~ Hope for the Wounded ~
God longs to bring healing and restoration in every area of our lives. We can entrust ourselves to God as our Healer. – Margaret Feinberg
After a couple of months away from this study I am now revisiting this lesson and looking at it with fresh eyes. I know, now more than ever, that I must protect my emotional health and guard my heart. Wounds on the inside – emotional wounds – the unseen ones – are often the hardest to overcome and heal. So, so true.
I’ve been through several of the scenarios listed as examples in this lesson. I’ve had to make tough choices that left me feeling like part of me died. People have said and done things that cut me to the core. I’ve experienced loss and pain that left me torn apart. Life has thrown painful punches.
And so have people.
People I trusted.
I honestly would rather have a stranger punch me in the face than have someone I care about betray or abandon me. I would definitely heal more quickly from than than emotional wounds. I am deeply loyal and committed to those I love and care about, and when I am wronged by them it feels like part of me dies. I have come to realize over the last 8 weeks that I feel that way because I have never learned how to set healthy boundaries in my relationships. I take on too much responsibility for the choices and actions of others.
For the past two months I have participated in a weekly group studying Boundaries, a book that has been hugely eye-opening and that I highly recommend. This class and study has ushered in a while new level of healing for me.
Jesus healed not only people’s physical bodies, He brought healing to their hearts and minds. That’s important to remember because God doesn’t limit healing to our physical bodies, but He also wants to heal our hearts and emotions. – Margaret Feinberg
Psalm 147:3 says:
He is Jehovah Rapha – “YAHWEH Who Heals.”
God has healed my emotions many times over the course of my life. I am now learning that a lot of the pain I have experienced was brought about by poor choices on my part, combined with a lack of boundaries. God is now teaching me how to guard my heart in a healthy way so that I can let the good things He has for me in and keep the negative and toxic things (and people) out. It is hard, slow work, but it must be done if I want healthy, whole relationships in the future.
In order to experience His full healing, I need to listen carefully to His voice, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His decrees (Exodus 15:22-26). In order to do that, I need to stay in His Word and pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). A deeper relationship with Him is the key to my freedom.
Too long have I allowed myself to be held captive by unhealthy, emotionally destructive thought patterns. Too long have I settled for relationships and “friendships” that weren’t God’s best for me or in my best interest due to fear of loneliness, fear that I was unlovable, and fear that I would never find something better. Christ died to give me abundant life. It is high time I claimed that gift and began living it.
The key to experiencing God’s restoration and healing is to spend quality time alone with Him. In Mark 6:31, Jesus tells the disciples
Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.
As a woman – especially a single mom with a full-time job – it is difficult to find time to be alone with God without distraction. I had to get over feeling guilty for taking care of my spiritual, mental, and emotional health. What good is a spotless house if you are a mess on the inside? Those feelings and thoughts of guilt are not from God. God tells me that the most important thing I can do is deepen my relationship with Him. And I have found this to be true. Strengthening my relationship with God strengthens me, and in turn that strengthens my relationships with others.
Setting aside time to rest and be restored by God is key to healing. I have to take the time to work through and deal with my grief, disappointment, and pain. I can’t ignore it or pretend it isn’t there. Ignoring problems won’t make them go away. But I can’t just sit around moping and feeling sorry for myself. On the flip side, being busy as a way of just numbing the pain isn’t helpful and doesn’t work. I must be busy working through the pain and getting closer to God.
God is nudging me to embrace my current life stage and take the opportunity to rest in Him and deepen that relationship when what I want to do is hurry up and get through this time of singleness and find a life partner. But God is telling me to slow down, find out who I really am, and trust His timing for the rest.
Previous Posts on this Study: