This is the second part in a series- if you haven’t read the first post, please go HERE to read it before moving forward.
Hurdles to Healing (1 of 2)
I signed up to do a mud run one time. For those of you who don’t know me well, I am NOT a runner. But friends of mine were doing it and I’m not afraid of mud or a good challenge, so I signed up too. I even half-heartedly trained…and I use that word lightly. (Meaning I ran/walked a couple of times for maybe 30 minutes). But when the weekend came for the run, I ended up sick and wasn’t able to go. And as much as I wanted to believe I could have crushed it if I had been able to attend, when I saw pictures and video of my friends doing the crazy obstacles in the mud and rain, I knew I wasn’t prepared for the hurdles I would have had to overcome.
Healing can feel a bit like a mud run sometimes. It’s messy. It’s hard. It takes endurance. And it has its own obstacles and hurdles to overcome in order to get emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy. But we are going to run this race together, friends. I’m by your side, cheering you on. Let’s put on our game faces and get ready to get dirty so we can stand at that finish line, smiling, grateful, and feeling like we can take on the world.
Let’s take a look at the first two of four of the biggest hurdles we face when moving from hurt to healing:
“I’m fine.” How many times have we said this when our souls were screaming out otherwise? The first hurdle we have to overcome in healing is actually acknowledging and admitting that we have been hurt and that we need to heal. Sometimes the hurt and pain is buried so deep that we don’t even realize it is still there. Other times the hurt is so close to the surface that we’re afraid if we acknowledge it and let it bubble over it will consume us so it’s easier just to pretend like everything is fine. Neither of those are healthy ways to deal with hurt.
I love reading the Psalms. It doesn’t take long reading the heartfelt and vulnerable words of David to see that expressing pain, hurt, anguish, fear and anger to God is totally acceptable. You can sense the raw emotion in David’s words as he pours out his heart to God through song- and you can almost hear the healing taking place in his soul as he does. No matter how distressed he is at the beginning, he always comes back to a place of acknowledging that even in his pain, God is sovereign and good and faithful by the end.
So let’s dig in. Let’s take a look inward and be willing to open up those places we’ve perhaps closed ourselves off from so that we can heal. Please take a few moments and work through the following questions. Don’t rush, and make sure you actually write down your answers because you’ll probably need to come back to this in the future as we move forward toward healing together.
#1- Close your eyes and think about who/what has caused you pain. If it doesn’t come to you right away, just be still and take the time to do some soul searching. What pops in your mind? Who’s face do you see? Write it down in detail. (It can be painful to uncover these wounds, but it is essential to the healing process).
#2- What are some words you would use to describe how you feel about this person/situation right now?
#3- Read Psalm 69. Underline the verses that you identify with in your pain. Now, write your own Psalm or prayer to God. Don’t be afraid to pour out your suffering and your heart. But end it with praise- you can use David’s words as inspiration if you need to.
This hurdle may not be the most obvious, but it is one of the most paralyzing. Fear.
Fear that facing the pain will hurt too much.
Fear that you’re never going to get over it.
Fear that you’ll let down your guard and get hurt again.
Fear that you’ll be letting your abuser off the hook.
Fear that you’ll always be damaged goods.
The list could go on and on. Bottom line, most of the other hurdles we are going to talk about are rooted in fear. This is a big one, friends. And until we call it out and name it for what it is, we won’t move past it. So how do we deal with fear in our healing process? Here are a few questions I want you to work through. Take your time, write down your answers. Don’t rush through this. This is the work that brings about the healing.
#1- What is your greatest fear in thinking about healing from your pain?
#2- How has that fear hindered you from moving forward in healing?
#3- Look up these verses about fear. Meditate on them. Post them around your home and speak them over your heart.
1 John 4:18
We’ll tackle the other two hurdles in my next blog post, but let’s pray together before we say goodbye for now:
God, as we embark on this journey to healing, as we get dirty in the mess of uncovering pain in our hearts, will you strengthen us for the journey ahead? Help us to stay the course, even when the hurdles seem insurmountable and the finish line seems too far away. Give us endurance and faith to trust you for the healing we know can only come through your Holy Spirit. Thank you for your Word that gives life and hope. As we meditate on it, let a deep-rooted healing begin in our hearts. We claim your promise in Jeremiah 33:6- “I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abudant peace and security.” In the name of Jesus- the one who bore our pain so we could be healed- amen.