Betrayal, Abandonment, Sexual Abuse, Death – Heart Wounders
Heart wounds can leave a person in emotional or mental chains unable to find their purpose and lacking joy in living. Have you ever had someone betray, forsake, or rob you of something precious? Have you ever lost someone you loved deeply? Before this life is over, you may have experienced one or more of these things, or you’ve known people who have. These painful experiences run much deeper than some of life’s “normal” frustrations and disappointments. How can you move on and heal? God hears your pain and wants to make you free. He has placed you in relationships for your good.
We can all be a part of the healing process in the lives of those around us. Scripture depicts the Body of Christ, collective believers of the Christian faith, in an metaphorical description. We are to work like a human body with each part having a purpose. None of us have it all. We are complete when we work in harmony, using the gifts God has given each of us. 1 Corinthians 12:12 explains we are a unit, composed of many parts. God never intended us to live in isolation.
When your heart has been broken, draw near to God. Seek Him by telling him how you feel. Invite him into your mess. Draw near to others who will listen. Scripture teaches in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. (The Message)” From the beginning of creation, God considered our need for others to help us. God made sure to make a companion for His first human being, a “helpmate,” thus the marriage relationship. Each person was intended to help the other become stronger. The blessing of having a caring-someone who listens is powerful. Yes, the ultimate Healer is God himself, but he did place us in community for a reason.
Perhaps, your heart wound is being saved, locked away inside you–you do not believe it can be shared. You may feel shame or blame associated with it. So your best option seems to be to “stuff it” in a secret place. The hiding of your pain will only compound your grief. It is healthy to be selective about who you share with. Having someone calm and accepting, someone you can trust with your pain, will empower you. Therapy is also recommended for severe wounds, but holding your burden inside is deadly. You need to be set free.
You Are Not Alone
If you think you can’t share because no one else will understand, you may be shocked. People don’t talk about difficult topics like sexual abuse because of the emotional complexities. Children who have experienced such betrayal, often from an adult they trusted, often become bound by guilt and shame. They are not the guilty party, but their innocence has been stolen leaving them feeling worthless and alone. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls have been abused by the time they are 18. If you think you are alone, you may be trying to hide a secret from someone who shares the same secret.
Another type of heart wound can be present with young women who have experienced an abortion, feeling trapped and incapable of handling an unplanned pregnancy. Many feel they cannot talk about their decision, which can be accompanied by guilt, regret, and even depression. Flashbacks and anniversary grief are not uncommon. Talking about these emotions with a trusted, compassionate person can release the secret and allow healing to begin. Post-abortion Bible studies are available through most Pregnancy Center ministries to help with your healing journey. God is merciful, and He hears your heart.
Often forgiveness is a part of the healing and recovery process. Sometimes you are the one to ask for forgiveness, and other times, you may need to forgive the one who stole something from you — your innocence, your ability to trust, your sense of value as a person. Christ came to be our Healer, and through him we can ask forgiveness and become FREE to have relationship with God. Forgiveness is our model for freedom and healing. When you are stuck in bitterness and cannot let go, you will live like a victim. It may take time and effort to forgive those who have hurt you, but then you will find your victory and release from bondage.
Healing is possible, even with deep heart wounds. You can recover and find happiness. Don’t fear sharing with others you know can trust. Be aware of the need to listen to others who may also need you to hear their story. You are not alone with your grief. God is a God who adores you and none of your story will drive him away. Jesus said, in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Receive his rest and seek his presence. You are not alone….
With love and prayers for all who have felt the trauma of “heart wounds.”
Enjoy this beautiful song: “Weary Traveler” by Jordan St. Cyr
“You weren’t meant to travel this road alone …”
Heart wounds are worse than physical ones, in my opinion, and especially when they are unintended and unrecognized by a loved one who would never intentionally cause a wound. I’ve been there and empathize with anyone else who has.