For many years, I used my wounds as an excuse. An excuse to live in a place of hurt, depression and shame. I didn’t see any way out and it wasn’t my fault anyway, at least that is what I told myself.. After all, things were said to me. I was overlooked, not chosen. But I did have a choice in this matter.
Maya Angelou says it like this:
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.Maya Angelou
For many years, I let the lies reduce me. Until the day I decided I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I decided against the chaos that swelled inside me. And I made deliberate choices to pursue emotional healing. These were my first steps:
- I made an appointment with my doctor. I knew that my depression was partly due to the turmoil on the inside. But I didn’t know if any of it was caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain. I had to find out.
- I made an appointment with a prayer counselor. I had done talk therapy on several occasions and benefited, but also knew that without Holy Spirit involvement, I wouldn’t find lasting change. I knew a therapist who integrated talk with healing prayer which is what I needed.
- I intentionally began to focus on listening to what God was telling me no matter how painful. To be honest, I was scared to unite the person I thought I was supposed to be with the one I feared God was showing me.
- I started reading and teaching classes on identity and embracing God’s view of yourself. (There is a fantastic trilogy by David Benner that was pivotal in my healing. The books are: Surrender to Love, The Gift of Being Yourself, Desiring God’s Will)
- I took a five day silent retreat to a monastery in Kentucky with a focus on reading and listening to God regarding His love for humanity in general and me in specific.
- I studied elements of inner healing at Ashland University under Terry Wardle.
This process of healing took years, not days, weeks or months. There were moments of instant change as I recognized lies and replaced them with truth. But for the most part, healing is a process, not an event.
What are you doing with your wounds? Are they an excuse to stay disconnected from who you truly are at the core of your being? Are they a weapon you wield to keep others away? What would it take for you to begin or take the next step in your own healing journey?