Faith · Hope

Clean Out the Wound

“I have good news and bad news.”

As I drove the stretch of road, I struggled to make sense of his words…the diagnosis, suggested course of treatment, and steps of immediate action.


I hung up the phone and attempted to sort out the information the doctor shared—understanding would have to come later. Then it hit me, I would have to tell her when I got home.

She had osteochondritis dissecans. A quick google search {hand to the heavens for the great web} yielded more understandable terms. “Osteochondritis dissecans is a joint condition in which a piece of cartilage, along with a thin layer of the bone beneath it, comes loose from the end of a bone.” She would be benched from the sport she lived for…gymnastics.

That diagnosis and subsequent surgery ended her involvement in competitive gymnastics. Although devastating for her, beauty eventually rose from the disappointment, and new opportunities to use her athleticism emerged.

When I think about that season, my mind immediately goes back to the months of waiting for healing. We had tried all non-surgical approaches, but after 18 months of treatment with no progress, the doctor felt like surgery was the next reasonable option.  The lesion on her femur bone {where the bone had pulled away with the cartilage} just wouldn’t heal. The laparoscopic surgery would involve drilling tiny holes in the lesion to encourage healing.

Think about that for a minute. Drill tiny holes into a wound to promote healing. Sign me up, right? Wrong. Isn’t that like “salt in the wound?” In this case, prodding the wound was almost sure to promote healing.

Turns out–that’s just common sense. When my youngest busted his head open the ER doctor sent in nurses to scrub the wound before he proceeded with treatment. {Thankfully my fearless friend Brandi accompanied me on that visit—I’m still queasy thinking about it.}

A clean wound is a necessary first step toward healing.

If that is the protocol for physical healing, is it the same for emotional/spiritual healing? Personally, I tend to wall off/cover up areas of hurt. As an adult, I was deeply wounded by someone close to me. They had taken areas of vulnerability and used them against me—to defame me. It knocked the wind out of me. By no means did I want to clean out that wound. I inadvertently {out of fear of further hurt} protected it, covered it up, and closed it off.

Someone knows what I’m saying here, right? Turning inward. Self-preserving.

Problem is~~there’s risk of infection when you don’t clean out the wound.


I closed my heart off to vulnerability and that decision affected all my relationships. I lived with a wounded heart which became a breeding ground for infection.  I became short–not trusting anyone. Anyone. Stay with me…that means no one. Friends, family, children, God.

Life is miserable and lonely when you don’t trust anyone. It took me nearly 5 years to begin peeling back the layers to expose my wounded heart before the Lord {it had to begin there}. I did it with fear, trembling, labored breathing, and sweaty armpits. Every decision toward vulnerability took great courage, lots of self-talk, and extreme prayer. The alternative was gross, though. An infection of bitterness of heart, mind, and spirit sounds about as appealing as a root canal without anesthetic!

Healing is a daily decision. Although cleaning out a wound is not as fun as–say–a beach trip with friends…letting wounds heal makes a beach trip with friends much more enjoyable {in fact, I’d like to go ahead and schedule that trip. Anyone?}

Cleaning out a wound is necessary.

It discourages infection and encourages healing.

A little pain for a lot of gain!

{photo credit:}

18 thoughts on “Clean Out the Wound

  1. Alyssa, so true. I have been there. A closed off heart, nothing effects me, to keep away the pain. It’s so true about peeling the layers. It’s very tiring being tough. I thank God, and Mentoring Moms for starting that raw, real process of being transparent. It is the most freeing & healing place to be. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23:2.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen daughter! TY for leading the way to vulnerability & spiritual cleansing. Our mighty and faithful Father is always watching &waiting for our decision to be authentic &transparent. What FREEDOM- TY Lord! (When IS that beach trip?! 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this….this is what I deeprootedly struggle with daily and I know this is where the cynicism, doubt, loneliness, etc. stem from….excuse me but, how is the opposite even possible….. especially after 33 (I am 35) years ( and more recently) of morbid hurt at the hands of others?! The only person I trust completely is my Beautiful, Innocent, and Unconditional Loving Daughter….and she is 5….of course, I trust God…. I can’t trust people bc most of them are narcissists…. I hate narcissists…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Remay, I hear you. Trusting has been an ongoing struggle for me. We just have to remember that the ones that wounded us don’t represent Jesus’ heart toward us. Thank goodness, huh? Remember that the grieving process is just that…a process. Let it run its course and don’t rush the process! I see you walking in a new freedom…keep walking, sister.


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