By Katie Corrigan
My kids love Band-Aids. Well, one of them does. My son believes with all his heart that Band-Aids are the cure for every “owie” imaginable. On the other hand, my daughter won’t even accept the bribe of a triple chocolate sundae to wear one of these on a hangnail. I’ve bought Frozen-themed, Trolls-themed, Princess Sofia, and even Paw Patrol Band-Aids to try to get her to heal her little cuts…Not having any of it. In fact, her bandage of choice is a wet rag. Yep, a run-of-the-mill, good ol’ wet washcloth is what she prefers to use to cure her hangnails. Not exactly effective, but in her four-year old brain, it’s what helps heal the wound and take away the pain.
Last Christmas, my family of four made the trek up to the Pacific Northwest for the holiday. It was a quick, few day trip to see family and celebrate all things Jesus. My husband and I decided to take advantage of the grammy-sitter by sneaking away for a night out. When we returned home, my mother in law informed us that Carter, my son, had tripped and somehow managed to cut his knee open on one of the metal transition pieces in her floor. Band-Aids to the rescue! My son, no matter the pain or how big the cut, was always soothed by a simple Band-Aid (of no theme). This particular time, it was short-lived.
As soon as the sun came up (he is an usually early riser…it’s almost sinful) he busted through the doors of our bedroom like a bull in a china shop, slamming every door and shelf on his way in.
“DAAAAAADDDDDDDDD”! “MOMMYYYYY”! It was as if the British were coming…again. While both of us were struggling to get our bearings and figure out if we could even see yet, he pulled his damaged knee up right at eye-level to my husbands face.
A bloodied mess with a large Band-Aid halfway hanging off was all there was covering his entire knee. Not being a fan of the sight of blood and coming from a hyper-reactionary background, I headed straight for the bathroom trying to keep my stuff together. Days went on, and we kept checking the wound for signs of progressive healing, but the wound only seemed to be getting worse. So we took matters into our skilled hands and performed surgery with only the best tools we could think of…tweezers, hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin and of course, Band-Aids.
As weeks went on, we saw that the wound was making progress in healing on its own, but we were slowly realizing the severity of the wound. It was a deep, large cut. And while our at-home remedies were attempting to mend his knee back together, we couldn’t help but notice that the Band-Aid in and of itself was not the end-all, be-all solution to heal the cut. Today, he has a massive scar protruding from his knee. One that probably could have been minimized by seeing a doctor and having stitches put in to expedite the healing.
As I pondered the concept of my own wounds from childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood, I wondered how many times I had tried at-home remedies and Band-Aids to bring healing to deep, festering wounds in my heart and mind. Words that had cut deep and had become the first scars that I carried into my adulthood and motherhood. Over the years, in addition to hurtful words, the lacerations of betrayal, being excluded or overlooked began to be covered by the themed Band-Aids of “need for approval”, “high-achieving performance” and overall “perfection”. All flimsy and meager attempts to heal my soul.
As mothers, have we considered the wounds that we all carry that may not yet be healed? As we study families and generational behaviors, and recognize unhealthy and toxic patterns that are continuing through our family lines, have we really examined where we’ve tried to place Band-Aids on wounds where surgery is desperately needed to properly heal ourselves? In my own experience as a mother, I have been made acutely aware of the damages that my heart and mind have endured, and even more painful, what I have handed down to my own children.
As I have prayed and pondered on what type of mother I want to be to my own children, I have found two truths:
1. What is not HEALED, will be HANDED DOWN
2. What is PURPOSEFUL, can be PASSED ON
The story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 is where I have hovered and immersed myself in when dealing with hand-me-down healing. Hannah was favored by her husband, but her womb was closed. She endured constant insult and ridicule by his other wife who bore him several children. After YEARS of being “provoked” by this woman, and years of anguished prayer, she went to the house of God and prayed and wept yet again. Except on this particular day, the priest, Eli, saw her. After accusing her of being drunk (adding salt to her already festering wound), he realized her deep sorrow and blessed her, praying that God would give her hearts desire. What happens next is not merely another routine that she carries out.
Verses 19 & 20 states:
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Her response to years of wounds, cuts, and pain was not wallowing, complaining, or bitterness. It was worship. She lifted the volume of her praise, deliberately drowning the screaming of her hurts. She magnified the majesty of her God over the magnitude of her pain. I wonder if in that moment there was healing. I’d like to believe so.
Worship expedites us into the presence of Jesus, which exposes our wounds to the spiritual oxygen that’s necessary to heal.
When we engage in worship, we allow the Healer to replace our wounds with tender scars that bear resemblance to His gentle touch. Our scars are not to be despised or hidden. In fact, they should be celebrated! They are a depiction of victoriously refusing to hand down any more hurt. They are an adamant rejection of the temptation to continue to bleed all over people who didn’t cut us (especially our kids).
But what’s most hopeful about this story is Hannah’s response beyond the miracle…Beyond the miracle and her healing, we see what she chose to pass on… She returns to the house of God, the place of her healing, and she finds… the purposeful.
27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
In that moment, Hannah chose the purposeful. Hannah chose generational impact over personal preference or comfort. I imagine it was difficult. And yet, there’s nothing quite like knowing that your personal sacrifice will come as a blessing eternally. What she sowed into that generation, we are still reaping the benefits today and will do so for eternity. Think about it: Because of Hannah, we had Samuel, because of Samuel’s role in choosing the king of Israel, we have David, and because of King David, we have Jesus.
As mothers, I wonder what we are sowing into our children that will render a harvest in generations to come. I wonder if we sought the healing in our souls that we so desperately need, if we could eliminate the curses that we’ve lived with from what was handed down to us and choose an opposite approach of passing on the purposeful in our children? Who knows who our children are meant to be or who they are meant to impact? I believe we have a very active role in sowing into the next generation by healing our own hurts, insecurities, fears and identifying the purposeful to be passed on.
Hannah chose purpose over preference. Healing over hate. Faith over fear. And because she chose that way, her faith rendered favor, her healing was handed down, and what was meant to be purposeful was passed on!
Katie is a mother to two beautiful children, Carter and Kennedy. She is the co-lead Pastor alongside her husband, Todd, of Trinity Church San Diego in Poway, CA. Together, they are called to build the local church and are committed to building and encouraging the community of individuals and families with special needs. Katie enjoys long walks on the beach (seriously), mentoring women, and lives off hot Americanos no matter the weather. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!