She said God wanted to heal my past hurts and use my pain to comfort others with the same hope He’d give me. But I didn’t want anyone to know about the pain of my past. I didn’t want to talk about it or deal with it. I was ashamed of it and wanted it to go away.
There were obviously things I needed to deal with, but I was afraid I’d fall apart or slip back into a depression if I let it all surface. I also feared people would feel sorry for me or judge me.
What about you? Where has your heart been and what you have been through? Are there things you’ve done or things done to you that have left you feeling hopeless?
Although we can’t go back and change the circumstances or relationships that have wounded us, we can go back and process the pain with Jesus. In fact, we won’t move forward with God until we do.
Left unresolved, the pain from yesterday will keep us from having confident hope for tomorrow. Yet, with Jesus, we can find the fullness of Healing — the restoration of Hope. But it’s not something we can hurry through. It’s a journey. Here is part of the process God used in my life (that I share in Chapter 4). I’m praying it will help be the same for you:
- First, ask God to show you the broken places in your past you have carried into your future.
- Then, make a time line of your life with key events, and write down any painful emotions and memories.
- Next, ask the Holy Spirit to remind you where you have been, what those experiences and relationships have caused, how far from God they took you, and how they hurt you and others.
One of the first places God showed me that needed healing and hope was my marriage. Sadly, after about seven years, I started feeling a lot of anger and developing a critical spirit towards my husband. As I went through this process, the Holy Spirit showed me that years of disappointment as a child who in a broken home with a broken heart had led to loss. I had never grieved the happily-ever-after I longed for but didn’t have. My broken dreams had become bitter expectations and I basically wanted expected my husband to make up for all my dad had never been as a father to me, or as a husband to my mom.
Bound and determined to create my own version of a happily-ever-after, I became critical and controlling in my marriage. I had anger and fear festering in my heart which led to unrealistic expectations that erupted in the form of critical words toward JJ, telling him how to be the husband and dad I wanted him to be. You see I thought he could provide the security and shelter for the little-girl-heart that was still crushed inside my adult body. And in doing so, put my broken dreams back together.
God showed me that wasn’t the answer. Instead, I needed to forgive my father and release my feelings of bitterness, abandonment, disappointment, and hurt. I also needed to confess the sin of my unrealistic expectations and let go of what I thought was my right to a “happily-ever-after.”
And I needed to find my security and hope in God alone by letting Him be the Father I longed for. I needed to grieve some of the things I wanted that I would never have. I also needed to invite God into those hurting places so He could bind up my broken heart and set me free from captivity to my fear that I would never have a happy ending.
- Once you’ve written your timeline and asked the Holy Spirit to remind you where you have been, what those experiences and relationships have caused, how far from God they took you, and how they hurt you and others, invite God to enter into those memories.
- Give yourself time to grieve your losses. Ask Jesus to heal them with the power of His Holy Spirit as you focus your thoughts on transforming truths in His Word. It’s the Living Word and the written word that has the power to heal and change us.
- As God shows you broken places, ask Him to bind up every wound with His healing touch and set you free from captivity that has held you until now.
- Find promises to claim, to memorize and to pray out loud over your heart. Cry if you need. And take time to heal so you can find hope again.
Sweet friend, I know this isn’t easy but I know it’s true and worth what it takes. God’s power is perfected in the broken places we consider to be our greatest weaknesses—our most vulnerable emotions we don’t want anyone to know about. In those hiding places, God calls us out of captivity. When we’re willing to let Him, He brings hope for our future despite the pain of our past.
Is there one area of your life that you can see pain from the past needs to be processed with Jesus in this way? Click on “Share Your Thoughts” below and do just that. I love hearing from you and praying for you.
Also, your little note will also be a way for me to enter you to win a copy of my new book, A Confident Heart and the conference call series that is part of Melissa Taylor’s online study of A Confident Heart.
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