In Pastor Brian Jones book, Getting rid of the Gorilla, he describes how distancing ourselves geographically can allow space to regroup and heal. He gave the Biblical account in Acts 15:36-41 where Paul and Mark had a “sharp disagreement” and went their separate ways. He states, “I wonder if sometimes the only way to move past a traumatic event and heal is to put a literal ocean between our hearts and the people who hurt us.”[i]
He then concludes. “Herein lies the double-edged sword of creating geographical and emotional distance in our relationships. When we’re hurt, creating distance is a good thing; distance guards our hearts. It allows us to heal and recover emotionally. It allows us to regain relational stability and plot our next course of action. Distance is a natural, healthy, God-honoring initial response to buy time to figure out how to process what we’re thinking and feeling…but maintaining relational distance from people, as a way of life is not. The place of safety inside ourselves that we retreat to eventually becomes the place where our lonely, relationally starved soul begins to die.”[ii]
In reading this after I returned from Australia, it added to my understanding of why God wanted me to take a sabbatical and attend to my soul issues. I needed to place David, my hurt, and our marriage aside to attend to a much bigger problem. I NO LONGER TRUSTED GOD...YES, I BELIEVED IN HIM, BUT I DID NOT TRUST HIM! This coupled with the devastation of betrayal was too convoluted to tackle in tandem.

Though I created distance for this distinct purpose, I had to come back and finish the work of healing— within my marriage. Continual isolation from the messiness was not the answer, but neither was my focusing on the marriage when there was bigger issues at play. I needed to re-learn how to trust God and His love when life was not good, before He could give me the power to work on my marriage.

I was truly blessed to have this opportunity and realize not too many people are in a position to just up and leave, so unless God specifically tells you to do so—don’t. I also want to point out there was a price to pay financially. I would never trade this time for anything, but I do not want to paint a picture less than true. There was a decided drop in my clientele, as people do not wait around without physical training for three months.

God understood fully the value of my leaving, and now looking back it all makes sense. But at the time, forging out alone took enormous trust, which was exactly God’s point.

To be Continued...
Here is a beautiful song by "Mercy Me" called, "When the Hurt and the Healer Collide"

[i] Brian Jones, Getting Rid of the Gorilla (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing, 2008) 49.

[ii] Brian Jones, Getting Rid of the Gorilla (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing, 2008) 53-54.

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Friday, 12 August 2022

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