Navigating Beyond Damage

Several weeks ago, my cell phone fell out of my pocket and hit the side of a filing cabinet. When I picked it up, I saw a tiny chip at the edge of the screen. Everything seemed ok with the phone so I continued to use it, although I became aware of the need to navigate around the chip to prevent cutting my finger. Within a few days, I saw a hairline crack begin to travel across the screen from the divot at the edge. Now, the damage couldn’t be ignored.

The screen looked repairable. After all, it was only a tiny chip and a hairline crack, but when the repairman removed the phone case, more extensive damage came into view. The side of the screen with the chip bulged upward, and when viewed from the side, the warping was even more pronounced.

“Your battery is swollen,” the repairman announced. “It could explode at any time. Your phone is not repairable.”

Wow! A swollen, potentially exploding battery. Who knew? The phone case had concealed a major hazard that was dangerous and irreparable.

Do you have damage in your life that feels irreparable? Do you find yourself navigating around broken places or feel yourself about to explode over minor incidents or inconveniences?

Perhaps a relentless health condition knocked you to the sidelines and you can’t quite regain your balance. Maybe grief immobilized you years ago and you still haven’t been able to reignite forward motion. Or maybe your damage is emotional in nature, from abuse, low self-esteem, or betrayal, invisible to others, but nonetheless crippling.

When any type of damage hold you back, how do you navigate around it and move beyond it?

Keep Looking Ahead

One of the most debilitating qualities of damage is it keeps you focused on the past. Human nature can’t resist reliving the hurt, replaying the words, rehearsing the come-backs, and re-opening the wounds. When negative images and voices nip at your heels, or sadness overwhelms, banish them with renewed vision for all that lies before you. Look for and expect fulfilling days and positive encounters. Allow the past to stay in the past.

Enjoy Today

Navigating around damage is tough because there is a tendency to wonder when the next bad thing is going to happen. Fear factors in and robs you of joy. But look for simple sources of joy each day. It could be something as small as watching the progress of a bird building a nest, enjoying the greening of spring,  or savoring the flavors, colors, and textures of fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden. Recognize sources of gratitude and enjoy big and small blessings.

Focus on Renewal

In these days when we are bombarded with technology, it’s easy to get lost in social media, incessant newscasts, and political upheaval, all of which drain mentally and emotionally. But your body and mind need renewal. Make rest a priority. Dial your bedtime back and allow yourself more opportunity for sleep. Renew spiritually with prayer and scripture reading. Spend time outside. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Re-evaluate your diet and make small changes for a big impact in how you feel. Make renewal a priority.

Trust for Tomorrow

When damage has crisscrossed your life with heartache and difficulty, believing for a positive future is hard. But God wants to bind your wounds and provide hope for your future.  Trust is risky. Trust opens you to the possibility of additional disappointment and hurt, but trust is also freeing.  Are you willing to trust God for a better tomorrow, one where you experience healing and joy? Take a step of faith, and then another. Soon, you will be gliding along, moving forward, with damage beginning to heal and new life ahead.

“Forget what happened long ago! Don’t think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.” Isaiah 43:18-19 CEV


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  1. A recent conversation with friends caused me to remember very sad events from my past. The anxiety started creeping in and I could feel my heart racing. I knew what I needed to do. I paused, prayed and asked God for help with these resurfacing feelings. He comforted me and I was able to continue the conversation and hopefully help others.

    1. Melissa, it’s interesting how difficult memories seem to dog us. I’m glad you were able to move forward with God’s help and continue the conversation. Thanks for sharing. C

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