by Brittney Chan
For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord;
A few years ago, I interned at a physical therapy clinic in my hometown. While I was there, I had the chance to learn about scar management. After a surgery or injury, thick scars can grow and get attached to underlying tissues and muscles. So much so that it can prohibit movement and create functional limitations.
I dare to say that spiritual scars work in the same manner. Injuries come and wounds heal, but the scars stay. While often undetectable by others, we still have to look at them. They serve as constant reminders of the hurts that still affect us. They can also limit the freedom that we have through the Holy Spirit.
I'm writing to you to say what God's been teaching me very recently. Over the last year and a half or so, I've been dealing with a pretty significant scar from my past. I had always been able to cover it up, but lately it seemed to grow bigger and harder to shy away from. It started affecting how I prayed, if I did; and how I worshiped. Growing up as a PK made the four walls of the church like a second home to me. I knew how to go through the motions and "play church" so that no one else could pick up on it.
Pardon my transparency for a moment…
This struggle changed how I dealt with people or how much I could "put up" with them. It changed how I taught, how I lived, and what personal convictions I let down. It changed my respect for the ministry and other people in it. The most devastating thing though: it changed my perception of God and of myself.
If He didn't care, why should I?
I just felt hurt. And can I tell you? Hurt people hurt people. Whether completely intentional or not...it happens.
I talked to other people and told them my story, but no one had the answer I wanted to hear. I tried to "pray about it", but it felt more like I was just yelling at God. My scars were deep and growing deeper by the day.
It's called myofascial release in the therapy world. I remember a patient who came into our clinic after undergoing carpal tunnel surgery. In the healing process, the scar on her hand had hardened; causing pain and prohibiting movement. It had to be fixed. I watched as she moved with caution, managing to protect her hand until she made it safely to the therapy table. Her eyes widened as the OT put a yellow suction pump in front of her. This tool would be used to pull the scar up and away until there was a release from the layers underneath. It wouldn't be pleasant. At all.
A few months ago, on Sunday night, I walked into church daring enough to hope that God might meet me there. I was tired of hurting, tired of feeling like a failure, tired of looking for someone else to blame. If you have ever experienced the liberty given by God, then you'll understand when I say this: I was tired of being stiff.
Bro. Dennis Heath started preaching on a "Faith Greater than the Fire." At one point during his message, he asked why the Hebrew boys didn't just walk out of the fire after God showed up and freed them from the chains that had them bound. He said it was because the God they found in the fire was greater than the king outside of it.
Re-read that last line. Let it sink in.
Sometimes we can't change the fire around us, especially when it's a part of our past. We can't instantly change the way people view us. We can't change what has been done to us or what's been said about us. However, the trials of this life present us with the greatest opportunity we will ever have; and that is to know God better. He can meet us where we are. It happens when we let go of our pride, bitterness, or resentment and allow His healing hand to restore.
When I prayed that night at church, I felt the release I needed. Yes, it was painful. It wasn't pleasant at all. For a long time, all I could pray was, "Heal me."
But that's the thing about Jesus - He can understand the cries of our hearts even when we can't find the right words to say. After all, that is the very reason He came to us. Jesus proclaimed, "The Spirit of the Lord...hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted..." (Luke 4:18, KJV).
If you are hurting, let Him fulfill His purpose in you. Let Him heal you.