On my morning walk, I was having a conversation with God about some wounds from 10 years ago that were still sneaking their way into my relationships today. I came to him with an open mind ready to soak up any wisdom he could give me. The result was a little surprising but extremely helpful!
I tend to think in metaphors and I consider them to be my learning style. If I can compare abstract, very confusing thoughts to a concrete example of something we see everyday, I can better understand it. That is what God did here, by comparing emotional healing to that of a physical wound.
As with a physical wound, the pain is the absolute worst in the beginning stages. I’ve noticed that many phases of the process take place in a short amount of time in the beginning! Shock, numbness, anger, excruciating pain, sadness and the feeling of having something holding us back from our “normal” routines are some common feelings we come across in both instances. We wonder if we will ever be the same again. And truth is, whether it’s a physical wound or emotional, we WONT be the same. We aren’t designed to stay the same. We are resilient and ever changing.
After the initial pain seems to subside, we have a bruising and/or scabbing effect. This is a vulnerable stage. Our bodies or minds are working overtime to heal this wound, but it is still open to being wounded again. Lysa TerKeurst says it well in her book Uninvited, “It hurts exponentially more when you’re kicked in an already bruised shin.” If you are healing from an unfaithful boyfriend and your next boyfriend betrays you in this way, the pain is magnified!
These scenarios are hard to control. However, there is a fine line between falling into a situation where this happens again, and creating scenarios in your head where you get hurt again. This is dangerous territory for it can cause someone to be accused of something they haven’t done because of your unhealed wounds. God made it clear to me that if we keep peeling the scab off, our scar will end up being bigger. Meaning, if we keep digging into our wound and allowing it to continue to hurt us, the result will be a bigger scar that may be even harder to hide.
So what do we do in order to turn our bruise/scab into a scar? A scar that becomes part of our story but no longer causes us pain.
Forgiveness. I know what you’re thinking. “They don’t deserve forgiveness. What they did is unforgivable.” Although, this is how we may feel, God has instructed us to give forgiveness to other as he has given to us.
Luke 6:36-37 says: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
I have struggled with this for most of my life! Although, there have been times sprinkled with forgiveness here and there, my biggest and deepest hurts have been very hard to forgive.
Recently, though, God has shown me the freedom behind forgiveness. Each day for two weeks now, when I have come to God with a struggle in my current relationships- his answer always stems back to forgiveness. Each time it takes about 2 miles of walking before I can say it out loud. How sad is that?
In this process I’ve noticed that we become comfortable sitting in our unforgiveness. We are afraid of letting that person win, or letting them think what they did is ok. It is incredibly hard to say “I forgive so and so for what they did to hurt me and I ask forgiveness for not only holding onto unforgiveness but for placing blame on this person for the downfalls in my current living.” When it really comes down to it, what they did to hurt us is not the cause of our problems, it is the way we choose to be effected by the hurt that causes our problems!
You know what else I’ve noticed? When I’m obedient and choose to forgive others, God opens the floodgates and pours out blessings on me! He also gives me access to my biggest dreams and I can step into my purpose!
The person who did the hurting, most likely reacted out of their own hurts and struggles. This is an ever revolving door that will continue on through generations if we don’t take a stand and choose forgiveness.
I pray that God show you the freedom in forgiveness and healing!