Before I became a mom, I was a nurse. I spent a few years working on Cardiac floors and then began training as a Wound Care Nurse. While in college, I learned that nursing was not for those with a weak stomach, which is true, but wound care nursing took that to a whole notha’ level! There were times that I was literally up to my elbows in someone’s body cavity due to a wound gone bad. No, really!
Because wounds vary in size and severity, they call for different types of treatment. I’d pack some wounds with “silver” to kill bacteria and yet other wounds required a “vacuum” to promote tissue growth and prevent infection. It probably sounds strange to most of you, but it was fascinating to watch wounds heal.
Occasionally, a patient would require wound changes more than once a day if the wound was draining large amounts of fluid. Sometimes wounds would “tunnel” for several inches into the body because of infection and I’d find that the wound was much more severe than at first glance. There was never a dull moment in wound care and never a boring case. I learned quickly that wounds need to be cared for promptly or they just grow larger.
The Lord has often used life experiences to teach me more about himself and as I open my Bible, I find so many of these “life” issues addressed in matters of the heart.
We each have wounds. Whether you made decisions that led to your wounds or were the recipient of a heartbreaking and unfortunate event, you have probably been wounded. We all have. And one thing that we have in common is that no matter how we acquired our wounds, we don’t enjoy being wounded.
Some of you are walking around with “gaping” wounds. You’ve recently been wounded and you don’t even know how to begin to heal. You know that it’s necessary to tend to this wound, but addressing it means you’ll eventually move forward. You’re not sure if you want to do that and honestly, you don’t know where to start.
For others, the wound occurred years ago, but because you keep ripping the bandage off, it won’t heal. Instead, it just re-opens and bleeds a little more, causing you continued pain. It’s time for some wound care.
I recently had coffee with a young lady that is “nursing her wounds”. While we all have wounds, some wounds go a bit deeper and are more severe. She explained to me that though she works to help other wounded women, she hadn’t properly cared for her own wounds. In fact, she had covered them, hoping that “out of sight” would mean “out of mind”. But, this wasn’t the case. Her wounds began showing up in other areas, “tunneling” their way into her life and relationships, like a bad infection.
See, wounds that aren’t dealt with just fester. Often, they re-open, causing greater pain. Sometimes, they re-open at the most unfortunate times. As she sat explaining to me how she’s taking action to find healing for her wounds, I realized that she is implementing another nursing must-have: A “Plan of Care”.
In a Plan of Care, the nurse devises a “plan of attack” to help the wounded heal. This can include a multidisciplinary approach, knowing that some wounds require many steps and many people to truly heal. In real life, you might start by finding a wise friend or a good counselor that listens as you pour your heart out and expose your wounds. They may offer care by speaking truth to you, like healing salve.
I love to hear stories of people who have healed from their wounds or are actively caring for them. But mostly, I love to hear about their honest struggle as they walk through it, because after all, that’s real life. Bring me to Jesus in the midst of dealing with a wound and I know I’m in the right place. If there is anyone who understands wounds, it’s him.
When I feel bitterness or anger rising in my heart, it’s usually because I haven’t properly cared for a wound. Something is festering. In this case, confession is necessary to my heart being transformed. I think there are many wounds that need to be addressed this way. My response to wounds matters as well. If I dwell on them, instead of bringing them to the Lord, it’s like ripping the bandage off over and over and never truly healing. God longs for us to bring our broken hearts and gaping wounds to him. When it’s hard and overwhelming, the Great Physician wants us to turn to him, because he is our Healer. When I am weak, he is strong. His power is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12)
There are so many types of wounds. I understand that I can’t possibly address them all. Would you consider if you’re in need of some “wound care” today? Then, begin the process of nursing your wounds if you ever want freedom from them. The God who sees your wounds is also the God who can heal them. Let your “Plan of Care” begin with him.
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31