I hate Band-Aids! I promise I do! As a kid, I was always a daddy’s girl and I can vividly recall faking injuries just so my daddy could kiss my “boo-boo” and put a brand new Scooby-doo Band-Aid on whatever ailment I created. You would be surprised how creative and innovative kids are just to get the attention they desire. Even then, however, I still had a love-hate relationship with the darn things. I must admit, the band aids always did a good job with temporarily protecting whatever wound, scar, or scrape of the day was, but let me tell you, when it was time to pull that bad boy off, I would cringe at just the thought of it. As a matter of fact, I would leave it on until eventually, after taking numerous baths, it fell off on its own no longer offering a protective shield to the environment.

Recently, I had the pleasure of hearing my favorite brother-in-law preach a sermon about “Making Things Right.” It’s funny how you can hear a sermon that appears to have been written just for you! As I sat in the pew and listened to him dissect the importance of mending relationships and making things right with friends and family, I immediately felt a lump form in my throat. I knew he was talking to me and my entire family, who filled a whole row just for my nephew’s christening that morning. Talk about tense!

At an early age, I learned that my family did not handle conflict very well. In fact, we all tend to shy away from it. That didn’t mean it never happened. When arguments got heated, and words began to sting, my dad or mom would immediately shut the conversation down. I know you are thinking, “Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?” To a certain extent, yes, but afterwards there should be a time where the conversation is revisited and things are resolved even if that means the parties agree to disagree – “Squash it.” However, for us…that just never seems to happen. Instead the issue is kicked under the rug, or in most cases, we act as if it never happened. Throw a Band-Aid on that issue in the form of silence and keep things moving. Sounds like it could work right? Absolutely not. This year has brought my family a handful of unanticipated, unfortunate deaths that has changed my entire perspective with how I currently handle issues. It may be time for change.

The crazy thing about the norms that are created in families are that those same traits tend to seep like diarrhea into the rest of our lives, relationships, friendships, or careers. For 28 years, I have probably collected a large enough supply of “situational Band-Aids” for a whole darn elementary school up until 2017. It was this year, especially after hearing his sermon, that confirmed a needed transformation to occur in my life.

If I must be honest, I have merely been living in fear, too afraid to grow up and rip that sucker off! Afraid of exposure, vulnerability, rejection, disappointment, or simply facing my own truths because each and every one of those are painful by itself. A pain probably comparable to ripping a freshly stuck on Band-Aid off a wound that has begun to somewhat heal – only to reopen it! It’s been my security blanket that has kept me from apologizing, having hard conversations, or even walking away from unhealthy situations.

Now look at me…walking around like a kindergartener at the playground covered with patched up wounds that should’ve healed a long time ago. It’s well past their expiration date and is time for me to peel them off and treat each of them – the right way! First I need to humble myself by EXPOSING the wound and acknowledge those unresolved issues. It’s so amazing to me how easy it is to act as if they do not exist (laugh to self). Then, I need to treat them, and that’s where the “making it right” comes into play. We all surprisingly know deep in our hearts what to do and what that consists of but sometimes our pride gets the best of us. So no need to spell it out. Lastly, I need to let it heal. I remember as a kid, once my Band-Aids became old and dirty, my mother would always say, “take that thing off and let the wound breathe.” Eventually it would completely heal and scab over only to leave a faint scar as a lasting memory of what WAS.

As I openly share my imperfections to you, it is my hope that you take some time for self-reflection. What are some things you are holding on to that is keeping you from healing? How long have you allowed those Band-Aids to become a part of who you are? Moral of this story is the old maxim, “Time heals all wounds,” but they should have added at the end, “…if treated properly.”