Every journey is different. Every time Jesus healed someone in the bible he did it differently. And so it is with us. There is no secret formula for healing, but I believe that there are steps that we can take and choices we can make that will strength to our lives. Here are just a few of the things that I discovered on my own healing journey.
There is no substitute for a real and honest relationship with God. He is Lord over my life and so much more. Through reading His word, praying and simply spending time being quiet and still with Him, I have come to know Him as Father, Friend, Comforter, Healer, Redeemer, Provider, and the Lover of my soul. He is not a distant God, sitting in some far off place judging you and me. He is a God of mercy, grace and compassion. He is Immanuel, God who is with us.
We are not meant to do life alone. Humans are relational beings designed for community. A tree cannot grow unless it is planted, and I strongly believe that my life would not bear the fruit it has if I had not been planted in my church. I am not talking about simply doing the Christian duty of sitting through a Sunday service. I believe that the local church plays an irreplaceable role on this planet. When the local church is healthy, it is a place where people can come to worship, learn, grow, and experience healing, grace, mercy and the unconditional love of God. It is where I have built some of my most meaningful and flourishing relationships with people who know me—imperfections and all—and love me anyway.
In the bible (John 5), we read the story of a man, lying on a mat, who had been disabled for 38 years. Jesus asks him a question: “Do you want to get well?” At that point, the man starts coming up with excuses, saying that nobody would help him and every time he tried to get better, somebody got in his way. Ultimately, Jesus instructs the man to “take up his mat and walk”. He follows this instruction and is healed.
I believe that Jesus is asking you and I the same question. Do you want to get well? Sometimes we think we want to get better, but when it comes down to it, we have a million excuses as to why we can’t. We become comfortable with our condition and content to remain paralyzed on our mats.
Ultimately, the decision is in our hands. Nobody can want it for us. God can’t force it on us. We must decide to get well.
Eleven years ago, I believed a lot of lies. They were so woven into the fabric of my being that they became my personal truth. I believed that I was worthless, stupid, and unlovable. My life reflected what I thought to be true because I made choices based on those deep and hidden beliefs.
The bible tells us to “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). It also says that we are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
There is a process of transformation that requires action on our part. It is up to us to actively replace the lies we believe with truth. (See Appendix B)
In the well-known story of David and Goliath, David faced and defeated his giant with a sling and a stone. Historically, in the days of Exodus, the Israelites had been afraid to enter the promise land because of the many “giants” who inhabited that territory. It was the fear of the giants, not the giants themselves that kept the people from God’s promise for them.
In my own journey, I have had to face some big giants: Sexual abuse, rape, father issues, fear, rejection, abandonment, unforgiveness, and bitterness to name a few. To rattle them off in a list like this is easy, but to actually face each of these head on was been a battle. I can distinctly remember fighting though Los Angeles traffic to make the 1 1/2 hour commute to see my therapist where I had to pay upwards of $60 an hour to face some of my giants. I would much rather have been sitting on my couch eating chocolate ice cream watching reruns of Seinfeld. But if I wanted to walk in the fullness of God’s promises for my life, there were giants to be faced. Sometimes I felt like David—like I was facing a seasoned combatant with weapons as puny as a sling and a stone. But during those times I learned that like David, God has given me the tools I need to face the giants in my life, and that I never have to face them on my own.
I used to think that some things were simply unforgivable—rape and murder among them. I felt completely justified in hating the ex-boyfriend who raped me. To forgive him seemed to mean that what he did was okay and it wasn’t.
Eventually, I learned that forgiveness is a vertical transaction between me and God, not a horizontal one between me and another human. God has forgiven me and He asks me to forgive others.
I have heard it said that forgiveness is setting someone free and realizing the prisoner was you. At first I forgave out of obedience, but when I finally forgave, I realized that I was the one being held captive by my unforgiveness. The people that have hurt me were living their lives, going about their merry way, while I was seething with anger, hurt and bitterness. Unforgiveness was holding me prisoner.
The journey is never over so be gracious with yourself and stay committed to the course. We are all in a process of becoming—becoming healed, becoming whole, becoming closer to God, and becoming all that we are created to be.
God is a gentleman. He never forces us to change or gives us more than we can bear. He walks us through this process one step at a time. In His strength we are able to face our giants one by one.
I could apply 110 steps to healing and read a zillion self-help books, but what I am able to accomplish on my own pales in comparison to what can happen when I invite the transforming, gracious and redeeming power of God into my life. His love transcends knowledge, reason, and human effort.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen.
What do you believe is standing in the way of your healing? Which of these steps might God be asking you to take today? Comment below…
*To order the Healing Journey CD, or other resources for healing, visit www.iamatreasure.com/store
Author of Scars and Stilettos
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