ACL Healing is a 4 part series based off insights from “The Wounded Heart” by Dr. Dan Allender.
How can we move past the wounds in our life that steal our joy and desire to love and be loved? How can we find healing and begin to live that abundant life God desires to give us? There are three painful, difficult, and yet totally worthwhile steps – a lifelong process really – that open the door to healing our wounds. (If you’re starting here, before you go any further, please read the first part of this series and answer the critical question.)
What are your wounds? Maybe you were bullied at school and you carry great shame and anger from it. Maybe someone abused you and left you with a sense of powerlessness and self-contempt. Maybe you struggle with addictions – substances or behaviours.
When we want healing from our wounds, the tendency is to look at the most obvious manifestations. Nothing wrong with that but the real work is to look below the surface. Was there a situation, environment, or relationship that made you vulnerable and at risk? What did that situation, environment, or relationship teach you about yourself (your worth and belonging?), how to relate to others, even how to live?
“The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced.” Dan Allender
Healing begins with acknowledgement because God can only heal or change that which we are willing to acknowledge. We must acknowledge our losses and the injustices done to us that left us vulnerable to being wounded. It’s recognizing that we were ripped off from a loving environment or maybe we were not well protected by our caregivers; perhaps it was blatant neglect or even a hostile environment. Whatever your brokenness is, it is acknowledged through self-awareness, acceptance (like giving up trying to change the past?), and even grieving the loss.
The process of acknowledgement is ongoing because our wounds are many layered. We may need to move slowly and gently, perhaps with the help of a professional counsellor. It can be overwhelming to face the sources of our brokenness all at once. But to be truly alive, face them we must.