In my last post, I listed some of the destructive ways to deal with hidden wounds - ways that damage and intensify the existing hurt. Today, I would like to give you the Steps to Healing:
1.) Reveal the hurt - We will never get well until we face our feelings dead on. A famous preacher said, "Revealing is the beginning of healing." Psalm 32:3 reminds us, "When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long." I need to be honest with: a. Myself - acknowledge the hurt; name it and let yourself understand that you hurt. b. God - Tell God how you feel and why. He will not turn away from you. He cares about you and loves you. He wants to hear your pain. He responded when the Children of Israel cried to him in the pain of their slavery while they were in Egypt. (Exodus) c. A person who you can trust. The Bible tells us to rejoice with each other and to weep with each other. Find someone who is safe - who will keep confidences - and tell them your pain.
2.) Release those who have hurt you - To find healing, you must let go of the right to get even - to seek revenge. We will spend our energy either in getting well or in getting even. The only way to get rid of the pain is to forgive, even when you believe they do not deserve forgiveness. If we refuse to forgive, we are giving them permission to control us - our feelings and our emotions. Romans 12:17-19 says, "Never pay back evil for evil. Never avenge yourself. Leave that to God. He has said He will repay those that deserve it." God has forgiven me; He understands our hurt; He will not let them get away with it; and He does not want us to be bitter people.
3.) Replace the old tapes with God's truth - the old tapes that are in your head are the words and deeds of those who hurt you. Remember that God will renew us by the transformation of our mind in Romans 12:2. Ask God to heal your memories; Fill your mind with God's truth about who you really are; Believe the truth about you that you find in the Bible. A famous psychologist once said, "Your self esteem is largely determined by what you perceive the most important person in your life thinks about you." Make Jesus the most important person in your life and see what He says about you. You choose which tape you are going to play.
4.) Refocus on the future -Get your attention off the hurts of the past and choose to put your attention on God's plan for your future. Three steps come from Job 11:13-16: a.)"Put your heart right." - give up your right to get even. b. reach out to God - Reach out to the Healer for help instead of to the Hurt. c. Face the world again. - Don't be a victim! "Then all your troubles will fade from your memory like floods that are past and remembered no more." You will not get well by yourself - if you could, you would have become well by now!
5.) Reach out to help others - Part of the healing process is to give others the comfort that you have received from God (II Corinthians 1) - redeeming the pain by using your experience to help others find healing.
Healing the real hurts in our lives can be done only through the power of Jesus Christ, making good choices, and being a part of a safe community of believers who love you and care for you. I trust that these Biblical steps are helpful as you apply them to the hurts and wounds that have been hidden deep in your heart.
Praying for you ~ Bob