The Healing Power of Nature
There is something so healing about being in nature. It is a balm to my soul. It is where I feel closest to God. It is where I can pray without feeling all the ick I’ve felt around God’s church. When I’m in nature, it is just God and me.
I used to visit my parents every summer during my marriage to Bubba. I would sit on their porch and just soak up the sight of the trees, the sounds of birds singing, and I especially loved when it rained. There is something about being surrounded by trees and having the rain hit the leaves; it makes an amazing sound that touches me deeply.
This past summer I didn’t get a chance to be in nature like I’ve done in the past. My parents are out of my life and I don’t have that escape anymore. I don’t actually need that escape anymore since I’m no longer with Bubba. But I’ve found that I still need the restorative effects of being in nature.
I went to the lake a few times. I went hiking in the woods with Hannah one day after we played in the water up there. None of it was the sustained contact with nature that I need though.
When I’m in nature – God’s marvelous creation – I can forget the Scripture twisting and bad theology that kept me in bondage for those years. I can forget that people screw up God’s Word and meaning and can be close-minded bigots. I can forget that Nancy threw her interpretation of His Word at me and used it as a weapon to try to keep me with my abuser. I can forget that Bubba saw my love of God and decided to use it as his last-ditch effort to lure me back in. I can forget that Bubba did exactly what I’d done – taken Nancy’s word for what God’s Word said. The type of theology that Nancy subscribes to keeps everyone, especially women, in bondage. It is not the freedom that Christ promises us. It is not grace she follows but legalistic drivel.
When I’m in nature, I can simply feel God speaking to my soul. I can feel His comforting presence. I can concentrate on listening to Him and letting Him convict me where conviction is needed. I can just be with God without all the rules and requirements the people of His church have put on it.
This weekend, I’m going to scout out local parks. I need to find a place I can take a chair or a blanket to and just sit and be, somewhere in the middle of the woods. Going up to the lake is not feasible as it is too far away. I need someplace close to escape to when life gets too overwhelming. I need a place of my own to worship God and feel close to Him.
Finding this place has to be a priority for me.