As I prepare for my upcoming surgery that I am calling my colon tuck (oh so very different than the post children tummy tuck I have always wanted…life is funny like that), God is revealing to me more and more the correlation between the mental and the physical aspects of life. For the last 20+ years, I have dealt with gallbladder disease, diverticulitis, narrowed colon, endometriosis, scar tissue and polyps on my female parts, blood clots, diabetes, over and underactive thyroid, anemia and fluctuating weight, some of which on this list causes unbearable pain and all has the potential to cause psychological affects including depression, anxiety or worry.  My upcoming colon tuck surgery that I pray is the final step that releases me from the pain once and for all is where they will remove the “bad” part and connect it to the good part of the colon thus releasing my body from the effects of the “bad” parts.

So what is the correlation you may ask to all of this messy medical history?  Hmmmm….well….embarrassingly the list is long…but here goes – full transparency, raw and real as I say – of what I think it is as I reflect back on my life. Rejection (multiple times), shame, embarrassment, anger (so much anger), bitterness, resentment, frustration, envy, jealousy (this started from such a young age…especially as a single mom…why can’t I have _____ like ____), unmet expectations, confusion, bad choices, sorrow, anxiety, fear, worry, regret (so much of that), negative life stealing thoughts (no good, unworthy, unlovable, unwanted, failure, stupid, fat, ugly, etc.). Most of which I hung onto waaaaayyyy toooo long especially when it came to forgiving myself of life choices. Now did all of it contribute to my health issues? Probably not all, but I am sure most of it did manifest physically in a negative way. And even as the emotional pain healed through the years, the physical ramifications can still rear its ugly head especially if you don’t think there is a connection. I was so young after all, and youth brings that made of steel, never aging false sense of self (along with how life teaches us to suck it up buttercup and keep going). As the journey continues, the AHA moments do as well as I go deeper. There is good news I promise as God is so faithful and patient and heals and reveals and heals some more.

So the next question may be where did that long messy list of hurts start? Well explaining that would take a while, but I do want to cover off on one point. When you struggle with the mental list of hurts caused by yourself or others, your response and reaction doesn’t have to necessarily align with the life you have been given. Yes, the issues may worsen if you had a more hellish upbringing than others, but it doesn’t stop the ugliness inside from manifesting from the mental/emotional to the physical just because one’s life is better than someone else’s. Holding onto something too long can be detrimental no matter the person. Society says if you have “it” all – money, success, beauty and all the perks, then life should be great.  Sadly, we see all around us that to NOT be the truth. If it were, then every successful and beautiful person we see would be skipping along the road to happiness.

Then how does the mental and emotional correlate to the physical? Think of gardening. The more weeds that take root and unwanted bugs or animals that eat away at the good stuff, the less the garden flourishes but rather withers away to unhealthy. Everything from using good dirt to the watering and getting enough sun to the removing the weeds all work together to grow a healthy and robust garden ripe for the eating and enjoying. The gardens of our own life (our bodies let’s say) are no different.

You see at the core of who we were created to be is a light planted inside each of us that was MADE to shine from the beginning of time. A light that was equally distributed among us all. We are created in God’s image, so we are love and light energy just like our Creator. The light coupled with our gifts, talents and desires work together to live our life out with purpose. Sadly, from that moment that light is planted and our purpose defined, the enemy of God starts working overtime to strip us of it all and cover up the light with darkness. How does he strip us of it?  Well he doesn’t “give” us diverticulitis or any other illness (in my opinion), but he sure will drive our bodies to start to manifest from the inside out. Anger turned internally is depression or resentment or unforgiveness that can cause our bodies to break down in the physical. Think about this…have you ever gotten so angry or hurt or worried that a knot forms in your stomach? And the more you focus on the knot, the worse it gets? Where does that knot go? What does it do to the body if we don’t release it? Releasing and casting our cares to God or our friends or a counselor starts the knot to loosen and then release and healing can start. Forgiveness is key as well as Jesus tells us (1 – because we were forgiven, we need to forgive others and 2 – because like the old milk commercials, it does a body good).

God was showing me that as I go under the knife, I will be cutting out the physical manifestations of a lifetime of hurt and pain that took root on the inside (even the old ones that are now stubs), and I believe, will come out the other side freer in more ways that I can imagine. But you say, wait a darn minute, I don’t want surgery to get freedom. The good news of all this is that it doesn’t take surgery to cut out the bad parts necessarily. It takes us being raw and real and naked (yes naked like my Naked Church videos) with ourselves surrendering our list of cares, hurts and pains – no matter how long the list is (you saw mine) or how small or big the items are – to our heavenly Father to receive in return His healing love and power.

The ultimate goal of our Father is get us back to shine – to how He created us from the beginning of time – so we can shine our light onto others and pierce the darkness. Isn’t that what Jesus is really all about?  Not what we you may have been taught that like Santa Claus He is taking stock of your sins with a naughty and nice list ready to punish or reward, but His purpose of His life and the cross is to give us freedom in this life here on earth. Now that is such great news worth celebrating!

I pray that whatever it is you are going through, you surrender it all to receive the healing you need from the inside out and allow God to cover you in His love, peace, joy, grace, mercy, and freedom, so you share this message of light and love to those around you. Why? Well because let’s say it together, “WE WERE MADE FOR IT!”

It starts with you today. Take time to release that list of hurts – scream it at the top of a mountain, silently bend a knee in prayer or reach out for help from a counselor or friend over coffee. Whatever you do, don’t let it go to the point it affects your health and well being. Invest in yourself, you are so worth it!

~ XOXO Leslie McElhaney (@lesliemcelhaney, @gemsmadetoshine)
#gemsmadetoshine #lightandlove #healingfromtheinsideout #rawandrealandfreetobe

  • Genesis 1:27 – So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
  • 1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
  • Colossians 1:13-14 – 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
  • Ephesians 4:31-32  – 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

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