The process of healing isn’t in pretending something didn’t happen… it isn’t in developing a thicker skin or in defending oneself by building up a wall to shut people out. One might need to remove themselves from certain relationships for a time or for good, but the process of healing is in sitting with the emotions and working through them. It’s in educating oneself and in the knowledge about what you’re experiencing and learning that there isn’t something wrong with you for having these emotions. The process of healing is what God has designed in us when He created us in His image as a conqueror.
We are more than overcomers in our experiences of the pressure from internal and external sources, that feeling of being trapped, difficult circumstances, when your convictions are being suppressed or if you are experiencing punishment for them, in hunger or thirst, in exposure and vulnerability, in risky situations, and against anyone looking to take our very lives and end the breaths we take (Romans 8:35-37).
It might be uncomfortable witnessing another who is going through their healing process. Still, it is not for anyone to interrupt, disrupt, or corrupt that process. If you don’t know how to help a person who is healing, please don’t hurt them instead. Healing can take weeks, months, years, decades – depending on the circumstance and depending on whether they are encouraged to grieve and heal.
I talk to my kids often about being an encourager instead of a commander. I’m still working on this myself, but demanding someone see something a certain way is not helpful. Instead, it creates fresh wounds of their own during a time when one is already raw and vulnerable. Encouraging someone isn’t flattery either, it’s in loving with the truth that lifts another up – it’s giving them courage to take a step forward in the healing process. Sometimes that’s in allowing the tears to fall, that’s allowing the anger to be felt, that’s allowing them to sit in the stillness and presence of God… sometimes, the encouragement comes in the silence of simply listening, being present, being the arms to hold them.
There is no shame in negative emotions when grieving… we’re real, created in the beauty and love of the Father. There is no shame in the pain and heartache when you’re healing… we are a soft and tender people, created to love – it’s in that same tenderness that we feel love, that we endure pain! There is no shame in feeling broken after abuse… God created us for the freedom from participating in sin and in being sinned against, but the world is full of it. The hope comes in that this isn’t the end of the story. As we walk out our healing in God’s design – to heal in order to overcome; there is strength there when you lean on Him, there is power that is made manifest as you realize your own weaknesses, and it is there that you suddenly find yourself, an overcomer. ♥