Healing isn’t a process that happens by accident—it’s a transformation that requires a good amount of grit, fortitude, and courage. As the president of a residential treatment program for young women struggling with life-controlling issues, I have the daily privilege of coming alongside some of the most courageous young women on the planet. The women who walk through the doors at Mercy Multiplied have made the courageous decision to face what they’re struggling with, whether it be depression, sexual abuse, eating disorders, self-harm, addictions, or sex trafficking. They’re willing to face the hurts of their past so that God can redeem and restore their lives. I call them “my heroes,” because these young women have decided not to run from their pasts, but to face them head-on so that Jesus can bring the healing that only He can bring. The pain of their past no longer has the power to direct their future!
Whether big or small, we all have hurts in our lives that have impacted how we think, live, and behave today. Any person with an unhealed hurt will find their lives negatively impacted in one way or another, because the enemy wants to use our hurts to hold us back.
But the idea of going back to face past hurts can feel scary, because it means unlocking the box with all the emotions in it. So we have to pray for the courage to persevere in the face of fear. And to be honest, we can’t run from our hurts because they always catch up. As I often say, “If you don’t deal with them, they will deal with you!”
The truth is that pouring out our emotions to God is where inner healing begins. Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Being open and honest with Him about the pain of our past is vital in helping us move forward. He is not afraid or offended by our anger, our disappointment, or our confusion, even if it is directed at Him.
Jesus has a response to our pain. He has something to say about the situations we have faced and the damage we have sustained. He wants to bring healing and show us His perspective. He wants to let us know that He was never the source of our pain, but He will be the source for our healing if we allow Him to be.
It is important to allow God to bring up the hurtful memories that we are ready to process with Him. We should not chase down memories on our own that the Lord has not brought up. When God reveals a hurt that we need to process with Him, we can ask Him what He wants us to know about the memory, how it affected us, what His perspective is about what happened, what lies we believed about Him or about ourselves as a result, and what His truth is!
As we release that memory to God, we can ask Him to heal us to the root of the hurt. (And if it’s appropriate for the situation, I encourage you to consider doing this process with a Christian counselor or pastor.)
Allowing Jesus to heal past hurts is a critical key to living in freedom, but it requires courage. It requires a willingness to face the pain of the past and process it with God so that He can bring about the kind of healing that transforms your life.
I encourage you, friend: Don’t spend one more day letting your past hurts lead the way. Instead, pray for the courage to face your past so that God can radically transform your future! Through the power of Christ, you can overcome whatever issues or hurts you may be struggling with. I believe that freedom and healing are available for you!
Nancy Alcorn is the Founder and President of Mercy Multiplied, a free-of-charge, faith-based residential program for young women struggling with life-controlling issues ages 13 to 32 with multiple locations in the United States and around the world. Her latest book, Treatment or Transformation: 13 Real Stories Why You Can't Argue with a Changed Life, shares the stories of women who had the courage to face their pasts, their issues, and their unhealed pain head-on. Learn more at www.MercyMultiplied.com.