Yesterday I was listening to a podcast from the team at Wild at Heart. They were talking about the upcoming summer. We all tend to use the summer to go on holiday, go adventuring and invite people round for barbeques. That is great, but this year they urged us all to remember that this isn’t any ordinary summer – we have all been through a season of worldwide trauma, that hasn’t completely gone away. The world is opening up again to some extent, and it is tempting to think that going back to how things were before is going to help us heal. But it won’t.
Imagine going to see a therapist and telling them everything you have been through. The isolation, the fear around simply going to the shops. Not being able to see precious family and friends. The lack of closure around the deaths of loved ones. The grief over the postponement or cancellation of much-anticipated events. The frustration when things that used to be simple, like trying to get a doctors’ appointment, have now become fraught with difficulty. The pain of not being able to gather as the body of Christ and worship together.
Now imagine if that therapist was the best one possible – they know your heart and your soul better than you know it yourself. They know exactly what brings you life, but they also know the limitations of your work and family situation. What prescription would they write for the summer ahead?
Well, we do have such a therapist – the Holy Spirit living in our hearts.
This afternoon I sat down and prayed. I asked the Spirit to speak to me about what I need on my personal prescription. I think I need to sit down and do this a few more times yet, but so far, none of the answers have been big, crazy things. They are all the tiniest lifestyle tweaks that open me up, give me breathing space, and calm for my heart and mind. They are not difficult. They still involve me cooking the dinner, doing the washing, looking after my 4-year-old. Some of them I will have to organise in, like finding time for a long walk. Others I need to lay down or moderate, such as non-intentional time scrolling through various media.
They are all simple, yet the warfare over our recovery and healing is intense. The enemy would like nothing more than for us to live half-lives, dazed and fearful. So we need to pray with spunk and determination:
I choose healing for my heart and my soul. In the name of Jesus, I lift off and banish the trauma of the past year. I choose not to partner with fear, frustration and despair, and instead I choose to draw on the life of the Spirit within me. I choose not to comfort eat or comfort scroll, and instead I partner with the love, joy and peace of God. Lord, show me things that are excellent, praiseworthy, noble and good; fill me with your beauty. I refuse to seek out the quick fix or to over-compensate for all I have missed and instead choose to delight in the simple, little things that refresh my soul. In the name of Jesus, amen.