The last 10 days have been very emotional, the book launch, replying to comments, sending out books to people. I am so grateful that the book is published, and my husband’s wishes honoured, and I thank people for their thoughtful insights, and encouragement. Colin would have loved that people heard his poems, and read of his experiences.
It has also been a time of pain – reliving things again, and realising that the impact of some of these things are still very much with us as a family. The memories don’t leave you, but we pray that they will become less distressing, and that we learn from them, and that God uses them for good.
Some people think that for a wound to heal, it needs to be exposed to air. This is controversial, but it could be that at times exposing an emotional wound can be helpful, so it doesn’t fester, and that talking it through in a safe place, might bring understanding and perspective. In life, we often have difficult experiences, and they can leave scars that tell their own story. God can bring healing in different ways, through being listened to, prayer, appropriate trauma therapies etc, often through connection, as it indicates in the quotation above.
One of the books that has always spoken to my soul is that of Henri Nouwen ” The wounded healer” and he talks about how the things that hurt us, can be redeemed. He says:
” nobody escapes being wounded. We are all wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. The main question is not ” How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ” how can we put our woundedness in the service of others?. When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and have become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”
When we are hurting, the pain is such that we are often immobilised. We cannot see beyond it. But once the healing process starts, it often helps to find some kind of meaning in what has taken place, wherever possible. I believe that God does not want to cause us pain, but that when things go wrong, that He can help us find something we can learn from it, even our hurt and shame. Telling our story can be part of that healing process.
In Isaiah 53: 5, it says of the Suffering servant ” By His wounds, we are healed”, and as Christians we know that Jesus’ death on the cross, brings us cleansing, forgiveness, and healing, the possibility of new beginnings. For all those who are wounded veterans, and their families, or people struggling with disabilities or mental health issues, or people weary of lockdown, may they trust in Jesus, and find the deep healing that he can bring.
Let us pray,
Lord Jesus – You understand the things that have hurt us and caused us pain,
The memories we struggle with, the injuries we have endured, and inflicted.
In your life, you were mocked, beaten, and died on a wooden cross,
Yet your Love shone, even then.
For all who hurt today, come along side us and bring healing grace and hope,
Bring healing in the way best for each individual,
So that we in turn, can provide a listening ear, prayer, and a safe space for others,
To feel heard and valued and loved. Holy Spirit help us we pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.