- Melinda K. Bowens
You don't deserved to be healed...or so you think
You Don’t Deserved To Be Healed…
Now that I have your attention (however harsh it may be right now), let me clarify. It’s not that I don’t believe you deserve healing, I was just speaking the thoughts in your mind. The thoughts you have when you want to move on from something you’ve done, but you feel stuck. The thoughts you have at night when you much rather be sleeping, but you can’t. The thoughts you have when you finally think you’re going to be happy, but you just miss it. The low whispering, yet strong-in-impact thought of you’re not worthy enough to be different than your past (by past I mean, literally ANY time frame preceding you reading this sentence). The thought of YOU don’t deserved to be healed.
If it makes you feel any better, you’re right; you don’t deserve it. But God isn’t in the business of going tit-for-tat with us and our wrong doing, so He doesn’t treat us as we deserve (Psalm 103: 10), He treats us faaaaaaaaaaar better!
So, follow me for a few moments as I build this framework and don’t just skip to the end. Yes, I’m calling you out person who’s too busy to invest 8.3 minutes into better self-care (insert emoji eyes). For this small amount of time, I’m not talking about the healing we have to do after someone or someones have hurt, abused, neglected or tried to destroy us; I’m talking about healing from the times we have hurt, abused, neglected and tried to destroy ourselves.
Don’t run away or call me crazy yet.
Some of us have lived through events and periods of life that should have absolutely broken us, but they didn’t. We have had to pretend that everything is okay, but yet be afraid to go home. We have had to have the perfect speech ready for anyone who crossed our path in a day, but be without words to describe our internal pain. We have had to look unimaginable circumstances in the face and choose to be better than what was handed to us. But yet here we are. Not wrestling the demons of days past (or so we think), but fighting ourselves because we just don’t understand why we can’t just “pull it together.”
This conversation goes a little something like this (feel free to make edits to fit your story): I’ve had to deal with much more than this, so why can’t I just be better that this.” Or, “This shouldn’t be this hard. I’m a better person than this.”
This one-sided, rarely productive conversation usually comes right after we have done something that reinjures us. Still pushing me away? Don’t worry I have examples (I like examples). If we were abandoned earlier in life, we put ourselves back in situations where we will likely be abandoned again; like entering into relationships (or general emotional connections) with people who in the long run can’t give us what we’re seeking because they’re unavailable for whatever reasons. If we were neglected, we connect ourselves to people who have certain traits; those traits probably look like lack of emotional intelligence and inability to provide warmth.
Over and over again, we give and we give. We cross our line of being comfortable in what we give. Then we cross the new line that we set. Then we just throw the line out the window, because the drive of hoping to heal a part of ourselves is stronger than we care to admit. But we do however end up with some new gifts out of our situations, including but certainly not limited to: regret, shame, embarrassment, condemnation, guilt, confusion and disappointment. And if we stick with being honest here, these are more so refurbished gifts because we’re quite familiar with them. Except now, these gifts don’t come from someone else, we’re delivering them to ourselves. (Also, if you didn’t notice, I’m totally being sarcastic by calling these things gifts.)
Congratulations!!! We have now graduated from others placing the title of “unworthy” on us, to placing the title (and much worse) on ourselves. (More sarcasm)
But what’s not funny is that we believe that we are damaged and not worthy of having God’s future for our lives because of our past. We sit here again quietly mulling over how we don’t deserve to be healed. Because that’s how we’re used to internalizing things and took that same stance to God (and didn’t even blink).
Follow this story with me:
There was a mom waiting in the Starbucks line in Target (because if Target is the new nightclub then Starbucks is the new bartender, but I digress). She had what appeared to be her two sons in tow with her; maybe about 9 and 10 years old. One son is patiently waiting with her, the other not so much. He is having the time of his life running around while we’re mourning the loss of that pumpkin spiced tumbler display Starbucks had placed near the exit of the store. After all the commotion, the mom finally received her order of three hot drinks. Mission accomplished! But not so fast, the active son apparently still had some energy left. No sooner than he had that cup in his hand, he took that lid off and that drink was everywhere. He poured it on himself and his brother. OUCH!!!! Now the screams and tears are rolling because they have both been burned and it hurts!
Reading this story as a good parent, which child do you think the mother wanted to stop hurting? Which child do you think she took the time to address his wounds and pains? *insert quiz timer* The answer is both! As a good parent, she wasn’t going to care for one son and leave the other rolling in pain on the floor. As a good parent, she wanted both of her sons to equally be out of the pain they were in.
This mom was only a good parent. We have access to a perfect Father.
Is God okay with us being out here destroying the Starbucks display that is our life? No.
But He is a Father that wants us out of the pain we’re in.
So, when His word says that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3), He means ALL the broken hearts and ALL the wounds. Even the ones we brought on ourselves.
And if you’re still rolling your eyes at me, we need to pray about that! But really, words are nice but we need some action!
Questions! (Answer these question with brutal honesty. We only get the depth of the healing we’re willing to fight for.)
Why do you believe you’re undeserving of being healed?
What does God’s word say about those things you believe make you undeserving?
Which answer is going to carry more authority in your life? God’s word or your own.
Be honest with Jesus
We can’t be healed living a lie and we can’t be healed while straddling the fence of which side we’re going to commit to. Jesus understands our shortcomings, but He doesn’t condone them. We must repent and turn away from sin to receive the healing that is going to come from our Father in heaven.
James 5:15; Acts 3:19
Be honest with another person
Accountability matters. Not carrying burdens alone matters. Our lives are meant to be lived in community, otherwise it is hard and seemingly unbearable. Challenge your pride today and confess your shortcomings and hardships to another person. Someone you trust and who is spiritually sound.
James 5:16; Galatians 6:2
Move on and accept God’s love
No matter how hard we keep trying to sabotage ourselves from the wound of unworthiness, we can’t escape God’s love. We’ve tried it for 10, 20, 30, 40+ years of our lives. Here we are still trying and here God is still loving us. What’s our end game with this process anyway? Prove God doesn’t love us and we’ve been right all along?! Y’all, that plan SUCKS!!! We need a new one anyway!
So here’s the new plan: You are forgetting the things of your past (again, the past is anything that happened before you read that sentence). There are literally zero things you can do in life to go back and alter the past, zero. But you can be a person of integrity, love and all those things you hoped for from this day forward.
The other part of the plan is to believe that God loves you SO much that He still has this beautiful journey mapped out ahead of you; if you will life your head from your sorrows long enough to see it.
Romans 2:4; Philippians 3:13; Jeremiah 29 (with special attention to v. 11)