1When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe.3 Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”6We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:1-3,6,7
As my healing continues and I have been able to share parts of my journey with others, I have spent grateful time in reflection about how I came to be on this path and the other lives that have also been changed as a result. As I traced it back through the many people who helped guide me, a picture came to me of skipping stones in a lake. As I analyzed these ripples, the picture for my journey, and I believe everyone’s, is more about skipping a stone. Each time it hits, the rings grow larger, not once, but many times over. Watching them expand I can see them cross into each other’s path, blending, yet continuing to grow.
About five years ago a physician’s assistant at my pain doctor’s office casually mentioned that if people don’t deal with the psychological effects of pain, they can strengthen and cause depression to set in. He suggested that I go listen to the pain psychologist at their practice when she was doing a presentation later that week. Listening, I was convinced it would be helpful to talk about, though my insurance didn’t cover her. I got a list of covered therapists from my insurance and ‘randomly’ chose one that was close and I liked the name of the facility. (haha)
Again it was by ‘chance’ who they assigned me to. After meeting with her for a couple of months, the memories and shame from my childhood sexual abuse had come up and were becoming overwhelming. She suggested an intensive outpatient program that I agreed to and my life was drastically changed. I found an excellent counselor there who I have been working with ever since.
Since then I have referred four friends to that program whose lives were impacted dramatically as well. One of these people was able to return to work and her marriage after long years of panic attacks. One, at age 32, moved from her parents home for the first time, she had been emotionally enmeshed with them; the following year she got married. Another was able to heal from a painful rejection through divorce, and start a new life which included remarriage. The PA will never know what affect his statement has had on me, nor the lives that were changed because of the way my life was changed. As the ripples continue to spread, I too will never know how the lives changed because they crossed my path, will change the lives of people that cross theirs. The further the stone skips, the more impact it will have; and for me, it all started with a statement.
It is good to look back from time to time and remember from where the Lord has brought us, and the miracles, both large and small, that he performed to accomplish it. If we are faithful to the Lord’s leading, He will see to the rest.