I’ve been on the phone a lot lately with a friend who is going through the messy aftermath of a hurtful break up.
The man she thought she was going to marry wasn’t close to the man he turned out to be.
Not only is she dealing with the grief of a lost relationship of a future husband, but also the loss of the man she thought she loved, a man she now has to accept as a fraud. Isn’t that hard? Have you been there?
It’s been several months since this occurred for my friend. She told me recently that one minute she feels better, and the next, she feels as if she has made no progress at all. Anger, then tears; resentment, then hurt. She said she wondered if her anger was just a way to mask something else–like rejection. “Healing has many phases,” I told her, “and each may feel different. But, each is needed.”
When I was healing from my lumpectomy, I first felt soreness, which was quickly followed by throbbing pain. After that subsided a bit, the itching on my incisions began. It became all I noticed! Sure, I still felt some throbbing, but the itching was so prominent that the throbbing wasn’t as evident. After the itching subsided, I ached and had some stinging shooting pain every now and then. Now, a year later, I still feel soreness every now and then if I use my left arm too much. That’s how the healing process is with our bodies and it’s not very different with our souls.
As we heal, we feel different kinds of emotion and different kinds of emotional pain. Anger, sorrow, tears and then sometimes a bit more anger are all part of the healing process. If one sort of pain resurfaces, it doesn’t mean we’re regressing in our healing, it means we are still progressing. I learned not to be alarmed at the different emotions that surfaced and not to assume that they were there because of a willingness to denying another. We don’t need to over analyze any emotion; we just need to feel the emotion. Letting it run its course through our hearts is part of the healing process.
As my author friend, Alicia Chole says, “God reveals so he can heal.” When one emotion is revealed, it’s because in that moment, that is the area in your heart that God is working to heal. Every painful emotion you feel is not a place you land, a place to grow roots, or an ultimate destination. No, every painful emotion you feel is just another brick to pass over on the road to complete healing.
Layers of emotion require levels of healing. So don’t deny the emotion. Instead, ask God to let it run its course. Ask Him to help you use it as an “intuitive detective” that will lead you to truth.
My last comment to my friend, and to any of you that might be struggling is this: hang in there! You won’t always feel this way, I promise. As Paul said, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all,” (2 Cor. 4:17).
Question: Where do you need healing today? Leave a comment here.