The Process of Healing

If there's one grace of chronic illness, it's perspective. It offers a profoundly unique look into one's overall life; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally. That might not make sense to everyone, but I think anyone who lives with illness, or anything that's dramatically changed one's way of living, will clearly understand what I mean by saying that. And in this perspective, we learn a lot.

I have found healing from a chronic illness is a process and often a long one. It's not always black or white either but usually different shades of gray. Put another way, it is a process of working through many layers.

Unfortunately, delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis are big issues for many of us and significantly feed into the dissemination and progression of pathogens, which subsequently leads to a lengthier, more complicated healing process' accurate and timely diagnosis is vitally important but regrettably not always the case.

I have also found healing from a chronic illness isn't just about healing the physical body alone. Believe me; it indeed is that. It's also about healing on every level of who we are - body, soul, and spirit. So when we engage in healing we must understand the process is inclusive of all three of these levels; it is a multi-layered process.

The body, mind, and spirit will make known what they can no longer tolerate; be it poor eating habits, old infections, toxins, unrelenting stress, lack of sleep, toxic thoughts, unresolved emotions, spiritual issues, etc., as well as the primary or dominant pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites). Whatever needs to be repaired, restored, rebuilt, and/or released is what will be made known for healing to take place. 

However, this process of healing is truly unique for everyone because every person is biologically different. One can experience similar illness, disease, or injury but be affected very differently by it, which brings up the most essential and complexed topic concerning healing in general: there are no one-size-fits-all-cookie-cutter-healing-regimens. Period. 

Furthermore, what might apply in theory doesn't always necessarily apply in practice, and this is another critical component in the comprehensive process of healing - we each are unique individuals with unique overall makeups.   

I think some of us can be dismissive of the process of healing. Please notice I emphasized the word process, as in a series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result, progress, or passage. I am not saying we never want to embrace healing; I'm saying we don't always want to embrace the whole process because it can be long, painful, arduous (yet rewarding) work. That can be a hard sell for a fast-paced society that wants quick or instant fixes. We'd rather just pop a pill or have God step in and take care of it for us. Sometimes He does do that; a lot of times He doesn't. And as far as super pills go, I certainly don't know of any. 

believe healing can come in a variety of ways. For instance, through different modalities of medicine (naturopathic, homeopathic, botanical, functional, nutritional, chiropractic, osteopathic, allopathic, etc); through various therapies (music, water, massage, craniosacral, myofascial, and other forms of bodywork and physical therapy); through inner healing and prayer ministry; or a combination of these. 
I believe it is possible for healing to come relatively quickly. I also believe God can and does heal miraculously, supernaturally; I've been a witness to this. 

Still, many of us often have to walk through the process of healing, and I believe it's because this is the most beneficial for us in the long run. Everyone might not agree with me, but this has been my experience as I know it has been for many others. 

I certainly don't have all the answers, but I've come to learn that God values process; probably more than we do. And I can see His wisdom in the road He's taking me down. I'm not saying it's easy or simple; far from it. I'm not even saying I understand it all; I don't. I am saying it is purposeful and I trust where the Holy Spirit is leading me. 

Through the process of healing, we can learn and discover many things, even about ourselves. We can learn what works and what doesn't. We can gain greater insight and understanding into what we need and function best with; what will specifically aid our body's ability to heal because it's different for everyone. We can discover more of our true identity and purpose. 

We can also learn how to live our lives in a healthier balance overall, like working without overkill, resting when needed, and getting better nutrition by eating healthier, whole foods. Also, setting appropriate boundaries can be necessary. Feeling and expressing our emotions and not suppressing them or staying stuck in them is vital to overall health. Taking time for ourselves, doing something we enjoy, is nourishing to our souls. Sharing meaningful time with family and friends is important and needed. And sp
ending time with the Lord, as well as meditating on the Scriptures, is edifying and essential to our whole being; it's foundational to everything else in our lives.

We can become more attuned to the signals our bodies, souls, and spirits often send us too. Sometimes a message can be solely from our physical body, meaning what's going on cellularly or in a particular organ or system; maybe it's a communication that support or action is needed on a physical level. Sometimes the message is from our soul, meaning what's going on emotionally inside of us or in our thought processes; perhaps something we are not even consciously aware of but needs our attention. And sometimes we're getting signals straight from our spirit; moving us to seek deeper communion with God, and get higher wisdom, understanding, and revelation.

There can most certainly be a link between what we feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In other words, what we experience on one level can flow over and affect us on the other levels. We're interconnected; the Father created us this way. That's why when we're anxious or nervous about something we often feel "butterflies in our stomach." Or we can get a "gut feeling" that something is not quite right. Or we experience physical sensations when the Holy Spirit is stirring us within our spirit. Equally, we can sense or discern things in our spirits about people, situations, or natural events.

Yes, I absolutely believe the wisdom of our bodies can help us understand what needs healing, and this shouldn't be too shocking. After all, we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) by our Creator. So why would it be surprising that we have an innate ability to heal given the right support and environment?

On another note, a wise and trusted therapist friend once told me any new or fresh grief could restimulate old or unresolved grief. I have found this to be true. I think this applies to many things. So if, through the process of healing, we discover we're holding onto anything unresolved - grief, trauma, fear, rejection, worry, anger, sadness, unforgiveness, or whatever it might be - we must acknowledge it and deal with it in the right way. If left unresolved, it can hinder our overall healing. 

Throughout this process, we can also uncover truths we never knew or fully understood. As we explore these and ask Holy Spirit to help us to do so, we can gain greater freedom in our lives; perhaps more than we've ever known.

I need to say that I believe whenever God allows us to journey this way, we must understand in and through it all, He wants us to know Him more (regardless of where we are with Him, there's always more). And by more, I mean to know Him more deeply and not just know more about Him. We can know a lot about people, but that doesn't necessarily mean we have a close relationship with them. So it is with God. I believe among the many things the Lord desires to accomplish through our healing processes, this is always at the top of His list - for us to really know Him.

Ultimately, love is who He is; it is His very nature (1 John 4:7-12). And knowing His love anchors us and shelters us in a way nothing or no one else can. Again, I don't mean merely knowing about His love, but instead being intimately familiar with His love. It is, in my opinion, the key to truly knowing Him. And as we come to understand more of His love for us, we learn more about who He is.

I think if any healing process is going to be successful, then love must be at the core of it. It's one commonality we all share; if we do not feel loved and supported the overall healing process will be more difficult; if we don't feel inherently loved or have not dealt with heart issues that might contribute to this, then, at best, we can only heal moderately.

Love is serious business. Love is God business. And it's very healing.

I know when we're suffering physically and feeling frustrated, discouraged, or brokenhearted by our circumstances, it's not so easy to think about embracing "the process" or what's being accomplished through it; God only knows the depths of what we really go through. However, this process does hold the potential for more significant transformation, and I think that's something worth fighting for. Our lives are worth fighting for!

There is still so much that could be said about this, but these are some insights I believe are key or valuable to the healing process, many gleaned from my own experiences. I believe it's important for us to love, support, and help pray each other through as the Spirit leads too.

If you presently find yourself in the midst of a healing process, be it with your own health or the health of a family member, or if you're working to heal from a traumatic experience - the death of a loved one, a fractured relationship, shattered faith, or an unexpected setback of some kind; please know I'm praying for you.

And know it's okay. It's okay if you have no words right now; tears and silence speak their own language. It's okay that it's a marathon and not a sprint; this takes time. Its okay if you feel lost; God's not lost you. 

Just keep seeking and trusting Him. And keep walking, beloved. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and allow this process to take you where you need to go. 

Although this certainly can be a lonely journey, please know you're not alone. 

Know there are hope and grace available. 

And, above all, know you are deeply loved with an everlasting love. 



Michelle Holderman 

Copyright © 2012 

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  1. Michelle
    I really needed to hear this tonight...the process of healing....God's desire to know us. I have had a tough day with a huge increase in pain. I struggle with this as I have been doing so well and know I am is just not manifest totally in my body. God's timing. In my Spirit I am well. In my body, better but not finished. Today my soul was struggling with it all. I walked this morning down to the river...probably too far for my body as the pain soared this afternoon. I saw the river, I was there. I made it. I spoke to it. Not tired at all. It felt so wonderful~
    So, after shedding tears and questioning why, I read about the process of healing and I am once again calm, and planning to spend time with rest. And remember my walk to the river. I see more of those in my future.

    Bless you.

    1. Oh Renee - you made it to the river!! I'm thrilled that you got there, made your goal, but I'm sorry you're having so much more pain. I understand how discouraging it can be when pain and/or other symptoms increase or you have setback. Perhaps your body just can't quite do it all yet. One day at a time. Yes, rest and take heart, friend. It's okay. Love and hugs to you.

  2. wow..I read your first line and it hit me b/c I just posted on perspective...Your insight here is amazing to the healing process and so right on. And I've learned from my own struggled with recovery from rape that healing is a definite process. I wish sometimes it was more of an abradabera kind of thing but it takes so long sometimes. Your words are amazing...and encouraging. Have a dynamite weekend Michelle...Stay strong...

    1. Thanks so much, Nikki. And thank you for allowing Him to use you and your life to be an encouragement to so many of us. I know you understand all about the complexities of the healing process. Love and hugs to you...

  3. Michelle,

    It truly is a blessing to have found your blog. I know it is no coincidence. I recently was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Though it's not wonderful news, I do feel a sense of relief and peace to now know what I am dealing with. I've been googling lyme blogs lately and it is a joy to come across one that is saturated with the Hope of Christ and the Word of God.

    I have much to learn about Lyme. I've shared it with some of my loved ones but not all, simply because I know so little. I am encouraged to see someone whose faith has remained strong. Thank you for sharing your story. It has brought great encouragement to me tonight. God is using you in the midst of your suffering. I pray that the Lord continues to touch your life and meet you in a special way. His goodness shines through your words. Thank you.

    God bless you,

    1. Jenn,

      First off, thanks so much for your heartfelt words. They are dear to me. It truly is my desire to write, speak and encourage with the hope and love of Jesus and share what He has given me. I appreciate your prayer. Thank you.

      I am so sorry to hear of your Lyme diagnosis. (((Big Hug))) However, I totally understand your relief to finally know; to have answers. If there is anything I can do to help support you, please let me know. I'm here. And I mean that sincerely. I'm on Facebook if you'd like to send me a friend request.

      I was reading through your blog and profile last week. Enjoyed reading the random facts about you. Anybody who loves A Charlie Brown Christmas is a friend of mine :) And my family and I are all Yankees fans. Woo-hoo!

      I'm following your blog as well and look forward to reading more of what you have to say and share.

      I'm so glad you found your way here. God is a great navigator. Know that I will be praying for you through this journey.

      The Lord bless and keep you too,