Getting back to the Future
For most people their vision for wellness comes from the past and not the future. They look back and say, “I just want to be like I used to be!” This is actually a real problem for everyone who wants to become well. You see the one thing that we can be absolutely sure of is that every experience we have changes us from what we were to who we are.
Even if a person became completely free of all of their symptoms or afflictions, they cannot be same as they were. They can only be who they are now. One of the most important things to hold on to is that every experience, no matter how bleak, can change us in a positive way. Instead of getting back to the past, get back to thinking about the future.
Rob always says to me that he dreams of a time when people will ask those who are walking out of mental or emotional disturbance, “What did you learn?” Every journey that we take changes our vision for the next step of the journey ahead of us. We learn new ways of perceiving, dreaming, hoping, responding, thinking and trusting. More than that, some of our greatest creativity and empathy is born out of our most challenging experiences.
There are a number of unhelpful Christian healing models that look to the past and not the future as their mode of wellness. Many of them use the distinction between Genesis 2 and 3 as their framework and suggest that we can reclaim the pre-fallen nature of Adam and Eve. Not only is this misleading, it diminishes the true creative wonder of God. God did not make mistakes in creation, we are not part of a failed ‘plan B’ that God had to make the best of. Our God is The Redeeming God. He works out his perfect will in us and in his world despite mans rejection of him.
Psalms 49:15 “But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.”
He has a plan for each of us, and he continues to shape, develop, grow and refine us through every dark night of the soul.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The true biblical model for healing is not found in Genesis 1 or 2 but in Revelation 21. It is in the future that we see complete healing, not in the past. For today, ask God who you are becoming, what creativity, empathy, kindness, forgiveness, or character is he forming in you that will make you who you are now, not who you were then. What ever you do, don’t look back to the past for who you were, look to the future, look to Jesus who knows you and loves you.
Will Van Der Hart, 20/10/2009