The Courage to Heal

Friday, January 03, 2014

Much has happened in my life this past year. And as with everyone, some things were joyful and some were challenging and downright painful. No one wants grief and going through it is difficult. It takes courage to allow God to heal us as the process is not easy. However, with God by our side, no mountain is too high. No valley is too low. And, there is nothing that cannot be conquered with Him. Below are ten things that I have been learning over recent months. I pray they are helpful to you should you also have a heart than needs to mend.

1. Allow yourself to grieve
Don’t suppress your feelings. If you do, they’ll only rear their heads at another time and place and not

always in the most convenient way! It takes courage to allow yourself to feel, and suppressed feelings can lead to the negative effects of stress. I’ve learned that we need to go through our grief and not around it. Fortunately, God knows our pain and He’ll walk with us every step of the way. 

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” Psalm 23:4

2. Time doesn't heal, but healing takes time
This varies for each person, so don’t judge the time it is taking you to feel better by how others have healed from tragedy, loss or rejection. You will have good days and bad days, but remember, God will heal you.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

3. Pray & go to God’s word
Pray for healing, strength, comfort, wisdom…all of the above! Sometimes all we can pray are the two words, “help me.” Also, grief often manifests itself through nightmares or restlessness and I have found that by reading God’s word and praying right before bed, my sleep is more restful. Then, when I wake, I have more strength to face the new day. In addition, though it may be difficult, pray for the person or persons who have hurt you. Ask God to draw them near to Him, to forgive them and to heal them.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

4. Forgive the person who hurt or rejected you 
This is a biggy, and often a very difficult thing to do. But, by praying for them and forgiving them, you will be unlocking your heart to love again.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance 
against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

5. Stop asking “Why Me?”
It is natural to ask God why bad things happen, but, you most likely will never receive an answer to that particular question. So much time and energy is wasted when we focus on asking the “why’s” and the “what if’s”. Rather than frustrating ourselves with questions like that, ask the more courageous one and change your inquiry to, “What are you teaching me through this?” or “How do you want me to grow because of this?” 

"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. 
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." 1 Corinthians 13:12

6. Be wary of self-help sites online or advice that only wants to blame you… 

"Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense 
that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” Colossians 2:8

However…

7. Ask God to check your heart 
Is there anything that needs to be confessed to Him? Have you had a poor reaction to the situation? Is there something that might have caused or contributed to it that can be corrected? Often we are rejected for no fault of our own. But sometimes we are partially to blame. Either way, God can and will ease our pain when we come to Him with an open and willing spirit.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24

8. Take a break
Get your mind off your pain. Go for a walk, visit with friends, do a fun activity. This won’t take away the hurt you are feeling, but it will give you an outlet for your stress and give your heart a chance to rest from the ache. Remember, you will feel better. You will heal. God has promised it.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, 
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” I Peter 5:10

9. Focus on God, not your pain
He will bring you through this. Even though it doesn't feel like it, your pain is only temporary. Remember, God understands, for He was rejected, too.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

10. Help someone else and or serve Him
When we are grieving, often the last thing we want to do is something for someone else. Pain is a personal thing that seems to want to be kept isolated and alone. However, when we look up from our sorrow and reach out to help someone else, it is amazing how our own hearts begin to heal. Our joy returns when we help to bring joy to someone else.

“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, 
but they sing as they return with the harvest.” Psalm 126:5-6

Courageously trusting Him,






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19 comments

  1. Wow!!! Such powerful encouragement. I love this post and have shared it with a friend who desperately needs to hear your words!! Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings
    Stacey

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  2. Thank you, Stacey! I pray that your friend is encouraged as she is going through this time. Blessings, Joan

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  3. This is so good! I am going to share this, for I know it will bless many!

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  4. Thanks for sharing it, Barbie! My hope is that it will be an encouragement to those who need a hug from God.


    In His grip, Joan

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  5. Valerie RichardsonJanuary 3, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Hearty stuff for the soul! Vulnerability is a incredible gift. As is courage! Thanks for yours!

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  6. Though I haven't enjoyed going through this trial, I am full of thanks and gratitude for the things that God is showing me! I know He is growing and strengthening me and I can feel my heart beginning to heal. He is so good...ALL THE TIME!


    Blessings sweet friend, Joan

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  7. Comforting, heart felt truth, Joan. Thank you for sharing with us. You are in my prayers my friend x

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  8. I'm so comforted knowing that God is by my side...He is growing my faith and that is a true blessing! Thank you for your prayers, Anita!


    In His grip, Joan

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  9. Hi Joan, wow, this is such great and practical advice. I am writing these 10 points down as soon as I am done here. I especially like point 2! Such great truth that. God bless Joan and thank you for the encouragement.
    Tracy

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  10. Hi Tracy!
    I'm so glad you found this post helpful! As I re-read it myself, I am encouraged to keep trusting God! He is doing a good work in me and I am so thankful!


    Blessings, Joan

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  11. This is going to help so many people. I'm so sorry you've had to walk these lessons to share with us what you've learned, but I'm so thankful for your courage to do so. Thank you. And thanks for linking them up with Recommendation Saturday! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  12. Thanks for you're encouragement, Shelly! My prayer is also that this post will have something helpful for someone who is going through a trial. Thanks for stopping by today!


    Blessings, Joan

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  13. This is a wonderful list! Very well thought out :) Here's my SS:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2014/01/spiritual-sunday-not-for-moment-1514.html



    Colletta

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  14. Thanks for stopping by today! Blessings, Joan

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  15. Thanks, Deb! Rejection causes terrible pain. However, God is the salve for our wounds, isn't He? Even through this experience, He is teaching me so much. He always has a plan and I am trusting Him for His plans are always good!!


    Blessings, Joan

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  16. Excellent advice, Joan. I'm glad you shared it. I know it will help many people.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  17. Thank you, Charlotte! It is a process that isn't always easy, but with God, we can take comfort that He will bring us through any trial!


    Blessings, Joan

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  18. Joan, I'm so sorry I missed this post in the link-up. But oh so grateful that I'm going back to make sure I did not miss any. This is such wonderful advise. Thank you for sharing with us what you have learned through your healing process. You have provided good wisdom here.
    Thank you for being a part of the TWW family.
    Much love,
    Beth

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  19. Hi Beth! Thank you for your encouragement! We can count on God in all of our circumstances. I am so thankful for the lessons He teaches while lovingly walking by our side!


    Blessings, Joan

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