7.13 Wounds That Heal: Bringing Our Hurts to the Cross
Wounds That Heal: Bringing Our Hurts to the Cross Stephen Seamands
Having identified a number of wounds and hurts from my early childhood, from ministry and from my own sinful choices, this book encouraged me to continue bringing my woundedness to the cross and to understand the Jesus really does understand the pain that I have and will experience. I have experienced rejection arising from suicide and alcoholism and can see how these rejections make it difficult for me to accept myself. I must admit that I don’t quite understand how Jesus was there with me in my rejection as Seamands says (40). I know Jesus was rejected and thus understands my rejection and offers healing for it. I am asking God to help me feel the pain of rejection that I seem to have pushed down and then to begin to heal me as I forgive and move through that pain.
I have experienced shame issues relating to suicide in my family and sexual abuse by an uncle. I have dealt with this by hiding and protecting myself and never letting people really know me. Recently I have been working on facing past sexual abuse together with other friends and my wife. I know from the Scriptures that Jesus also experienced shame that He did not deserve. May the Lord surface as much of the pain from these past shameful actions so that there can be more healing and wholeness in my life.
There have been failures in my life that I have identified in recent months for which I need to mourn as losses. I think that I have not really faced some anger with God about these failures, having stuffed that anger down inside. In response to failure, I tend to build idols related to work and my own personal achievements so that I won’t feel bad. I know Jesus was rejected by His family, friends, nation and His father and He understands. I need the Lord to give me insight into my feelings about past failures, mourn them. I am trusting the Lord to help me to trust Him for those things that the world considers as failures. I also need God’s perspective to see that nothing is wasted in His economy and that I have character qualities in my life because of the failures I have experienced.
This year, I have realized that I have what I would call an addictive personality. Some of this arises out of being an adult child of an alcoholic. Some of the habits that Seamands points out that are a problem for me are workaholism, control, people pleasing, perfectionism and at times under great pressure escape. I need to focus on God’s love for me as some of the other books have pointed out and begin to change my mindset about my acceptance, value and identity. I have seen some progress in controlling behavior as I am learning to surrender more to my Father. Seamands points out that the all-powerful Christ chose to become powerless and He is my model of letting go. Of course He also shows me that God is able to bring strength out of weakness and bring triumph out of what appears to be defeat. As I have been attending al-anon meetings, I am learning to remind myself that I am powerless over my addictive behavior but I am also learning that Christ is meeting me in my powerlessness to change me. I have a sponsor I meet with most weeks and attend al-anon and ACA meetings which serve to remind me of my need for God to help me as well as others.
Seamand’s book reinforces what I have been learning elsewhere that I must face the pain of past hurts and be “willing to walk into and through—not away from or around—pain.” (113) In the past I have denied the pain. One way I have avoided feeling the pain is to keep so busy that I don’t ever have time to feel it. Sometimes, I have suppressed all feelings, including that of pain. And, I have avoided intimacy in relationships in which my personal pain might arise. I learned to be a master at turning the conversation to other people’s problems and pain. As my other comments have noted, I am asking God to bring out the pain that is yet unresolved so that I can grieve my losses and gain healing. There are some periods of my childhood which are blank but I am not aware of any painful memories that lie hidden. Of course, I am willing for God to bring these to mind. May I stay at the foot of the cross to receive His courage to “confront the darkness” in my soul (127). I will need others to stand with me in this.
I have spent considerable time on forgiveness in the past. However, it appears that there remain feelings of hurt and pain that I have never faced. As the Lord surfaces these and I recognize the persons responsible for causing the pain and feel anger towards them, I need to be prepared to once again go through the process of forgiveness. Thank you Lord for forgiving me and giving me an example and the power to forgive others.