Tree Trauma and Healing Hearts

I ran into a tree –with my face.  When I mentioned this to my mother, she assumed it was with my car and I spent some time pondering whether that indicated she gave me too much credit or not enough.

I was walking down the sidewalk looking left because even though I’ve been told my entire life to watch where I am going, it seems as if all the interesting things are either to the left or right.  To my left, a woman clothed in pajamas was begging a tow truck driver to remove the boot from her car.  I was immersed in their interaction when the tree attacked me.  The assault wasn’t like the one in the Poltergeist movie where the tree wrapped people in its python-like branches.  It was a knock in the face so hard that my earring popped out and I had to sit on the sidewalk for a minute and say bad words while trying not to cry.  Not sure which kind of tree attack is worse.

I have small cuts on my jaw and ear that can easily be covered with makeup and hair.  It annoys me that they look so minor when hours later I can still feel the throb from the jarring hit.  It seems like I should have an imprint of bark on my face or a dangling ear, but sadly, I look relatively normal.  It made me think about the wounds we carry and how the ones that hurt the most are often unseen.  This pulsating pain walks with us no matter which direction we are headed. Few know the extent of our injuries and sometimes we too ignore the ache of our wounds.  We try to be tough.  We try to move on.  We think the heart heals as intuitively as our bodies do from injury or sickness.    We assume healing will just happen without acknowledgment or effort the way bruises fade from darkness into nothingness.  Yet our hearts were not made for darkness and nothingness.  They were made for love and the consequences of that ability to stretch and surmount and pour out and let in — is a vulnerability to being hurt.  Jesus knew this.  He loved unequivocally and it motivated his willingness to suffer for us so that we could also know great love.

Jesus bore a great cost and willingly endured physical and mental anguish in the name of love.  Despite his suffering, he didn’t wallow in the wounds of life.  He rose from them.  He transformed them from brutality into the beauty of redemption.  Pain in life is inevitable but we don’t have to carry it with us.  Through him, we can heal.  We can redeem it.  We can help others do the same.  We don’t ever really know what anyone else has been through, what pain they have been hit with, or what they’ve had to walk away from.  And, that’s okay.  Not everyone has to be attacked by a tree to feel compassion for someone else.  We just have to know that no matter where our wounds originate, walking into his loving divine arms, is a place for healing to begin.

Read More: Joy of Faith (and ice cream)

I hope this finds you well, friends.  Tomorrow I am taking my son to college for the first time.  I worry more about how I will do without him than he will without all of us.  Right now, being attacked by the Poltergeist tree feels easier than managing to say goodbye.  Any advice?  ~love, the mama with a missing piece of her heart!

7 thoughts on “Tree Trauma and Healing Hearts

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  • August 18, 2020 at 6:45 pm
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    Thank you Lara

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    • August 19, 2020 at 12:12 am
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      You are welcome! Hope you are well!

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  • August 18, 2020 at 11:30 am
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    Oh Laura my prayers are going up for you and other dear friends who are saying goodbye for the first time. Whether it is a first, only, or 6th child (who is leaving Thursday 🙁 ) we mammas go through our own personal grief for a time being and that is ok. When we love our kiddos as deeply as we do, any goodbye when they are leaving for a period of time is hard. They truly do take a piece of our hearts with them. As one mom told me years ago, they need to get on the “calling mamma plan” quickly, as we get deeper into our “calling Momma Mary plan” for them. It helps US to know that, by His Grace… they are learning to fly and the more they become at peace with their surroundings, the more at peace we will feel. And by the way…it took me a solid week not to cry when our oldest left for NC. Lean into His arms my friend. Thank you always for your beautiful reflections!

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    • August 18, 2020 at 1:36 pm
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      Thank you, Caclan for sharing your experience. You are right we both need to get on the “call your mama plan!” I have been thinking a lot about Mary recently and all that she endured watching Jesus separate to come into his fullness (the Temple), then suffer brutally before he was killed. It had to be unbearable and yet, she bore it with grace. I am not sure that I will get through this gracefully but I do trust that by God’s grace I will get through it. (I also appreciate you sharing that it took a week to get to no tears. That will give me another grace that I think I will badly need). God’s blessings to you, too as you go through this again. It’s the hard part of love, for sure.

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  • August 18, 2020 at 10:26 am
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    Lara, your post really struck a chord. Our world focuses often on the superficial wounds, to the neglect of the internal, hidden wounds. A hard call for us to be in the world, not “of” the world, right? thanking God right now for our sister friends who surround us with strength and point us to grace.

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    • August 18, 2020 at 1:26 pm
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      What perfect words, Ann. It’s so important to remember those distinguishing words “to be in the world not of the world.” If we can live that correctly, I think everything would fall into place. Thanks for the good reminder.

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