Some recent discussion on my Facebook wall discovered that there are several friends with whom I shared my childhood who have lasting injuries because of insensitive people (or worse).
Anyone who has ever been sick – really sick – will tell you that the most difficult part of the illness was the path to being whole again. Thankfully our bodies typically have a built-in surge that helps with this. Now imagine an injury that is invisible. While it is tough enough to treat something that you can see, treating the invisible seems, at times, impossible.
As I have been pondering and praying about all of the stories that have been retold these last many days I thought of this simple analogy that may help us begin to heal our hearts. It has everything to do with first aid.
There is no (ultimate) healing apart from Jesus. Maybe the saddest part of some of our realities is that these hurts occurred within the walls of a place we trusted to act Christianly. Certainly at times, they did not. But the way of Jesus is the way of forgiveness. You’ve heard it said that bitterness (or for our purposes, unforgiveness) is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The first part of finding true healing for your heart is forgiving the person or persons who sinned against you. Healing cannot occur until our our hearts are reconciled to (made right with) God. This has to be first.
It is likely that you cannot do this alone. And it’s ok. You were not meant to live life alone. Find someone else to help you get your head and heart around what you’re feeling. I remember the humiliation and embarrassment I felt the first time I went to counseling as an adult. I felt that I should have been able to pull myself together on my own. How wrong I was. Having a trained counselor help me walk through my hurt was the best investment I could have made. Sit with a trained professional who is a person of faith and allow them to speak into your life.
Many of us have learned to forgive and have continued to have fruitful and fulfilling lives. Don’t let that make you feel guilty if you’re not there yet. Be encouraged that healing is available. Just as physical injury requires specific medical attention, so do our spiritual injuries. Be purposeful. Take your time. And remember the right order… first Jesus… then, aid from others.