I don’t know about you, but I have experienced some extreme disappointment and broken-heartedness over the course of my life. Things that I have thought would definitely be, or things that should have never happened, or people who have hurt me, or things that haven’t turned out different than I hoped, have been dotted throughout my life. We all have them. We all have experienced the pain of disappointment and loss.
For many years I pressed it down and pressed it down in the name of faith, hoping that as I trusted in Jesus and walked in His truth, the pain of loss and disappointment would dissipate, but sadly that is not how we are wired. Unfortunately, we don’t get to float by on flowery bed of ease (like Dad Hagin used to say)… so how do we heal?
I will say from the start of this that I am by no means a master nor have I achieved gold star status from the “Can’t Nobody Hurt Me Club”, but what I can say is that I have seen God use relationships, His Word, and counseling to help me to process though some it and I am so very thankful for those three components.
In 3 John 1:2, it says “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” With the church upbringing I came from, I find it interesting that this scripture made the cut into the Bible. Though we used it a lot in church, had it as a memory verse, quoted it, etc. I think we kind of negated that end part. It says beloved (that’s us), I pray above all things (ALL THINGS), that you prosper (we like that part) and be in health (yes, we like health… yahoo!), even as our soul prospers. *Record Scratch* Full stop. Our soul--- our mind, our will and our emotions. Paul prayed that our prosperity and health would be directly connected to the health of the soul. So, how we feel and our emotions actually matter to the process of whole health and prosperity.
Let’s dig into the three components that have been instrumental in me and see how they can help you. Let’s walk through this together!
I recently had a very close friend of mine say how good it was to see me being settled because for the last 10 years or so it’s always been something going on. I was truly hurt and taken aback. I mean (insert me here stomping my foot) I HAVE MY STUFF TOGETHER… I AM JUST FINE. *cough cough* lies.
After thinking about it and digging into why it hurt so bad, she was, in fact, correct. The past ten years have been full of dealing with some major marriage issues, severe health issues with the pregnancies of all three of my kids, big church hurt, a miscarriage, job changes and losses, moving, personal loss of purpose, probably some postpartum depression, a global pandemic while sharing a home with two at-risk in-laws, and then topping it off trying to find my sea legs as a new mom, mom of two, then mom of three, was a bit more than my fractured heart could cope with.
My closest friends have rallied around me, muckled onto me through it all, dusted me off and patted me on the back and told me to keep going. They called me when they hadn’t heard from me in a couple days. Made me come out on nights when I was exhausted to get ice cream at a local place I loved. Made me take breaks. Watched my kids. They also called me on my stuff. Told me hard but loving truths. They had my family over when my marriage was hanging on by a thread, just to encourage us with the truth of the Word, and offer the sweet sweet love that close friends can give.
Scriptures like these show us that the Word also stands behind the importance of community and friendship:
"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 ESV
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
There is power, strength, encouragement, and longevity in friendship. If you don’t have good friends, add it to your prayer list. God wants you to have great friends and created you to have flourishing relationships and friendships.
Aren’t you thankful for God’s Word? The true, incorruptible, never failing, never ending Word of God. It has encouraged me when I thought all hope was lost. It has breathed life into my dry and dead bones.
When we mediate on scripture and speak it out of our mouths, we build our faith, we remind ourselves of what God had done and what He is going to do, and we are equipped for every good work! When I have been in difficult and heavy seasons, scriptures like these below buoyed me:
“’But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord…” JEREMIAH 30:17A NIV
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
“The afflictions of the righteous are many, But the LORD rescues him from them all.” Psalm 34:19
“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:15-16
“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
“He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
Take this list and confess them over your life! Make it personal to you and meditate on them. For example, let’s take Jeremiah 29:11. “Father, I thank you today that you have plans for me! Your plans for me are to prosper me and to not harm me. You give me a future and give me hope!
Before we even start talking about this subject, let’s go to the Word regarding the subject.
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22.
“By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10
“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Proverbs 20:5
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Proverbs 19:20
In my experience, there was perspective that seeing a counselor or a therapist is judged as a lack of faith or something that is only leveraged in a time of extreme crisis. I contend that we need to change our thinking on both of those stances. Clearly we see in the Word that God is all about wise counsel and that we need to see it out or take the advice. I think that we also need to discuss what a Christian counselor’s purpose is. The ultimate goal of Christian counseling is to help us identify behaviors that are inconsistent with God’s teachings, so that we can address them and get better. They help you prioritize and achieve desired changes in your life against the backdrop of Biblical Truth. What can be better than an objective opinion that points you back to the Word and helps you address behaviors that are inconsistent with the His Truth? I say it is a win win. Let’s think about this -- we go to a trainer or a dietician when we need help getting our health together. We go to a coach when we are wanting to get some direction regarding next steps. We go to a doctor when we are sick. Let’s leverage the educated people who are trained to help us get our souls healthy! I know that I am so grateful for the time I have been spending digging in and getting better.
Note: As a member of FCF we provide our members with a partnership with RedInk Revival. RedInk (Patrick Norris) provides podcasts, vodcasts (YouTube), retreat experiences, online masterclasses, online e-courses specifically design to ministers and leaders in the church world and to help them to be the best leaders that they can be. They believe (as we do) in whole-hearted leadership: leading from robust health - spiritually, emotionally, personally, and professionally. So, if you don’t have a personal counselor or therapist and want to start somewhere, engage in RedInk Revival today! It will revolutionize your life and ministry.
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