Healing emotional wounds
Direct from author, and friend, Grace Gayle:
Healing our emotional wounds requires several deliberate steps in our journey toward wholeness.
Step One: Break Out of Denial
The first step toward emotional healing is to shake off denial by talking about the traumatic event with someone we trust.
Denial is a consequence of emotional shock which deadens our emotions and prevents us from feeling the full impact of the painful experience. We feel numb and are unable to recognize the amount to which we have been hurt. We need to examine our wound by reflecting on the details of the traumatic incident. Talking about our distressing experience helps us deal with it.
Step Two: Own our Brokenness
The second step to healing our brokenness, is owning our brokenness. It is essential that we allow ourselves to feel the pain caused by the incident. If we are to heal, we need to acknowledge the affect the traumatic event had on us.
Time does not heal all wounds. In fact, time often causes the wound to move deeper. The full destruction of the sin against us must be faced, felt and expressed before true healing can take place.
Step Three: Receive God’s Love
Our lack of knowledge of our Heavenly Father affects our emotional and mental health. If we have a faulty spiritual belief system we will short circuit our relationship with our Heavenly Father. If we do not have a healthy understanding of who God is, and who we are as His children, we will not be able to trust the love of our Heavenly Father. Meditating daily, on Scriptures of God’s love, will move the truth from our intellect to our emotional level.
Step Four: Give Up False Loyalty
If the offender is a parent or someone you love, you may feel an intense need to protect the person. By breaking the silence, the wounded person feels a deep sense of betrayal and guilt. However, if the offender is never acknowledged, or assigned appropriate blame, healing is not achieved. By not acknowledging the guilty party, the wounded person carries around shame that rightfully belongs to the offender. As a result, anger is often reflected onto innocent individuals.
Step Five: Reject False Beliefs
False Belief # One:
It was my fault.
No one will believe me if I do tell them.
I am worthless, helpless, and hopeless.
But God desires that we believe the truth about ourselves. We need to reject the lies and replace them with truth.
Most people, who were victims of neglect or abuse as children, whether verbally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or sexually, blame themselves. But no one is ever responsible for another person’s behavior, especially when it comes to an adult /child relationship.
False Belief # Two:
Good Christians don’t get angry.
Anger is not a sin; it is an emotion, but how we express our anger can be sinful. If we punch or hit someone in anger, it is sin. If we verbally lash out at someone in anger, we have sinned. If we gossip about the offender, we have sinned. If we pretend we are not angry, we are being deceitful.
We are to deal with our anger quickly in an appropriate manner, so that it doesn’t become bitterness. It would be appropriate to tell the offending person calmly, that what he or she did makes you angry.
Step Six: Give and Receive Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a major and necessary step to healing. Forgiving our offender is giving up our right to demand retribution. By forgiving the one who hurt me, I am not saying what he did was okay. Nor am I saying I am over the emotional pain. Forgiveness simply means I am willing to live with the consequences of his sin against me. I let him off my hook, but he is still answerable to God.
Forgiveness sets us free to move through the healing process and continue to grow as a person. Forgiveness is the key to healing for all emotional wounds.
Step Seven: Trust God’s Redemptive Plan
God is so compassionate toward broken-hearted individuals, that He promises to heal us and then make something amazing out of our lives.
The poor, the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners, and the mourners will be called “Oaks of Righteousness”. They will become strong, beautiful, useful masterpieces of the Lord for the purpose of displaying His glory. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
No pit is so deep that God can’t reach down and lift us up out of the mire. He cleanses us, heals us and redeems us through the death and resurrection of His Son.