262,800 seconds that felt like never-ending hours.
Hidden shame. Bleeding. Outcast.
She spent almost all her money on doctors and every possible cure thinkable with no result.
She was still bleeding.
Then He passed through her neck of the woods.
Enough shame to last her a lifetime. She got so used to blend in and disappear so people wouldn’t point her out and deepen the scarlet letter she bore for 262,800 moments.
This is the story of the woman who was bleeding for 12 years who you can read about in
Lonely. Desperate. Crying has brought no relieve. Anger did not change a thing. Despair was her constant companion, hopelessness threatened to overcome her once and for all. Till the day that the Man from Galilee passed through her little town. She heard rumors about the Man who spoke and demons fled and calmed storms and made the lame to walk and like a tiny flame hope flickered.
If only this Man held the answer that would make her shame and loneliness dry up.
The crowd was big enough and the frenzy about the Miracle Man big enough for her to stay unnoticed. She reached out her hand and felt life seep back into her anemic body. She felt life and joy and hope restored but still wanted to slip away because shame kept her in the shadows, she’s been humiliated and cast out too many times.
Then He turned and asked who touched Him. People around Him were surprised by this question because the crowds have been bumping and pushing against Him it would be impossible to answer this without pointing to many in the crowd.
He looked in her direction when trembling she came forward to acknowledge that she was the one daring to hope that He would be the One healing her. He looked at her and spoke healing over her heart.
We too walk around like this woman with hidden shame, hidden hurt or brokenness. We carry heavy loads of shame and accusation from the enemy of our souls, the world and sometimes our own voices. Spending all our money and time and effort and energy on what will never bring healing for our hearts.
We try every remedy the world and so-called experts can muster up.
We read self-help books and attend seminars to carry us from one high of emotion to the next but still have to be present when the dark of night settles in and we are all alone with ourselves. We have tried everything to numb our pain and hide our shame but when the night darkens the sun, reality stares us in the face again. Or we live in denial, we blame others for our lack of contentment and we try to ignore the aching of our inability to cure ourselves.
We play pretend church and picket fence families and drop big names to fill the void from lack of true identity. We often lie about our need for healing from others and sometimes ourselves.
We paint on pretty and wear accolades like a fashion statement to find some semblance of meaning to our lives.
Till one day.
Till that one glorious day when the Healer comes to town.
Sometimes that is how we come to Jesus. Hiding in the crowd. Too scared to say out loud that we are desperately in need. And He meets us where we are. But He never leaves us to continue cowering in the shadows.
Faith is putting our hope in Him but also professing with the mouth what we believe.
Of course He knew who touched Him! He didn’t need someone to inform Him. He asked that question for her benefit.
He asked that question to bring her whole being out of the darkness because it wasn’t just her body that needed healing, it was her heart and mind and soul as well.
God has used the beautiful ministry of Revelation Wellness to bring me out of the shadows of self-criticism and the never-ending rollercoaster of living in a love-hate relationship with my body. This didn’t happen because I followed a strict diet or a grueling 60-day workout program. It didn’t happen because my mind was filled with pep talk and self-statements to boost my ego. It started by them leading me back time and time again to the feet of the One Who knitted me together for His glory. It started with me answering this life-changing question from Alisa Keeton at the end of a workout, “What is weighing you down?”
All the walls around my heart and stay-strong-attitude crumbled as God showed me the cloud of grief about my Mom’s battle with Cancer, the stress of dealing with all of it from a world away, facing many who had a hard time understanding this reality and even judging the fact that I was not there, and then finally losing her for the time I’m granted this side of Heaven.
Years of lies about my identity and what it means to be healthy were stripped away by the truth of seeking after Him and rather than desiring sculpted legs and six pack abs I long to become a woman after His own heart who is whole.
A woman who lives in the freedom He gave His life for. A woman who no longer lingers in the shadows or hides under the towel while life is passing by. A woman who no longer sits on the sidelines of the life she’s been given because she doesn’t fit the world’s perception of skinny or in shape or beautiful. A woman with a healed whole heart fully sold out to the Carpenter that sees beyond the surface. A woman who doesn't want to be running around with an empty cup to be filled by other’s perceptions or her own accomplishments or stuff, but who wants to overflow with Life giving water she receives from the One who never runs dry. A woman on a mission to see other captives set free. A woman who is sick and tired of seeing so many sold out to the slavery of what the world says a woman should be and longing to live according to what God designed her to be. A woman who is eager to see the next generation discover Whose they are; their identities solidly founded on the Truth. A woman who has wasted enough time in the shadows. Enough with lurking in the dark. We were created for to live and bring the Light.
This not a quick fix. This is not a-starve-your-body-for-30-days so you can fit in your prom dress. This is not a-punish-your-body to show off your thigh gap and feel powerful and in control of your life because all the guys are staring at you and all the girls wish they were you. This is about losing your life and your idea of what happiness is and trading it in for joy. Live giving. Overflowing. Authentic. Real. This is discovering that your body is for living out His mission and taking care of it is simply meant to help you be better able to carry forth His mission. It is discovering that we are all in this together and that comparison can be replaced by compassion and encouraging everyone who is in the trenches of this often hard and treacherous life.
It is discovering what is behind our need to eat salad at functions and gobbling up chocolate or ice cream behind the scenes. It is laying bare our secrets of running for miles or restricting calories when no one is watching and hiding behind baggy clothes, while feeling the false sense of pride for having so much self-control.
Design by Spunky Designs
Enough with living in the shadow lands Woman in the Unnamed Tent!
Your Father is calling you out of the shadows into His glorious light. He is calling you away from shame and self-disgust and comparing yourself to the ridiculous photo-shopped fake image of beauty and He is saying,
“You are my daughter first. Let me show you the beauty I’ve created in you. Come out into the wide open spaces and live in the FREEDOM you’ve been created for.”
Inside the Unnamed Tent does not own this image.