The Process of Hope and Healing

 

Growing up in a dysfunctional home is difficult.  For many of us the emotional consequences may take years for full recovery. We can be encouraged in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles and that there is a way for healing and hope. Thousands of Christians are finding healing through the principles of God’s Word.

 

Several ingredients are required for emotional healing. These ingredients promote healing by working together simultaneously over a period of time. These elements are: honesty, affirming relationships, right thinking, the Holy Spirit, and time.

 

Honesty

 

Many of us mistakenly believe God doesn’t want us to be honest about our past and present lives. We may think that God will be upset with us if we tell Him how we really feel. The scriptures tell us that God wants us to be honest with others, ourselves, and with our Heavenly Father. David wrote, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” Therapist/lecturer Robert McGee states – “We can apply and experience healing only to the depth that we are aware of our need for it.”  If we are only superficially aware of our need and not honest about it, we will only seek and find superficial remedies.

 

Affirming Relationships

 

We need others to encourage and affirm us through the process of hope and healing.  People rarely have the objectivity and the will to be honest about their healing needs without the affirmation of others.  A friend, a small group, a pastor, a counselor can be that tangible expression of God’s love and strength to our hurts.

 

Right Thinking

 

God’s Word is our guide to right thinking.  It is truly a “lamp for our feet and a light for our path” (Ps 119:105). Denial and low self-esteem are typical barriers for adult children of alcoholics to receive God’s grace and forgiveness.  Scripture can be used to identify and lovingly confront these barriers, enabling us to experience an open and honest relationship with God.

 

The Holy Spirit

 

The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. Total healing involves the spiritual dimension of our being. The Holy Spirit’s work is that of producing truth (honesty) and courage in our lives as we grapple with the reality of our past pain.

 

Time

 

Healing typically does not occur microwave style.  Scripture speaks to us in terms of seasons.  Our pain and childhood struggles occurred over time, so would it not make sense for our recovery to take time?  My father, who is a farmer does not expect his corn to be planted and produce yields in a short time period.  It is unrealistic for us to expect spiritual and emotional healing instantaneously.

 

Those of us from alcoholic or dysfunctional homes have more to overcome than those from healthier homes.  Many of us have suppressed intense hurt and anger for years.  Just as a broken leg requires more attention, time and therapy than does a small cut, people suffering from deep spiritual and emotional injuries need more time, attention, love and encouragement.