You have probably heard the analogy of our personal growth and healing being like the layers of an onion. When we encounter and choose to engage with the inner and outer struggles of life, it is like picture of an onion being peeled back layer by layer, one at a time. This can be frustrating or discouraging because if you are like me, I would love for the peeling to be over with at once. I haven’t found life like that though. My layers are often reoccurring themes. I learn something new each time I peel back a layer. I am always taken back that God’s patience and love are present each time and experienced in new ways.
Recently in my life I had one of those layers pulled back. I had no idea that I would find in this layer, hidden in a particular story in my life, distortion and a partial truth that has shaped how I relate to God and others.
The memory came out of the blue. I found myself telling it to someone in a hesitant way not yet knowing why this would be the time that memory surfaced. Out of telling that snippet of my life, I discovered that I had interpreted God as over demanding and not safe. I wept as I realized what the story had burned into me and there was a tremendous relief of putting words to the confusion that was in that particular piece of my life. In those moments of talking, seeing the connections and praying, more truth was brought into that long ago memory. I found a shift happen in myself. A peace came over me that allowed me to see the sweet kindness and invitation of Jesus in that scene instead of an over demanding God.
Back to analogy. I am thankful that what the onion represents for me. My healing experienced in peeling back another layer of my story. My healing guided by a loving and patient God. My healing found in having others in my life be with me as I peel back those layers and realize the distortions that lie in some of the experiences in my life.
For those of you who are afraid of having to peel back a layer or discouraged to encounter what seems like the same layer being pulled back, I encourage you to have Courage! My hope is that in the discomfort of encountering “the onion” you will see and experience the loving, kind hand of the One who made you.
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