Psalm 138 ends with David declaring his confidence that God will fulfill His purpose for his (David’s) life. We all desire that! There is a connection between how this Psalm begins and how it ends. David began by saying, “I will praise You God with my whole heart”.
How can we end up knowing who we are, and being who we were created to, be if we are broken hearted? We have all been wounded. God’s desire is to bind up the brokenhearted and save those whose spirits have been crushed. He restores my soul. There are life and peace after pain. We don’t have to get by, by enduring. Jesus purchased our wholeness at the cross and wants to walk with us through the process of restoration.
Several negative things occur when we are hurt, abandoned or neglected, or experience trauma:
• Our emotions are affected and even damaged. We experience pain, fear, anger, grief…it is real, and can be overwhelming
• We form belief systems – lies we believe – and we regard ourselves, others, and even God incorrectly. Thus our identity is distorted and can hinder our ability to relate to God.
• We begin to develop habit patterns and coping mechanisms. We strive to protect ourselves from repeated trauma. We overreact to similar triggers, often leading us to become stuck in defeat.
• When our hearts and minds become clouded by pain and disappointment, we don’t walk in gratitude. Gratitude connects our hearts to God. Without thankfulness on our part, we short-circuit God’s giving us the desires of our hearts.
As we invite God to heal memories and hurts, we can experience His presence and encounter His love. God shares His perspective with us, which is often new, encouraging and empowering. Prior to healing, we build our “truth” around circumstances (which becomes “reality” in our minds). God helps us discard the lies we have believed. He makes Truth real and believable to us, sharing the reality which agrees with His nature, His character, and His Word.
God heals specific memories as well as representative ones. The process can be as simple as inviting the Holy Spirit to take you to a memory He wants to heal. When you see or sense a picture or event, simply ask God how He wants to heal it. Wait and listen and you will sense or see or hear something He wants to say or show you.
To move beyond the simple approach just mentioned, ask yourself: “Is there an area of pain or defeat in my life?” If you frequently experience an emotion, attitude, or action that is detrimental to your spirit, ask God if it is associated with an event or trauma. If you don’t know why you have a particular emotion, thought, or habit pattern and you want God to heal you, ask Him, “Why do I feel this way? Do You want to take me to a memory so You can heal it?”
As you stay in the memory, consider the following:
• Express your emotions – pour out your heart to God. Many Christians think anger toward, or disappointment with, God is wrong and refuse to feel it. They stuff it, bury it and are separated from God by their dishonesty. When we are angry with God, we judge Him for doing what we feel to be wrong things. In our hearts, we accuse Him of not being for us. If we disregard these feelings and don’t talk to God about them, our dishonesty closes the door to communication and relationship. The truth is, God never does anything wrong and never needs forgiveness, but we must express our disappointment and let Him off the hook for our benefit.
• Give your pain and your losses to Jesus. Ask Him what He wants to give in exchange.
• Often in a memory, you may see or be reminded of a person you need to forgive. Understand that their sin against you (even if it was only your perception) had a consequence and a cost in your life. Tell God how that sin or offense made you feel and what it cost you. Give their sin to Jesus to deal with (He died for their sin as well as yours!) Release them and ask God to bless them.
• If we have been hurt by parents or authorities, we may have believed lies about the character of God as a result. In addition to forgiving these people for what they have done, or failed to do, say “In Jesus Name I renounce the lie that God is like this person and will treat me or fail me in the same way.”
• Invite Jesus into what you are picturing/experiencing in this memory. He may simply show up and start showing you things or speak to you. You can ask things such as:
How do you want to heal this memory?
What would you like to say or do?
Through healing a memory, God can show us something we may otherwise be unwilling or unable to hear or understand. God truly cares about your life and walks alongside until you are whole. He carries you when you cannot go any further. He is not slow regarding His promises. Trust Him- Victory is guaranteed!