Two weeks ago I had surgery to scrape infection out of my lower jaw where my wisdom teeth used to be. The dentist said the recovery would be similar to having your wisdom teeth removed. Since it’s been more than thirty years since I had that done, I was surprised how long it’s taking me to bounce back. I guess my body’s not quite as bouncy as it was at seventeen. I ended up doing too much too soon and prolonged the healing process. 

Part of the problem is fear of getting hooked on pain medication. I’ve heard too many stories of addiction. But as I’ve learned, they serve a purpose when used correctly. When your body is in constant pain, you end up spending too much energy fighting that, instead of saving your energy for healing. It’s important to give in and rest from normal activities. When I finally gave in to that, I started healing faster.  
The same thing is true no matter what kind of healing you need. 
If you’re healing from divorce, you need to take a break from relationships and allow your wounded soul to rest and be restored. Sadly, I didn’t heed that advice too well either. I dated too soon after my marriage of almost twenty-one years ended. It hurt too much to hurt, and the excitement of being noticed and valued felt so wonderful. But just like overdoing it after surgery, I caused myself more pain in the end. Because when my new relationship ended the un-grieved grief hit even worse than before. 
It takes time to mourn, especially a long term marriage. Pastor Andy Stanley suggests waiting at least a year before entering any new relationships after divorce—or if you’ve have gotten into a pattern of jumping from one destructive romance to another. Countless individuals have thanked him after accepting his one year challenge. They finally took the time for emotional healing before dragging all their baggage into yet another relationship.
This same wisdom applies to so many life situations—addictions, finances, death. It’s like hitting a PAUSE button to take stock of where you are and let your spirit catch up. That pause gives us time to seek God’s direction, realize a new perspective, and invite His healing touch. After the PAUSE comes the REFRESH button. An influx of new energy, ideas, friendships, and wholeness rushes in to replace the pain and confusion.
So today, if you’re having a hard time allowing yourself to take a break from whatever it is you need healing from, I want to encourage you to learn from my mistakes. 
One of my favorite scriptures happens to address this very thing:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,
 and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isa. 40:28-31).
Eagles apparently know it’s a waste of energy to leap from the branch when there’s no wind. Instead, they pause, regaining strength, waiting for the updraft to carry them. Then when they leave the branch, instead of flapping and floundering through their own efforts, they soar majestically to their next destination. A beautiful image to keep in mind as we let healing do its work.
#importanceofrest #howlongshouldIwaitbefore #healingafterdivorce #restandrecovery