Beautifully lush greenery was popping up all over my freshly planted garden. The delicate leaves were lovely but, bottom line, they just didn’t belong there. When trying to pull them out, they wouldn’t budge because there was a stronghold beneath them. As it turned out, they were actually small tree saplings that were growing directly off a huge root right beneath the garden. Rather than rip up the entire garden, I opted for clipping them off just above the surface. I knew they were still there, but no one else could see them. Just like those sprouting saplings, the hidden hurts in our hearts will continue to surface until we remove the roots.
Contrary to belief, time does not heal all wounds. Even though time passes, the pain of past hurts lurks on, until it is properly dealt with. When we have been hurt and find ourselves dwelling on painful memories, there are steps we can take to release that pain, ultimately allowing the healing process to begin.
The first step is to get alone with the Lord. Tell Him everything. Pour out your heart to Him. There is nothing you can say that will surprise God. Be completely transparent, and let it all out. Crying is a good release, and can be helpful. Job 5:11 tells us, “The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.” If you have a Bible, I encourage you to read it during this time with the Lord. Often, He will provide a scripture of hope and strength, something to hold onto as encouragement.
There is another step that can be taken that is also helpful in clearing our head and heart. Sometimes the pain we carry is linked to people we just can’t sit down and have a face-to-face with due to their death or non-compliance. Or, someone who is alive, but would be devastated and wrecked if confronted with pain they unintentionally caused. A good example of this would be a parent who, although they tried, still managed to fail miserably.
This exercise is a recommendation from Dr. Charles Stanley, pastor of In-Touch Ministries:
Get two chairs. Sit in one chair and then face the other empty chair. Now, have a conversation with the person who hurt you deeply. Tell that empty chair everything that caused you pain. Whatever hurt you. Don’t hold back. Permission granted to yell, cry, and even kick that chair! Release the pent up pain. Let it out, saying EVERYTHING you feel. This is going to provide you with an amazing release. All that hurt you have been carrying around, will lift! There is something about voicing it out, even if it isn’t to the individual that hurt you.
We are not responsible for the behavior and actions of others. However, we are totally responsible for our own. Once you have spoken out all the pain and hurt, you will have a strange peace and type of closure within yourself. The situation may not be resolved with the other individual, but healing in your heart can begin. We are responsible for the condition of our own hearts, as 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us,“… the LORD looks at the heart.”
Ripping up my garden to dig out roots growing beneath the earth’s surface wasn’t worth it. However, taking the time to deal with roots of past pain is profitable. If you are carrying hurt from the past, I encourage you to get with the Lord and speak your heart. And, if you feel more is needed, get out those chairs. Sound weird? What do you have to lose? Just the heartache!
Included below are the links for Dr. Charles Stanley’s sermons that address this topic.
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