A few months ago my oldest daughter had an abscess on her baby tooth. We knew it was infected, but living in the remote mountains of Laos, we didn’t have access to a dentist to get it seen about. She was prescribed some antibiotics and we used natural remedies at home to treat the effects of what was obviously a deeper issue than what could be seen. When we returned to the states a few weeks later and took her to a dentist, we were given three options- put a crown on it, pull it, or leave it alone and see if it would fall out. My daughter was adamant that she wanted to wait and see if it would fall out on its own. And being the frugal person I am, I decided that was the cheaper choice. So, we left it alone. Almost six months later she woke up one morning with the whole right side of her face swollen from infection in her tooth. We were out of town and couldn’t get to the dentist until two days later. During those 48 hours of waiting, my daughter fretted and worried over what she would have to endure to treat this infected tooth. As I was trying to reassure her that she would be ok, I said,
“Sometimes we have to endure pain for a while to heal for good.”
When I spoke those words out loud, the Lord quickly spoke to my heart and said “That is how you heal from emotional pain, too. You must endure the pain of the process to experience true healing.”
Healing is a process. It’s not something that automatically happens when we ignore a problem long enough. When we have experienced pain, trauma, loss or grief, recovering and healing is something that takes active participation on our part. Contrary to popular belief, time does not heal all wounds. It perhaps lessens the sting, but left long enough untreated, that pain will fester and spread and come back when you don’t expect it.
So how do we heal from pain? How do we move from trauma to restoration? How do we find comfort for our souls when they have been so deeply wounded that we feel we may never recover?
We have all experienced pain in one form or another. Sometimes it is at the hands of someone who should have been our friend and ally. Maybe yours is the result of death or loss. Perhaps it is due to unmet or unrealized expectations- the pain of a dream you had for your life crashing down around you. Pain comes in various shapes and sizes, seasons and depths. But the reality is, no matter the cause of the pain or the size of the wound, if left untreated it will affect every part of your life.
I believe that as we embark on this new year, the Lord desires for us to pause and reflect on the pain we have experienced- both fresh and lying dormant- and deal with it in a way that allows us to process grief and move forward healed and whole into a new season of restoration and victory. God does not desire that we live wounded. Our healing is so important to Him that He paid the ultimate price for it on the cross! (Isaiah 53:4-5) No matter how deeply we have been hurt, we CAN be healed and restored.
I realize that much of the information out there about emotional healing is not very practical or very biblical, so my desire in this series is to walk us through some practical exercises and lots of scripture that will help us to see our situation in a different light and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work of healing in our hearts that only He can do. Now, just as I told my daughter, the initial process of healing can be painful. Especially if the hurt you’ve experienced has been lying under the surface for a long time. When we finally had her tooth pulled, the pain was much worse than normal because of the pressure from the amount of infection that was lying beneath the surface. When we unearth our wounds, initially it may feel too painful to bear. But I promise, if you’ll stick with me and do the work, you will experience a deep, redemptive healing that only happens when we endure the pain for a while to heal for good.
If you would like to take part in this series, I encourage you to subscribe to my blog so that you get the new posts in an e-mail. That way you won’t miss anything! We will be looking over the course of several weeks at some practical steps to healing, including questions for you to work through on your own and scripture to pray through.
I have been handicapped by pain and hurt before, and it has hindered my life, my ministry, and my relationship with the Lord. I have also experienced the restorative work of the Holy Spirit’s healing power in my life and have seen how God moves us from hurt to healing. I hope you will journey with me over the next few weeks as we embark on 2018 in a healthier emotional, mental and spiritual state.
We will look at :
Hurdles to Healing
God’s Perspective on Pain
How We See God’s Goodness When Things Are Bad
I am praying this scripture over you today:
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.” -Psalm 34:18-22