There is great value in having a financial, health, or retirement plan to be prepared for the future. Most of us also want to be prepared for any unforeseen crisis that could occur, such as a job loss or serious health challenge. What we don’t prepare for in advance are the inevitable and sometimes devastating hurts and disappointments we will face during our lives. We tend, rather, to ignore the hurt and the pain and continue down the road or we get stuck in our emotions—neither response cares for the wound well. Thus, perhaps we can agree that a healing plan would be a great strategy for our personal lives to care for each of us daily or when any challenge enters into our world unexpectedly.
God of All Comfort
Your hurts need the healing presence of Jesus. In our understanding of forgiveness, we see that God is a God of mercy, Who has forgiven all our sins, restored us to fellowship with Himself, and surrounded us with His favor through the sacrifice of His Son. This same merciful God comes to you to as the God of all Comfort as expressed in the Scriptures: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV).
He first comes to offer you more grace to bring the comfort and compassion you need for your pain and deep hurts. When you share your hurts with Him, you will experience His attentiveness, affection, care, and comfort as He is present to you. Then you will listen to His healing words regarding your personal wounds and losses. His personal words will always match the Word of God and the principles of His Word. Though the difficult life experiences remain a part of your history, when you revisit them you will experience His healing presence of love and His personal words to you. "You will have a new way of remembering" your story, as the movie Saving Mr. Banks expressed. This time Jesus is present in your story, healing you as only He can.
Remember, this is a process. Healing your heart is a journey, not an overnight stay. Be faithful to the journey and stay as long as needed to receive the fullness of His healing. To revisit the sites of your injuries is often frightening; therefore, most do not choose to return there. This is understandable. But you must remember, you do not return there alone, as you may have experienced initially; now the Presence of Jesus returns with you. As you stop, listen to His kind, gentle voice, and with His strong, loving arms around you, He will heal your heart.
Carrie struggled with her choices in college that led to her decision to have an abortion. She couldn't imagine being able to care for a child and continue college, much less work full-time. For her, it was her only option to stay on track with her life as she understood it. Now five years later, married and having given birth to her son, her abortion began to torment her. Having experienced giving birth, Carrie changed her view on abortion. Sleep deprivation and her ever-present self-defeating thoughts began to pull her even deeper into the dark realm of depression. Finally, she sought wise counsel with a therapist who helped her to exchange her self-defeating thoughts for truthful thoughts, decreasing her depression. Carrie began to make good on the grace of God, believing and receiving His Perfect Love, regardless of the abortion. She received forgiveness, and at the cross with Christ present, she received forgiveness for herself. She let herself off the hook and released herself from prison. Depression gradually relinquished its strong hold on her.
Carrie, with the help of her therapist, now embraces God’s comfort from her "sit place with Abba God," where she visualizes her last vacation in the gardens at Glorietta, New Mexico. She welcomes the Presence of Jesus to sit with her. Visualizing His strong, loving arms around her, tears streaming down her face, she shares all her tormenting thoughts and deep pain: "I am so sorry for taking another life. Please forgive me. Help me to forgive myself." Carrie listens to His voice, His thoughts highlighted to her:
"You are deeply loved, you are forgiven, there is no rejection or judgment, only My grace and acceptance to you."
She holds tightly to these two truths as she watches with the eyes of her heart, Abba God, opening up that dark wound, making a way for the pain to be released and extracted. Carrie observes the healing oil being poured in, all the while being held in His strong, loving arms.
She shares with her therapist, "I always feared I would be judged, rejected, and shamed by God; instead I experienced His acceptance, mercy, forgiveness, and love. I could never have imagined this would be a part of my story. I am so grateful Jesus visited me in my story." Then for her eyes only, she saw her child in the arms of God being loved by Him, smiling at her. For so long she had remembered her story with pain and shame; now she could remember it with God's healing presence, a new way of remembering. Carrie needed this healing to enjoy her marriage fully and love her newborn son with all her heart. She knew one day she would be able to share her story, her Jesus story.
Our culture is defined by two fundamental beliefs: the choices I make impact only me, and my needs are the only ones that matter. These beliefs are untrue. What hurts you often hurts many others. You are ruled by unseen forces that work through your selfishness and emotions, marring your life and the lives around you with deep wounds that often have life-long effects. I have yet to meet one person who has not been wounded by another's selfishness and wounded emotional state. I also believe that none of us would say we have not wounded another in our selfishness and emotional responses. Therefore, freedom is for what has happened to you and the choices you have made that have harmed yourself and others.
Healed Hurt Model
The first step is to visualize your safe, loved place with Abba God, your "sit place." If you can go to your physical "sit place," you can invite Him there as well. Secondly, invite the Presence of Jesus to sit with you. Take a moment to wait for Him to come as your heart understands He is present to you. Don't rush. Be patient. When you believe He is present, continue to the next step. Third, share with Him your deep hurt from your story. Take the time to write in your journal about your hurt. Leave nothing out. Everything matters to God. He will listen as you pour out your heart to Him. You can trust Him to show care and comfort to you personally, as David expressed: Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8, NIV). Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NKJV) agrees with David: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.
His care and comfort can extract the pain from every wound. Sharing your hurt and receiving His care is a vital part to healing your heart. Fourth, as Abba God listens to you, pause, listening to His healing words to you. Begin writing the encouraging words He wants to share with you. His healing words will deliver you from your fears, heal your hurts, remove your shame, and give to you a radiance of joy and peace. You see Him and hear Him through the thoughts and pictures that come to your mind as you pray and listen to your heart. Sometimes we don’t trust what we hear or see, but you can trust Abba God to respond to you in a way you can understand. Fifth, it is imperative that you receive and believe what He speaks to you personally. This will secure His healing work in you for a lifetime.
David confirms God’s desire to heal your hurts when he says in Psalm 34:4-5, 15, 17-18 (NKJV): I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Dr. Roselene Coblentz