Hello! I want to share a little story from a couple years ago. I was hanging out with my children, attempting to give them some instructions. They seemed quite oblivious to the fact I was communicating with them. Realizing I was being ignored, my emotions erupted upward hitting the top of my brain and then exploding outward, throwing sewage over everything. (What in the world?!!! Where did that come from?)
I eventually got a grip (and stopped yelling). I knew I had to clean up the stinky mess. I began with apologizing to my kids. They took it in stride and moved on with their day. (Apparently, they realized a long time ago their mom wasn’t perfect.) I, on the other hand, was left contemplating why I had such an extreme reaction. I took a moment with God to question that intense emotion that resulted from something not deserving that magnitude of response.
Together, God and I journeyed back in time. I remembered other times I felt ignored and overlooked, like my words didn’t carry as much weight as someone else’s. (Oh my, God is speaking to my heart even now as I type this to you...will share more on this later. Thanks, Lord.) God revealed a wound from long ago, a lie spoken to my heart.
The lie said I didn’t deserve to be listened to or acknowledged. No one had actually ever said that to me, so it wasn’t based on truth, but on a skewed perception. That lie took root in a wound in my heart, and every time something came up and hit that wound, it hurt! It reminds me of getting touched on a sunburn. OUCH!!! If I didn’t have a burn, I wouldn’t think twice about being touched there. Even the gentlest of touches feels abrasive on a sunburn. My kids brushed up against my “burn” that day, and my pain spoke her piece.
Our inner wounds act like sore spots, burns, or bruises on our hearts. When we don’t take them immediately to God, infection can occur in the form of a lie taking root in that very area. The lie keeps the wound from healing, and it becomes an extra sensitive spot. And boy, when we get bumped there people better watch out!
This past year I was able to spend some quality time with a dear friend. Our time together reminded me of when I found a container of sliced watermelon in my cupboard. Yes, you heard right, in my cupboard. I have no idea how long it had been there. It was in a pink (not see through!) tupperware with the lid on. I couldn’t tell there was anything foul in it until I lifted the lid. I must have been trying to accomplish numerous things at the same time that fateful day. Anyway, back to my friend…. Everything seemed fine from outside appearances; she had done such a good job hiding the pain inside.
God was walking her towards healing and greater freedom she said. Part of that process involved her opening her heart and pouring out her thoughts so we could work to identify the hidden stinky lies that had taken root in her pain. I was shocked at the sheer number of lies we uncovered. I found myself angry with our enemy. He beats us up and then continues to lie to us mercilessly while we seek healing, wholeness, and freedom. He will do whatever he can to keep us in that place of pain.
Here’s the exciting part. God is with us. He was with this vibrant believer, walking with her through this healing process. I got to watch as God began removing the skewed glasses that she had been using to view life. In their place, He gave her His Truth and perspective. Beautiful. We were able to celebrate the victory she was experiencing together.
So let’s move on to you. (Sorry I didn’t warn you.) Have you noticed any big emotional outbursts? Maybe you get a raised eyebrow or someone saying, “Really?!!” Though our enemy is defeated, he’s not stupid. I’ve seen this with so many friends - he will tell them lies and try to keep them wounded in the very areas they were created to thrive in and minister out of. That friend I mentioned - she is God’s heart walking around in human form. She is. The lies the enemy told her kept her from experiencing the fullness she was created to have in her relationships. What lies have you accepted and what wounds do you have that are hindering you from being the fullest version of the person God made you to be?
Once we discover a wound or catch sight of ourselves having an “outburst” we need to take some time to sit with God. Ask: Have I experienced this scenario, feeling, or pain before? Let God reveal the past wound that has led to an embedded lie. Then let His Truth speak to that area. Ask Him what He says about the things you have come to believe about yourself, others, or life.
And take hope in this: Jesus understands wounds. He understands pain. No, really, He gets it. If you haven’t heard a sermon on the crucifixion or read something about it recently, I encourage you to spend two minutes researching the details of Jesus’ crucifixion or a Roman crucifixion and flogging. Years ago, I looked it up. Two minutes is about all I could handle. This past year I did some additional research on it for a Bible study I was leading. Not an easy topic. But by the time I presented the information to my ladies, I had become somewhat numb to it. I remember looking up at one point and catching a glimpse of all the teary eyes I was surrounded with (that woke me from my stupor). It was a sacred moment. We remembered Jesus’ pain and thanked Him for enduring it for us.
Jesus understands your wounds. He understands your pain. You know what else Jesus understands? Healing.
After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus asked Thomas to come and touch where His wounds had once been. Jesus welcomed the contact because healing had taken place in the areas that were once so broken. And in inviting Thomas to touch those areas, Jesus was encouraging him to go deeper in his faith (John 20:24-29).
Jesus faced His pain, walked through it, and overcame it. He will not turn away from your pain. He will walk with you and help you overcome.
There is a day coming, Sweet Sister, when you will no longer get your identity from the lies and wounds you suffered, but you will live out of the identity Christ died for you to have - His beloved. Through the power of Jesus, you will invite people to touch the areas that once held you in such pain. And in doing so, you will be walking them to a deeper faith and relationship with Jesus. Testifying to the work of the Lord in our life is powerful, faith building, and life transforming to those who hear this message of hope and see the victory we now walk in.
I don’t know who came up with this, but I like this quote:
“Your story could be the key that unlocks someone else’s prison. Don’t be afraid to share it.”
The first step in healing is turning to the Healer, God. Admit you are hurting and invite Him to touch your pain and remove the infection (the lie). Sometimes the wound is healed immediately when exposed to the Truth found in Christ. Other times, it is a process. Some lies may be harder to uproot, but if we have no hope for healing and wholeness we’ve underestimated God’s ability to heal. It is important that we stay in the Word as it’s our source of Truth. We need that Truth to uproot and replace the lie.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 ESV
God does not overlook our pain or ignore it. The pain is important to Him, because the patient (you) is important to Him. It doesn’t matter if the wound is old or new, big or small, festering and infected or partially healed. You can downplay your pain all you want, but if it is affecting your life in any way, it needs to be dealt with, and God is willing to help. As a child runs to their parent at the slightest ouch, we can run to our Father with every pain, no matter how serious. It is in Him we find our healing. It is in those places He does some of His greatest work and receives some of the most heartfelt praise.
Do my kids diligently listen for the sound of my voice now? Uh, no. But my burn has been healing nicely in that area. I can now deal with their behavior without having to apologize for mine. And remember, time doesn’t heal wounds, God does.
Slathering on Sunblock, Aloe Vera, and God’s Truth,
P.S. Oh, two more things. This letter was about our burns being touched. But I know I have slapped a few sunburnt backs in my day. When we are around others who surprise us with their extreme reactions, may we have discernment and mercy for them and their wounds. Sometimes we just need sleep, food, or a hug. Other times we need a lie extracted. May we extend the grace we have been freely given. And may we be willing to walk with those who get a little nervous going to see the “Doctor” by themselves.
Lastly, I mentioned God was speaking to my heart as I was typing this. I nearly cried. As I previously stated, the situation that opened my eyes to the lie I had swallowed happened a while ago. And yet God continues to encourage me in this very area. The lie said I was easily ignored. But God… He has given me an opportunity to connect with women in the very area the lie said I couldn’t. Here we are. Thank you for spending time reading my words.