up while he said ‘God is telling me that there are people in this room who feel broken hearted and have been speaking this out lately.’ Immediately that got my attention, my heart started pounding as I slowly stood up. (I usually shy away from moments like this, hardening my heart in fear of exposing my brokenness to those around me) He told us to put our hands out in front of us, and then to our hearts allowing God to heal them. When I put my hands on my heart, I experienced a feeling that I’ve never had in my life. It was the Holy Spirit tangibly seeping into my heart and throughout my body, healing the heavyness that I had been carrying for so long. My heart had this burning sensation and it felt like that for a week straight, it comes back sometimes…often when I’m retelling or writing out this story. Obviously I was crying (okay, lets be real…sobbing) during and after this encounter. On October 1st, 2016 God literally HEALED my broken heart.
My little brother just happened to be at camp that day, he held me while I cried and just kept repeating ‘I love you. I love you. I love you Kali. I love you so much.’ Words that I so needed to hear, that I believe were also from the Father. A mentor of mine was also there, letting me snot all over her hair while she prayed thanksgivings, that this time would be sealed and for continued healing. We joked that God flew her out to BC just to let her see Him heal my heart, I was thankful. One of my 14 year old campers came and asked to talk to me, I assumed it was about her as we sat down to chat. She told me that her hands had started burning up earlier and God had told her to tell me something. She told me that God wanted me to know that the void of authenticity I’ve been feeling lately is going to go away. I began crying again, knowing that this is something I had also spoken to God about. I was sick of presenting myself a certain way all the time, I longed to be more real, more of myself, of who God created me to be. This was just the beginning of people coming and praying for me, speaking to me about what God had told them, etc. I was blown away at how clearly God had revealed himself to me. I was consumed with the joy of the Lord and just kept saying out loud ‘God healed my heart!!’ I was in awe. I know that some of my campers had also encountered God in that way, we cried together and agreed that you couldn’t experience something like this and still not believe that God exists. It was just too real.
Going home, I told people close to me about what had happened. I remember telling my mom and both of us just crying together, looking back at all that had happened until that point. I literally just want everyone to be able encounter God in this way!!!
But I still have my hard days, I find myself doubting God and what He has and wants for me. That’s when I usually try to remind myself to read my journal entries from that weekend, to put myself back in that moment of complete and utter surrender to God. I realize I will continue to have dry periods and times of silence from God, but what am I going to choose to do during those times? I don’t want to sink back into a pit but to instead be encouraged by the hope for continued restoration in my life and those around me. I want to choose life and peace in those moments of despair. My prayer is that as we seek Christ, our ears would be inclined to hear from Him and our hearts would be softened to experience Him. Healing is available to all of us.
PS. To anyone that is still reading….tomorrow I am speaking about my Mercy experience at a church in Langley. It is a service focused specifically on eating disorders, to help others understand and learn how to help those who are struggling. I will be talking about my life before Mercy, during it and after I graduated. Please pray for the congregation and me as a I speak!