We all get wounded. The question is are we living wounded or living with our wounds?
If you are living wounded, then you may…
- Walk around as a victim.
- Refuse to release the pain.
- Struggle to surrender.
- Hold grudges.
- Allow every negative circumstance to remind you of previous negative circumstances.
- Battle depression.
- Pull away from friends and family.
- Be bitter.
- Live paranoid.
- Be angry.
I’m not saying this is an end-all-be-all list for people who are walking around nursing their wounds. In fact, if you can think of other tell-tale signs that someone is living wounded, add them to the comments!
What’s interesting is that we are often blind to the fact that we are nursing our wounds. In fact, we may even think we are doing what we need to care for our wounds. Self-medication does work…for a while. Eventually, those things you are using to numb the pain will not work anymore. And then you will have a choice: Do you continue down the self-destructive path you are on, or do you decide to get help? The hard truth is that some of you cannot make progress in your healing because you are afraid to entrust your wound to someone else.
Jesus Christ didn’t just come to save us from our sins, but also to heal us from our wounds.
Think about it: A daughter is in an accident, rushed to the emergency room, rescued into stable condition, and ushered into the ICU. The father arrives and decides that Urgent Care treatment is all he is willing to pay for. She will therefore spend the rest of her life in the ICU. Sound realistic? Nope. So why do we think our Heavenly Father will do the same and maybe even worse with us? Yes, He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. We are in “stable condition” if we accept Jesus as our Savior. However, Jesus also came to give abundant life (John 10:10). Unfortunately, Satan is the Father of all lies and he seeks to utterly destroy us (John 8:44, 1 Peter 5:8). He convinces us that we can take care of ourselves, that there’s nothing more to be done, and that we have to live wounded.
But you see, there is a difference between living wounded and living with our wounds.
Here is another illustration: If you were to severely cut your arm, you would have a bloody mess on your hands (pun not intended…but it’s awesome). You would have to spend weeks cleaning and caring for your wound. Ultimately, it would heal and leave a small scar hardly anyone would notice. Since you took the time to clean and mend the cut, it no longer causes pain. The only way anyone would know about the wound is if you felt lead to show and tell.
The same thing occurs with our emotional wounds. When we are initially hurt emotionally, we are bleeding everywhere. We have to go through intense treatment. Once we have healed, we have the scar, but not the intense pain. We learn to live and are able to interact again healthily.
It takes time and hard work to heal.
The healing process is made up of both discovery and application.
- Discovery: Discovering your triggers…what causes the wound to flair and be painful. Some of you have certain M.O. reactions that you just consider “part of your personality” now. You’ve never taken the time to discover what your body believes are threats to your wound. And so it goes into “fight or flight” mode to protect you. However, these responses are not healthy to you or your relationships and you need to pay attention to when, where, and why they are happening so you can determine what caused them.
- Application: Once you discover what your triggers are, you can begin to apply healthy response techniques to those triggers. You can rewire your brain to stop interpreting certain situations as dangerous. You can teach your body to live and interact peacefully with your surroundings. But it does take time, patience, and practice.
I named my podcast Scar Stories because when we do the hard work of healing, our scars become our stories. We get to use our stories to redeem and rescue those who feel just as alone, forgotten, embarrassed, discouraged, and hopeless as we once did. This is your battle wound that God will use to heal others when you are ready. Don’t let anyone take advantage of your scar or use your scar. Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You need to own it because the world needs it.