Healing Life's Hurts Part II
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."1
Continuing from yesterday's Daily Encounter, very cautiously Jennifer (a repeated rape victim) began to share. Then her feelings came rushing out in torrents. It was the first time in her life she completely shared her years of bottled-up emotions. This catharsis (emptying out) was essential to open the way for Jennifer to begin to heal. Without first taking this step, she couldn't be freed from the past so that she could, in time, move to a point of forgiveness. After three days of painful sharing, we prayed for Jennifer. She went back to her room and returned some time later looking like a different person. She put on a pretty blouse, makeup, fixed her hair, and came in wearing a million-dollar smile. She had a long road ahead but her healing and freedom from the past had begun.
More than a year after the seminars I ran into Jennifer again. She had sought out Christian counseling and although her progress was slow, she was doing incredibly well. Her spiritual and emotional healing was well underway.
Jennifer's story is by no means unusual as there are millions of others who have been sexually, physically and/or emotionally abused—and even spiritually abused. Others of us, while not suffering such extreme abuse, still have our share of wounds and unmet needs. We live in a sinful, fallen world and none of us escape the ravages of sin. Every family has some "dysfunction." True, some families are more dysfunctional than others, but every family has been affected. Some of us are either co-dependent or overly independent. Others of us are detached, perfectionistic, prone to angry outbursts, withdraw when we are hurt or angry, excessively anxious, or sad. Each of us needs some spiritual, emotional, or relational healing.
One of the facts of life is that we are destined to repeat in one form or another those dysfunctions we fail to resolve, or take out our hurt and anger on the ones we love—and then pass on our dysfunctions to our children! The Bible says, "The sins [including the emotional sins] of the fathers [parents] are visited to the third and fourth generation."2 This is why it is imperative that, with God's help, we resolve them. The following steps will help.
First, we need to admit that we have been hurt, that we have a problem, and that we need healing.
Second, we need to want healing badly enough to be willing to face our pain rather than bury it. As Jesus, the Master Physician, said to a man who had been an invalid for 38 years: "Do you want to get well?"3 It sounds like a silly question but it is really profound. We have to want to get better badly enough to face our hidden or painful hurts. Only those who want to be healed will be. The half-hearted never make it.
To be continued . . .
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be ruthlessly honest with myself and with you and see and admit where I need healing. Help me, too, to understand the healing process according to the principles found in your Word, and please lead me to the help I need to get to the root cause/s of my problems and resolve these. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 John 1:9 (NIV).
2. Deuteronomy 5:9.
3. John 5:6.