Just like the important individuals in our lives, circumstances and traumatic events of life shape us. What one finds traumatic, another may not; this is personal feeling and is not right or wrong. Healing comes by placing the past in the hands of Jesus. There are folks who do that easily–but truly letting Jesus into the memories enlarges your capacity and understanding of His presence. We cannot give to others what we have not received. The more we accept of His love in the details–the more we have to give to others.
Current medical research finds that ‘unhealed’ childhood traumas surface in a vast array of medical issues. In fact, studies indicate that 80-95% of all medical and psychological illnesses originate from unresolved trauma. Christ still heals and He is the Mighty Counselor. You can trust His love to re-frame anything you have, do or will face! Consider which of the influences have impacted your life in the past (or in the present):
Illicit Sexual Activity (promiscuity, homosexuality)
Death of a loved one
Other addictions: gambling, food, pornography
Abandonment (including adoption grief)
Other trauma: fire, accident, major illness/injury etc
There is often fear involved with even looking at difficult things of the past. That spirit of fear is a tool the enemy uses to hold you captive. Discipleship Coaching aids in finding the treasures buried in the dark times; God never allows what cannot be transformed.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
As you look at the INFLUENCES, write a list of the top three stressful influences in your life. Prayerfully consider the following questions as you journey toward God in those areas.
- What feelings rise up for each…list specific words as best you can. If you need help with identifying (or being persuaded to feel emotions), visit: Discipleship Coaching: Emotions.
- How did/does each experience influence how I see myself?
- How does this experience influence how I relate to others?
- How did/does this experience influence how I see God?
Finally, assess (on a scale of 1-10) how ‘healed’ do you feel from these experiences. 0 being “I feel the pain as sharply today as then”, 5 being “I survive” and 10 being “God is using this for great glory in my life.”
Life does not happen without hard, painful things. In fact, the greatest opportunities lie in those dark times. However, a barrier to blessing is unforgiveness. True forgiveness is rare–and incredibly difficult. It does not excuse wrong behavior but it does not use wrong behavior against another. Forgiveness is the foundation of the Christian faith and such a major topic, it demands focused attention in its own right.
The forgiveness of Christ gives us life; our forgiveness of others is also life-giving.