Emotional Health•Healing•Recovery • 6 minutes to read
Have you ever found yourself in a large crowd just walking with no real direction? And people move right by without noticing you, almost like you were not even there. You’re simply wandering.
Wander: to move about with no destination or purpose.
Many of us have experienced these seasons where we feel like we’re wandering and no one wants to be around us. I get it. There are days when I feel the same way. I think to myself, Why would anyone want to hang out with me? The sad thing is that other people do want to be around me and appreciate me, but out of my own pain and how I feel about myself, I project this on others and assume they feel the same way about me.
Often, the very thing we need is right in front of us. We need connection with others, but the thing that keeps us from making progress is the fear we have when engaging with people. Because people are not safe, right? That’s what we tell ourselves anyway. So what do we do to fill the void, the pain, and trauma in our lives? We turn to things we think we need to help us get by. Things that never say no, are always there for us, and allow us to not feel. These things are safe, because we tell ourselves they’re safe.
We convince ourselves: no one will know, I’m not hurting anyone, no one really cares about me. We assume no one will be hurt, we assume no one cares, and we assume no one will know. It’s easy to do. Lord knows I’m an expert at it. The unfortunate thing is that being an expert at something like this has caused a lot of damage and a lot of pain in my life and in the lives of those around me.
Even now, at times, the wandering part of me can still creep in. And this might be true for many of you right now, too. So how do we get out of this pattern? How do we change? Good questions. It requires us to take risks: risks in community, risks through accountability, and risks for our healing.
Taking Risks in Community
For those of you who have been in a group, you’ve heard this before, but for those of you who are just beginning this process, this is a key:
We are wounded in community and we are healed in community.
A healing community is a place where we can be real, open, honest, and still be accepted and loved for who we are right now in our life. This requires risk. It’s about having relationships that are life-giving, inviting us to a place where God wants us to be.
When we are in healthy community, others are permitted to speak into our lives. We’ve given them authority to call us out on our unhealthy behaviors: what we say and how we act. These can be uncomfortable conversations, the type we have always run away from, but it’s often these real, painful, deep conversations that bring healing and true transformation.
In a recovery group is where you’ll learn about and experience what a true life-giving community looks like.
Taking Risks Through Accountability
Accountability is a scary word. Especially for those of us who struggle with unwanted sexual behaviors, prior to getting into recovery, we’ve never really been accountable to anyone. Instead, we had a mask for every day and every situation. When we went to church on Sunday and said we were doing great, we wore our “everything is fine” mask. The truth was, we had a horrible week: spent the entire week in relapse, fought with our spouse, lost our job, have no money, and more. But when faced with the question, we sure put on the mask to cover for it. And we have the perfect mask for any situation. We have them all.
As we go through the healing process, we learn what accountability is. We begin to understand why it’s important and how to be accountable to others. This also requires risk. I call it vulnerable transparency. I truly believe this is a key part of the healing process. This is where we learn to lean on others when things get hard and where we call on others when we can’t do it on our own. Life is hard. And when we are the ones struggling, everything we do becomes a bit more intense. If we don’t have others to lean on when things are tough, it can be a very lonely and difficult process. Deep inside we know we need others but it’s risky.
Without accountability, the healing process may be prolonged and, for some, may never happen. If we want healing and freedom, we need accountability.
Taking Risks for Our Healing
The word “healing” has many meanings. But when I think of healing, I look at what has and is changing in my heart and mind. When we learn how to connect these two parts of ourselves—our heart and mind—then real healing can take place. This often involves connecting what I know is true to what I believe is true. You may think these are the same thing, but there is a difference between knowing and believing. When we learn how to connect the two, God begins to do something special in our lives.
What I love about God is that He doesn’t force us to believe or trust or do anything for that matter. He calls us and asks us to take a risk on Him. He wants to be in community with us. If we are able to do the smallest things He is asking of us, then true, authentic healing can happen!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)
Regardless of where you are in this process—just starting or have been in it for a while—there is true healing available for you. God knows and understands why we say the things we do and why we believe what we do about ourselves. He knows how hard it is for us. That’s why Jesus died on the cross for us, so we could experience God’s healing power in our lives.
Recovery and healing is hard work. I know it is. It’s painful to walk through everything we’ve done and everything that was done to us. And it requires risk along the way. But know this: we have a God who can do anything if we let Him in. He wants us to experience the healing we all desire.
Even if you’re unsure how to achieve it, don’t quit. Don’t give up. You may think that what you’ve done or experienced in your life disqualifies you from finding freedom. It’s not true. Don’t let the enemy silence what God has for you.
There is so much for you to experience. So much to experience with a new perspective about life. This song has been an inspiration to me during my healing journey. I hope it is for you, too.
God’s healing is powerful and you deserve to walk in freedom.
It just takes some action on your part, to take the first step. And when you do, God will be there every step of the way. He will never leave nor forsake you. You are valuable and loved!