One final nighttime revelation woke me following the one I described in Continuing on…. This picture came to me as I rose to the surface of sleep: I saw a plywood board slowly moving over my prone position, starting above my head and traveling down my chest to cover my heart and lungs. Even though it was pressing hard against me, scraping my skin with its sharp edge, I braced myself against the pain, accepted it and absorbed the suffering into my being. There the board remained, claustrophobically suffocating me with its size and weight, cutting off the wide open spaces of life giving oxygen which previously existed before its appearance and causing my breath to become shallow and forced as I labored to inhale and exhale. Wondering if this plank represented my child’s defense mechanism against the constant distress, both within and without, in which she lived, I sank back into slumber.
That happened weeks ago, and its implication and meaning have still not become clear. I have turned it over and over again in my mind and sought answers in prayer, yet God’s timing has not yet come for release and healing. Last week I felt I could bear the stress and pressure no longer, for even during the daytime my lungs continued to rise and fall in a slight, short breaths and the stiffness and discomfort in my neck and shoulders relentlessly continued. Some relief came when I realized that I had been taught to live life by pretending, to act and believe in ways inconsistent with the truth of my family’s extreme dysfunction, and that this deep seated pattern continued to affect me today. As I tried to translate this realization into the functional reality of my life, I saw the board beginning to move upward, and though the distance it moved was small, there was a welcome alleviation of oppression in my lower chest and such a sense of freedom and relaxation beginning to unfold that I begged God to remove it all the way…preferably at that moment! In my mind I frantically sought other ways in which I could release this truth in my life, thinking that I perhaps could make happen what God was waiting to do. But, the plywood refused to move further, and the next day it returned to its original position.
Then I was reminded that the board’s removal would not happen because of my attempts to convince God to move quickly or because of my efforts to lift it when God has said “not yet”. That would be God’s job, and it would have to be done in His timing. Experience has taught me He has good reasons for the pace of His healing process, and even though I may rebelliously balk at His seemingly inexplicable slowness, I will reluctantly admit His final outcome is always better than I can imagine….and His one-step-at-a-time pace is necessary to achieve the final product of full release and freedom.
So I wait.