Another Puzzle Piece

puzzle pieces Danilo Rizzuti.jpg


I've been doing a lot of reading lately. There are so many books that are speaking to me right now, giving me pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that's my life.  I find the golden thread of God’s word woven through them - just waiting for me to find them, and put them to use.

 

I've always found it interesting that the pieces come from so many different places. It might be something someone writes to me in an email. It might be a word or phrase in a song that is sung. It might be looking out doors at the sunshine or hearing birds out my window.

 

It might be in one of the many books I’m devouring.

 

I’m reading a book right now where the author speaks to chronic illness and pain, and how those can be impacted by some of early childhood experiences - in particular, neglect/abuse or trauma before the age of 18.  (While this is certainly not the case for everyone, I had to raise my hand as I read what she had written.)

 

I'm always very careful when I read something secular. But I’m seeing how much of what Donna Jackson Nakazawa says lines up with scripture. There are one or two “iffy” suggestions (Eastern meditation being one, but a practice easily replaced with Christian, God-focused meditation, if you choose to meditate - something Scripture advocates strongly for.)


But, I’m a fan of the 12-step adage take what you need and leave the rest. There apparently is much I need in this book.


As a scientist/researcher/psychologist I appreciate someone who does the ground work and the legwork to back up her claims. The writer of The Best Last Cure, has done her homework. Plus she has the life experience to speak to chronic illness. Her’s is an amazing story of perseverance, if nothing else.

 

I find specific Scriptures floating to the surface as I read her thoughts on how having a positive attitude, being content, having loving thoughts are vital to not just surviving, but even thriving with chronic illness.

 

She addresses the cognitive changes that take place during adverse childhood events - how the very structure of our brain and even our DNA is impacted by early events, which can in turn impact our health.

 

While I never felt myself to have actively been abused or neglected, I know I grew up scared and lonely. I was afraid of everything. I saw the same thing in my mom, and if your mom is scared, well there must be something out there worthy of fear.

 

From a young age, we develop a “world view.” The world might be a safe one for us, or a stage, or as I learned from my mom … a dangerous place.

 

We all ascribe meanings that we learn from our experiences. And those beliefs are hard to change.

 

Yet, I'm beginning to seem how flawed my perceptions were, and are, and how those perceptions actually made changes to my developing brain. Changes that set in motion a chain of thoughts and beliefs that have physically impacted my health.  


The fact that they can now scientifically prove that our attitude can escalate or decrease bodily inflammations in chronic disease?  Well … for the moment, I’m on board.


The bottom line in this somewhat long-winded explanation?

 

I'm seeing how imperative that renewing of our mind is. (Romans 12:1) Particularly for those of us with chronic issues - it not only impacts out minds … but our bodies as well.

 

I realize I need a new vision: Of the world, and of my life, and of myself. My negativity has to go. My heart? I need that clean heart created in me. (Psalm 51:10)

 

If I want to be who God wants me to be, I need a transformed, renewed mind. I need to see myself, others, and the world around me through God’s eyes of grace and mercy and love.  I am seeing that it how God meant for us to live all along.

 

What I find exciting is these "bold, new scientific truths" have been tucked away in Scripture for centuries, just waiting for us to understand. Just waiting for us to want to see our world through God’s eyes - and the eyes of the child that Scripture bids we become like.

 

God’s word is so alive to me right now.


For the moment - things are making sense.

 

Do I think this is THE book that will heal me?  

Honestly? I know that healing is in God’s hands.  But the attitude changes?  The transformations only God can do if I am willing?  I need those even if this body never gets any better - or gets worse. 

 

My need for God is great.

 

But my God is greater still. 


And another puzzle piece falls into place.



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