On the eve of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think about those who are hurting. This may be the first holiday without a dad, mom, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband or wife. For three of my hospice families, this absence was created just within the last week. When does the healing begin? How long does it last?
What about someone who was hurt deeply because of someone who sinned against him or her? Is there a 5-step formula to recover? Is it possible to forgive and forget?
The truth is that we never really forget. For any of us to advise someone to forget it is unrealistic. There will always be reminders – dates, pictures, and various memories. Those reminders still trigger feelings.
Earlier in ministry, I thought I had to have all the answers. Today, I can only point people to the Healer of the broken heart – the Lord Jesus Christ. Will He heal you in a year? Maybe. I can’t tell you a time frame, but I can tell you that when you draw closer to Him the process is a little easier. God has a way of comforting you and giving you peace that no one can understand. Once again, I can’t tell you when you will begin to feel that.
Whatever you do, don’t try to shortcut your grieving process. You will end up prolonging it. Because when you think you are “over it”, something reminds you and the cycle begins again. Don’t feel bad about your anger! Process it! If you’re sad, cry! If you need to talk to someone, find a professional or someone who knows what you’re going through. Do not, I repeat, do not try to convince yourself that you are okay. You can admit you’re weak. I know transparency and vulnerability are not popular but do it anyway.
Finally, remember that your road to healing is not the same as someone else. Don’t compare! No two circumstances are exactly alike, so allow you to be you rather than try to be someone you may admire who appears more together than you.
Ultimately, it is God who heals the wounds through His chosen process for you. When you are prepared, pass on that comfort to someone else. You just might find a friend who will laugh, cry, or scream with you when necessary. May these words be of help to someone today!