Meet the Healer

Find Healing through Jesus Christ


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Learning About Love

Transition

What an incredible season I’m in right now. I’m sorry for the lack of blog posts recently. I haven’t found it easy to write, due to a major life transition: getting married and moving to another region of the UK, with all the practical and emotional implications of that, both for me and for my children.image

Learning to love again and to share my life with a partner, after many years of singleness, has been a breathtaking roller coaster ride of emotions. Partnering with my husband, together with God, has been an exhilarating and sometimes painful journey of discovering trust and acceptance.

Occasionally I have experienced flashbacks, where the scenes of former hurts and abuses of trust replayed in my mind. It can be disconcerting when seemingly trivial events trigger old, distressing memories. Thankfully, I have been able to bring the memories to Jesus and receive healing.

Wrist Injury 

Three days after my wedding, I accidentally fell and broke my wrist.

The injury was quite severe, but with a combination of healing prayer and medical help, I was quickly back to normal. My physiotherapist was genuinely surprised at the speed of recovery and the extent of mobility in my wrist for an injury of this type. I’m thankful for the medical staff who treated me, and for the healing power of Jesus.

However, there is a deeper and more profound story that lies behind the physical healing.

History Rewritten

Immediately after the accident, as I sat in the hospital, awaiting treatment, I began thinking about the consequences of my injury. Without hesitation, I started apologising to my husband for causing him inconvenience; apologising for my “stupidity” at having this accident, which meant that I could only do light tasks, and I wouldn’t be able to drive the car for a number of weeks.

Irrational feelings hit me hard without warning. I felt suddenly inadequate, as if I was a useless burden. With my ability to be independent under threat, I felt fearful and out of control. These powerful waves of emotion made no logical sense. My husband was being gentle, kind and supportive towards me, yet a part of me expected him to be angry.

Old memories were resurfacing of situations where I had been rejected, even yelled at, for making mistakes like this, causing me to be on tenterhooks, waiting with trepidation for the all too familiar retaliation.

The retaliation never happened. My husband supported me for the whole time my wrist was in plaster, doing the extra driving and household tasks without complaint.

imageThis touched me deeply, to realise so early on in our marriage, that my husband loves me just as I am. I don’t need to prove myself. I don’t need to perform. He loves me if I’m having a bad day, just the same as if I’m having a good day.

All my old history of performance dependent, conditional love was rewritten in the space of a few weeks.

Love is Unconditional 

This knowledge that I am loved unconditionally has reduced me to tears on quite a number of occasions. Why would my husband love me even on days when I have little to give in return? Because that is the true nature of love: it’s unconditional.

And this love that I receive from my husband is a reflection of what God is like. There is nothing I can do or say to make God love me more, and there is nothing I can do or say to make God love me less. He just loves me, because it’s His nature to love. My security lies within this revelation.

Love: it’s an extraordinary, lifelong journey of discovery, and I’m still learning.

 

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Healing from an Abusive Relationship

imageIt’s a New Day…

Firstly, I want to apologise for not posting anything last month. Generally, I aim to write at least one post each month, but lately, I’ve had some significant life changes.

After many years of being single, I’m now in a new relationship. This summer I’m getting married and moving to another region of the UK.

For a season, my priorities have shifted, as I take a step of faith into a different future.

So, this is a very personal post about my own journey of healing from a previous abusive relationship, and gaining the courage to risk love again.

Manipulation and Control

Living with someone who uses manipulation and control to exert power can cause long term damage. This was the situation I found myself in, and it was a lengthy process for the cycles of guilt, shame and self blame to be completely broken.

Perhaps you can picture the scenario:

He loves me; he loves me not.

He is charming and attentive towards me; he is having affairs.

“I don’t want to be seen with you, if you are going out dressed like that.”

Nothing I do or say seems to be “right.”

He witholds affection, and tells me the problem lies with me; it’s due to my “fear of intimacy.”

When I try to change my behaviour, in an attempt to make the relationship work, he moves the goal posts.

He points the finger of blame at me when he finds situations difficult to handle.

He asks me to cover up for him, even to lie for him.

In moments of intimacy, when I share some of my hurts and insecurities, he initially appears to understand; this is stored up and used as ammunition against me, to confirm that I’m “mentally unbalanced,” and my opinion therefore can’t be trusted.

My emotions become erratic, with extreme highs and lows. I feel close to the edge; my behaviour seems a little crazy at times. I start to fear that I’m losing my mind.

Who am I?

Eventually, I start to forget who I am. My confidence is in shreds. Confusion, depression, feelings of desperation and powerlessness are an everyday feature of my life. The days pass in a blur, as I battle to survive the onslaught of verbal attacks on my character.

Caring for and protecting my children becomes my main focus, which causes more problems, as I’m accused of always putting the children first. My judgement is impaired; I can’t tell the difference between truth, exaggeration, and lies.

After the relationship finishes, it takes me a long time to emotionally let go. Even longer before I’m brave enough to talk with friends and bring the truth out into the light. Longer still until I can read an e-mail from my ex, without feeling fearful.

Severing Unhealthy Ties

It requires two people to sustain an unhealthy, codependent relationship. The person I am now would spot the warning signs and walk away. Back then, I was far less secure, and I engaged in a neurotic process of trying to rescue my ex from his depression and mood swings, and trying to earn his love. This wasn’t a healthy choice on my part. Both of us needed to take responsibility for our personal healing.

When an unhealthy relationship breaks down, the physical connection can be broken off quite quickly, simply by living apart. The emotional and spiritual connections can take longer to sever.

One book that I found especially helpful in my recovery from codependency is “Women Who Love Too Much,” by Robin Norwood.

Forgiveness and Healing of Memories

Choosing to forgive my ex for the hurts he inflicted was an important first step towards healing. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean allowing the person back into your life. In my case, I’ve also needed to establish strong, healthy boundaries, to prevent further manipulation and abuse.

I’ve received a lot of healing through prayer ministry, where the soul ties with my ex have been cut off. I’ve also been able to allow Jesus in to heal specific traumatic memories, so that those memories no longer have power and influence in my life.

Through my relationship with Jesus, I’ve learned so much about unconditional love. I’ve learned to love and accept myself, as well as other people, and to honour the uniqueness of each individual. I’ve enjoyed being single. During my years of singleness, walking closely with Jesus, I’ve discovered my calling and life’s purpose.

Trust Restoredimage

There are layers of healing; I knew that for me, to trust another person in a close relationship again would be the final stage of my healing.

Now I have a relationship with someone who loves and accepts me as I am, who honours my gifting and calling, and is committed to me in a way that sets me free to be me. Occasionally I have flashbacks, as old memories, that were buried, get stirred up. When this happens, we talk about it, pray and hand it over to Jesus.

My new relationship is bringing me into greater freedom than I’ve ever known.

For any readers, who have experienced dysfunctional, abusive relationships, I would like to say:

You are important to God and to me. Healing is possible.

If you would like us to pray for you, you can receive free, confidential prayer, via the prayer requests page.


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Father’s Blessing

Rejection and Fear

As I laid my hands on Julie’s broken leg, praying for physical healing, my heart was filled with compassion, as I sensed the weight of rejection and hurts she had experienced in her life.

Being incapacitated with an injury or illness can cause a person to feel very vulnerable. Losing the independence she was used to, Julie had been forced to rely on the few friends and family members who were willing to help her in practical ways, as she recovered from major surgery to her leg. Most of the time she had felt very alone and unsupported, and fearful about the future.

Julie needed physical healing. But perhaps even more than that, she needed to hear words of affirmation, to be reminded of her value; to be reminded that her life has purpose, that she matters.

She listened intently as I spoke the words that I sensed God gave me to share with her. As I prayed, she felt movement in her leg. There was no evidence of instant healing, but something had certainly happened. I encouraged her not to be fearful; on the contrary, to be hopeful and expectant of good news at her next hospital check up.

Lost Identity

Everywhere I go, I meet people who are hurting. Many of them live outwardly successful lives, yet inwardly they lack confidence. Some have low self esteem, and are plagued with self doubt. Some are more seriously depressed and struggle to believe their lives have meaning.

So many people seem to have lost their identity – or perhaps feel that they never discovered their identity in the first place.

Affirmation

As a mom, I’ve watched in amazement as my children have grown and developed before my eyes. Each child was born with a unique set of character traits and giftings, which can either be positively affirmed and encouraged, or ignored and neglected, or – at worst – even criticised and squashed.

I believe fathers have a special role to play in affirming and blessing their children. This is in no way meant to undermine those of you, like myself, who have been single moms. There is special grace and blessing for lone parents, which I’ve experienced powerfully at times.

There are many reasons why fathers are unable to bless and encourage their children, and this doesn’t have to be due to deliberate neglect. My own father was unable to be there for me as a child, as he suffered a debilitating illness.

This absence of a dad at a critical time in my life caused an insecurity in me, which led me to look for love in unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships. I received emotional healing when I experienced the unconditional love that my Father God has for me, and started upon a journey of discovery into my identity and life’s purpose.

Father’s Blessing

I would like to share the following Father’s Blessing from John Paul Jackson. I pray it encourages you.


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Creativity and Emotional Healing

imageDesire to Write

“There is a desire in you, hidden or already known, to write.” This was a prophetic word, that somebody wrote down for me a few years ago. It continued in the same vein, suggesting I was to express in words what is in my mind and heart.

This didn’t resonate with me; even as I thanked the person who had given me the prophetic word, I doubted whether he had truly heard from God. I tucked the piece of paper away, filing it away in my mind, to be revisited later.

God has a wonderful way of getting my attention. During the past year, I have received a series of unusual confirmations, often from people I hardly know, encouraging me to write.

Healing Takes Courage

What I hadn’t bargained for was the fear. I’m not talking about the usual kind of nervousness about stepping out of a comfort zone. This was a mind numbing, crippling, paralysing fear of writing. Every tiny step forward felt like wading through quicksand.

Oh, I read articles about conquering fears. I pushed myself hard, determined not to be defeated. But no amount of positive thinking or mind over matter helped.

“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” ~ Tori Amos

I had to dig deep to find the courage to write again.

Cry for Help?

My six year old self didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. I was just sharing the thoughts in my head. Keeping it real.

One thing was clear: my Mom was angry, and my stories had caused it.

My schoolteacher had concerns about my welfare, due to the somewhat morbid content of the stories I had written. Did she think I was making a cry for help? Whatever her reasons, she made a mistake in expressing those concerns to my parents; now I was in trouble.

Surviving Not Thriving

It was a logical decision to stop writing stories. Admittedly, it was going to be a challenge, since creative writing was part of the school curriculum. However, I simply couldn’t risk being that vulnerable. I vowed never to keep it real again.

English was my best subject at school. It was relatively easy to bluff my way through, writing technically good pieces of work, minus the emotion. Perhaps I underachieved slightly in English, due to my aversion to creative writing, but I could still enjoy reading and critiquing other people’s stories. No problem. I learned the art of writing without soul.

As a young child, I soon comprehended that anything I wrote down or spoke could be used as evidence and ammunition against me. Creativity was frowned upon. My other outlet, painting, had also been blocked at the age of six, when I was punished, after spilling red paint on my school clothes.

The only private place, where nobody could intrude, trample or destroy, was inside my mind: the secret world of daydreams and imagination. Like a plant positioned in a dark room, I survived, but didn’t thrive.

Creativity Restores

Today I bear no ill feeling towards my parents. Some wounds were inflicted unintentionally: a strict parenting style clashing with the sensitivity of an imaginative child, causing me to live in fear. I didn’t forgive them overnight; in fact, it was only when I experienced Jesus’ love for me, that I also discovered the liberation in forgiving others.

Emotional healing has been an ongoing process for me. When I received the prophetic word about writing, it was another key to wholeness; I just didn’t realise it back then.

Creativity can be very therapeutic, helping to restore those things which were stolen from us, or which we defensively shut down, in reaction to emotional pain.

Maybe you, too, are feeling led to write, to draw, to paint, to dance, to sing… to follow your own creative path. If you have a personal healing story, I’d love to hear from you.