Some people have hurt me in my life. Some long ago. Some recent. Some repeated. Some just once. Here’s what I recently wrote in my journal:
Holy Spirit, please soften my heart towards — and — and —. I am carrying anger, sadness and fear towards each of them. I want to be set free. I am tired of the pain that keeps being inflicted and the pain I keep allowing by rehashing. Help me take my thoughts captive. Please minimize the effects that each one has on me. Please protect my heart and mind from each one. Please help me forgive each one. Please help me see each one as you do (created by You, loved by You, hurting in their own ways). Please heal my every wound. I give each one of them to You. Help me let each one go, as completely as I can.
Yes, I have been hurt. And yes, you have been hurt. Yes, I am still being hurt. And yes, you are more than likely currently being hurt by someone.
Our pain is real. Our pain is valid.
But I want to touch on a couple things. I had a mini-revelation when I was journaling. I told God I was tired of the pain that kept coming (so true) but then I admitted that I was also tired of the pain that I kept allowing to wash over me with every reiteration of the words or circumstances, with every obsessive thought and replay and memory.
You see, I think there’s the pain that has been inflicted. And that is one thing. And it is important to acknowledge.
But then there is what we do with that pain that can – if we’re reckless with our thoughts – multiply our experience of that original wounding.
If you are a rehasher like I am, you know what I’m talking about. We get hurt. And then we think about that hurt and we journal about that hurt and we talk about that hurt and we think about that hurt some more and we come up with what we wish we would have said or how we can’t believe that’s what was said and pops us in our minds when we’re driving or in the shower or whenever or wherever and we are like a dog with a bone. And we take that initial wound and we EXPLODE it all over ourselves, and it becomes – dare I say – even bigger than it originally was.
So, I must acknowledge that the people who have hurt me are hurting. And then my already-established hurt clouds my perceptions of that hurt and enlarges it. And then, you guessed it, I have the capacity to turn around and hurt others.
there’s a struggle in this life we lead /
it’s partly you / it’s partly me
Thankfully, I went on to journal:
And in turn, please soften my rough edges and protect others from me and prevent me from being someone else’s toxic person.
I’ve talked about this before but we can’t all be the victim 100% of the time. We are all the hurters and the hurtees. We just are. Because we are all human.
So next time you are hurt, try asking God to give you a realistic perspective of the situation – not to minimize or enlarge what happened. And ask him to keep you from turning around and hurting someone else with the pain you just experienced.
Help us, Lord, to “love one another fervently and with pure hearts” (I Peter 1:22). Amen.
If this post resonated with you, my collection of essays, You’re Going to Make It Through, will help you continue your healing. And check out my new podcast, All That to Say.
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FORMAT: You can now decide between receiving the content weekly for twelve weeks or in a guidebook pdf!
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Marriage Methods is for women in challenging marriages who are hoping to stay but in better ways. You can see all the details and register here: https://bit.ly/marriage-methods-pwyc
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NEW COURSE: TIME FOR A CHANGE (starting July 6!)
I know a woman who has been unhappy with a few key components of her life for about ten years now.
She also knows what she wants her life to look like.
But here’s the thing: She hasn’t made any changes or choices that would move her from where she is now to where she wants to be.
I don’t judge her.
I think many, many, many of us have lived seasons (or entire lives) that way, just sort of waiting for something to happen to us.
I hate to break it to all of us but 9 times out of 10, our lives will not just up and change on their own without our participation.
My youth pastor’s wife used to tell me, “God doesn’t move parked cars”.
He can but he typically doesn’t.
So, let me ask you:
is there something going on in your life that you would like to change but don’t know where to start?
is there a dream that you’d like to pursue but haven’t yet?
is there a place in your heart or mind or life that feels stuck and you need a gentle push?
Then I invite you to join me for a four-week nudging experience that I’m calling Time for a Change.
We will assess your reality, define where you want to be/what you want to change, and make a plan to move you forward.
You will receive weekly readings and weekly reflection exercises via email and the option to add one thirty-minute coaching call with me. We’ll start Tuesday, July 6!
You can register here: https://bit.ly/time-for-a-change-course