Time Heals All Wounds?

Time heals all wounds. ~ Geoffrey Chaucer

I was 19 0n a beautiful Sunday afternoon when a drunk driver crossed the center line doing 65 mph, hitting my Dodge Dart head on. She walked away with some minor cuts. It took the EMTs and the Jaws-of Life to get me out of the wreckage of my little sedan.

After setting my leg and putting 4o stitches in my knee, the on-call doctor began a crisscross of stitches in my jaw. An EMT who’d never left my side repeatedly told the him that there was still a lot of glass in the wound (my head went through the driver’s side window) but the doctor made quick work of it.

For 25 years, the scar that runs right along my jaw line, would inexplicably begin to bleed and a sliver of glass would work it’s way out. Time scarred over the wound. It didn’t heal it.

I’m mystified at the magical or seemingly miraculous power we attribute to time. Time is just a method of measuring minutes and hours and days and years. Time doesn’t have a will or a way to heal wounds. Time passes, period.

When we’re wounded, it’s tempting to try to make quick work of the stitching up. We minimize and deny; we eat too much or too little; we sleep too much or too little; we get angry all the time or refuse to get angry at all; we drink, repress, project, blame, agrue – anything to avoid the temporary pain of digging out the shards. But if we don’t, the unresolved emotions start bleeding out in other areas.

Time doesn’t heal our wounds but healing does take time. It’s what we do in that time that brings or blocks the healing. We can fall back on our quick fix coping skills or we can lean forward on God and ask Him to guide us through the hard work of acknowledging and grieving and forgiving and repenting and accepting and making amends – in His time.

~For added perspective, check out Jan’s post Does Time Heal All Things – Love and Forgiveness!

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

66 thoughts on “Time Heals All Wounds?”

  1. I’m sorry you and your car suffered such damage from an unthinking, drinking individual. Since you point out that time ‘just passes’ I couldn’t stop myself from realising it tramples over us all day, every day and is now worthy of a new saying perhaps, Times Heels Wound All. Really sorry but my fingers were itching to get that out.xx

    1. Oh Lord David –
      You are wonderfully witty!
      I’ll have to pop over and see what it is that draws you to write.
      Thank you for stopping by TMG and for leaving such a fun comment! πŸ˜€

  2. Thank you for sharing your healing journey. It is a paradox to say time heals all because scars, whether physical or mental, are permanent. What I have noticed from my own experience is the way they soften and become more faint. That does take time. Healing, processing and allowing time for ourselves to mend is what takes the time, I find. Some things take longer than others. Sometimes the scars raise and are still tender to the touch. But I find I cry less as time passes. Reading what happened to you has me feeling ashamed that I cannot just pull up my socks faster. But I guess I just need a little more time.

    1. Oh my, Aurora, I misspoke if I left you with the impression that I think there’s a timetable for healing/grieving or ‘just getting on with it’.
      I’m all for saggy socks!
      What I meant to say is that time is just a unit of measurement – not a healer.
      If I cry less as time passes, I think, as you said, the hurt has faded.
      It fades though (in my opinion) not because time has passed, but because other things have come front and center, or because I’ve done the hard work of grieving or moving toward healing, or God, in His grace has lessened the ache.
      Sadly, I know people for whom the hurt never fades. Do you know what I mean?
      Time passes, years pass, but their past pain defines their present reality.
      That seems to me to be the danger in the saying. There’s nothing curative about hours and weeks. If we want to get well, we have to seek the treatment.

      Thank you for joining me/us on this journey of grace.
      I look forward to your thoughts and insights!

    1. Oh friend, therein lies the challenge.

      “…when pain is to be born, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

  3. Debbie~thanks so much for sharing this. I loved this poignant part ” It’s what we do in that time that brings or blocks the healing.”. Having been through many tests and trials, I know that that is SO true. What an amazing reminder those exiting shards of glass are. You have (as always) wonderful, wonderful perspective and continue to remind us of where our eyes and hearts belong. bless your day, sweetie

      1. Greg – thank you, my friend. What a nice thing to say!
        I’m a very sporadic writer. That’s due in part because of my job and odd schedule and in part because writing doesn’t come easily for me.
        I do absolutely everything wrong from a blogging perspective: I don’t use key words, I don’t have a defined target audience and I’m a completely random poster. I’m honored that you stick around anyway! πŸ˜€

    1. Hello cd!
      Good to hear from you!
      It was a small town (population 8500) and the Dr golf in the middle of a golf game.
      Such a clichΓ© in America (is it in England, too?) but true.
      He was also quite inebriated so I’m not sure if he was in a hurry to get back to the game or if he was just too drunk to know exactly what he was doing.
      He certainly left physical scars on my knee and jaw, but none on my heart.
      I think scars are like wrinkles, they add character! πŸ˜€

  4. Debbie,
    This is awesome and so true. This is one of those myths we tell our selves and each other so we can avoid doing the hard work or healing and forgiveness. Paul tells us that many are sick and die because they take communion wrong, and i am convinced a large part of that is not dealing with our relational and spiritual wounds. We don’t discern the Lord’s body – maybe it’s a stretch, but the Church is the body of the Lord – so when we don’t work to stay in communion with those around us, how can we say we are in right relationship with the Lord. Sorry – i am off on a rant.

    This is right on the money – thanks so much

    1. Hi Ben!
      What an interesting application.
      While I’ve thought of the issue of avoidance independently, I hadn’t considered the communal aspect. Thank you so much for being here and for sharing your thoughts!
      You’ve given me something new to think about. πŸ˜€

  5. It is true Deb! I know too many who have spent a lifeTIME not healing because they would not face the real problem or let the issue go. Time can heal but only if we use it as directed (that would be according to the Scriptural directions). πŸ™‚

  6. Hey Debbie,

    Thank you so much for your writings and for linking my article to yours! Some of your community have come and read my thoughts now. I appreciate the share.
    I love your words. I have a free e mail newsletter signup at my site and would love to share some of your words at times to my community with a link to yours.

    Your heart is amazing and your care for others – overwhelming. Thanks again. Be blessed more than you ever imagined.. (we are already, aren’t we) and boom more. Jesus is Lord!

    1. Oh Jan – we certainly are!
      I’m so glad folks have been dropping by. I thought they would. I have a small but really wonderful group of readers. I’m glad they found you! πŸ˜€

  7. This is my first visit to your blog, and I believe it’s the start of many more visits. God has blessed you with a wonderful way with words. I need to remember this each and every day….”We can fall back on our quick fix coping skills or we can lean forward on God and ask Him to guide us through the hard work of acknowledging and grieving and forgiving and repenting and accepting and making amends – in His time.” God bless!

    1. Hello Beverly!
      Welcome to TMG! It’s my privilege to have you share a few minutes of your day here! I’m a pretty sporadic writer so I won’t take up much of your time but I certainly look forward to hearing your thoughts in the future! πŸ˜€
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving such kind words.

  8. Debbie, this is so true. I just finished watching a how-to webinar, though, that says we should lure people in to our truths by telling them it is not their fault. Blame it on the government, on bad counseling, on “they” on ANYTHING but self. If readers think you are blaming them, they will not want what you say. I experienced this on my site, having to delet rabid comments from one lady who took offense, but she LOVED me before that day. When I said it’s partly our own fault, she blew up. I don’t think Jesus ever told folks, “Oh, it’s not realy your fault.” I think He just said, “I don’t condemn you; go and sin no more.” He called it sin, but did not condemn. Well, I’ve said too much, but your post was so timely for me after just watching that thing. I feel another post coming on. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

    1. Hello Katherine –
      Odd webinar, that one.
      I’m not a proponent of blaming or shaming.
      I’m really not much into luring either. πŸ˜‰
      You’re so right, Jesus said ‘Cut it out’ (go and sin no more)
      ‘I don’t condemn you’;
      ‘I forgive you’
      ‘I love you’
      I’ll be looking for that post that’s “coming on”! πŸ˜€

  9. OMGosh, Debbie! I am so glad you trusted enough to share the whole story. I knew you were in an accident, but either I was too self-involved, or BLOG-HYSTERICAL to “take in” the impact such a trauma has had upon your life. The glass … oh what an awful reminder, or a “refresher course” on how time DOESN’T heal wounds … i’m not even sure medicine or shrinks heal ALL wounds. I think God is the constant. A higher power, but i’m leaning towards God these days. I’m tired myself. Something always pops up. I am being reminded of old scars as i prepare to see my father and brother this weekend. Both of them are unhappy men, and we are not close. We need each other … and i’m in a bad place myself. Sleeping too much, and fear is filling me. Bulimia is fine, but i am sleeping and crying. I am coming out though: Proof is I am herer to read your important story and to hear comforting words about “time” … it is not penicillan (sp) … it is a methodical counting source. Much Love, and prayers. Mel

    1. Mel –
      dear friend, I’m so sorry to read that your heart is hurting.
      I know this will be a challenging weekend.
      I’ll be praying extra for you – I promise.
      And by the way, you’re leaning the right way, I’m sure of it! πŸ˜‰

      1. WOW, i sound like a sad sack. I think i’m finally healing a little my sweet. I’m so sorry this was all about ME!

        YOU are just so darn smart. xo

      2. dear Mel –
        You’re very much on my heart and in my prayers through this difficult journey.
        I want it to be about you – that means it was worth writing, my friend.

    1. dear 23 pansies –
      As far as I know this is our first meeting (?) and I love you already!
      Welcome to Two Minutes of Grace and thank you for such kind words!

  10. ” …anything to avoid the temporary pain of digging out the shards. But if we don’t, the unresolved emotions start bleeding out in other areas.”

    Simply brilliant!

    I remember how complacent you were when your jaw would start to bleed. You knew it was a good thing, while for me it looked like a good time to panic! Maybe that’s what it looks like for loved ones when their struggler starts to face reality. It seems like the denial was easier than the painful emotional roller coaster of facing their obsessions, addictions or dysfunctional life.

    1. Oh Heidi –
      That’s so insightful.
      “Maybe that’s what it looks like for loved ones when their struggler starts to face reality. It seems like the denial was easier than the painful emotional roller coaster of facing their obsessions, addictions or dysfunctional life.” So very true!

      I know you hate the car wreck story – and you hated plucking glass out of my face all those many years later – but I think I’ve pretty much stop bleeding out in other areas now!
      Thank you for helping me see that I needed to heal to be real.

  11. Thanks Debbie, I sometimes forget that healing takes time as well as willingness to allow God to bring the broken places to the surface in His own way and time.

    1. Carol –
      Welcome to TMG – I’m so glad you added your thoughts! Yes, we have to “allow God to bring the broken places to the surface in His own way and time”! Beautifully put! Thank you.

  12. You make me think of things I hear, but don’t process, gracious one. I love how you showed us what time is, so it most certainly can’t heal us. Asking the only One who can, to touch us all with healing Hands, in those areas He knows we need healing in. God bless you and the beautiful way He speaks to us through you! love and prayers and hugs!

    1. Debbie –
      I’m praying to “the only Once who can” heal, to bring healing and comfort and peace to you and Aub tonight.
      Thank you for your ever gracious words.

    1. fallenbutnotforgotten –
      First, welcome to Two Minutes of Grace.
      I love the name of your blog – because we all are that, you know.
      Thank you for being here.

  13. Wow, Debbie–I had no idea that we nearly lost you, and the thought slammed into my heart, hard. The whole post is pure gold, Sis–tough lessons, time and healing. My unbeliever neighbor recently told me that he doesn’t think we ever heal from some things. Well, I have to–choose to–believe that God does heal. The process isn’t always completed here on earth, but I look forward to Complete Healing by the time I get to Camp Caddo, up North. It’s hard to pick a fave post of yours, but this must be a candidate–my eyes are tear-blurry. God bless you and keep you safe–I want a hug Before we get to Camp C, hear?!! much love, sis Caddo

    1. Caddo –
      You know, the story came to mind as an analogy. I haven’t thought about it for years. The steel rod that held the steering wheel in place lodged in my right knee. Occasionally, my knee gives out.When it does, I still don’t think about the wreck. Sign of old age maybe? πŸ™‚
      Someday I’ll write about the indignity of sharing a motel room with your parents at 19 and getting food poisoning when you have a non-walking cast on your leg from your toes to your hip. That was an interesting night. πŸ˜‰
      I’ve booked a hug for you this side of THERE!

  14. your post brought Clare’s say to mind: β€œThey say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite”…
    Hard times you’d been through; no regrets if the lit-person you are now is one of the results..

    Peace & Light

    1. Mira –
      I like that – the presumption that the source of grief is finite…
      The car accident was just that – an accident.
      Some of the actions of others and mostly my own actions have been a far greater source of pain in my life – but also opened the floodgates of grace.
      I hope/pray that as a result, I’m learning to live well ‘in time’
      Thank you for your kindness.

  15. What a beautiful picture of the healing process. Isn’t it amazing that in our world everything must either happen right now or it is taking too long. God is the healer and He is doing everything in His time.. We are being healed throughout our journey. I find that the deepest healing is only happening to me now..in this fall season of my life as I watch my grandchildren grow up.

    You wrote this so beautifully.. I really appreciate your insights. There are posts on healing on my blog if you would like to stop by.

    1. Alicia –
      I did check out your lovely blog and it seems we are at much the same stage in life – knowing the deepest healing and the blessing of the peace of that healing – “in this fall season”. Thank you for sharing your heart here and on in your posts.

  16. Today, this is my favorite post of yours. You have given me the right outlook on time and it’s “healing” powers. It’s not time but what we do in that time. Thank you for sharing from what, must have been a painful time for you, to make more sense of our time.

    1. Debby –
      Thank you, my friend.
      You know, honestly, because it happened so quickly on a blind curve, I was terrified that I’d somehow caused the accident since all I could remember was watching my windshield shatter.
      It was the next day before someone came to the hospital and told me what had happened. I was so relieved that I hadn’t hurt anyone that the remaining pain was really minor – even at 19. πŸ˜€

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