Monday, 21 October 2013

Healing the emotional wounds and memories

NEW WINE:- Local churches changing Nations.Healing the emotional wounds and memories.
Held at St Martin’s church Seamer. 19th October 2013
Lovely atmosphere for a day out too!



The main speaker was Libby Wilkinson, Vicar and leader of Durham and Tyneside New Wine Leaders network.
The day started with a welcome cuppa followed by lively spirit filled worship (keyboard, guitar and drums).
Libby introduced herself and explained her Markers. Stories she used were with the permission of those she spoke about, that we were in a safe place with the opportunity to go with our feelings.
The morning session would be about the sorts of things that cause hurts, after lunch would be how we pray for those who have these hurts.
Memories and emotions are closely linked. Emotional pain is just as real as any other sort of pain.
Whole experience.
Heals in all ways. Not just the physical things that cripple us- some can be physically whole but trapped by memories- if we struggle it’s real. Emotional pain can be difficult and we need to acknowledge if we have pain, Healing emotional pain and memories can take time. We are created as emotional beings.
Jesus's emotions were appropriate ours aren’t always.
Healing takes time and despite the old saying that time heals it doesn’t always heal the wounds we have. If we’ve been damaged over a long period of time we put strategies in place to cope with that pain. Those strategies need longer to heal and praying may need to be working alongside of a visit to a doctor. Don’t be surprised if you have to go over and over things time does soften but it doesn’t heal.
Some experiences affect people differently. We may cover them up. We should never jump to conclusions this can shut people down, never make up your mind about people’s problems straight away. Listen and let God do the deal.
Sources of emotional pain.
Loss:_ bereavement, separation from a loved one- grief- even after time it can still be as raw, we haven’t moved on at all.
Loss of career, retirement, unfulfilled hopes-Maybe life has been put on hold to look after someone. There are many feelings of loss. Loss of ministry, losss of enthusiasm, loss of purpose and vision.
Painful relationships.:- Marriage split or falling out with family, conflicts,distance separating you from friends or family all sources of emotional loss.
Unrequited feelings in family or friendships.
Betrayal_(look at psalm 55) And Judas and Peter. If things happened a long time ago they need more healing. Jesus was betrayed Judas couldn’t cope with what he had done, Peter found God worked through him Shows you can be restored by God (but there are barriers)
Abuse Guilt and shame ( shouldn’t be our feelings they are for the abuser not the sufferer) We may feel condemned or confused but this accusation to the victim can come from the devil, the accuser, the father of lies . Feelings can be on lasting .Jesus is King He can take any situation and work through it, our lives don’t have to be changed just healed and it can take time, prayers and counselling.
Domestic abuse/violence.  Can affect how we react to others.
Be aware that abusers can target churches.
Unconfessed Sin This creates a barrier between us and God and we have to acknowledge that it is a sin. To deny it or try to justify it or pass the buck damages us.  See Psalm 32. Let God set you free. It’s between you and God if you need to confess it to someone chose carefully who you tell.
Trauma. Any traumatic event if you are victim of injury or crime.
Abandonment/Loneliness Housebound, a young parent tied to the home, even someone ultra busy with no time or energy can be lonely. You can even be lonely in a crowded place with loads of people. Libby told us a story of having a picture of someone biting into an unpeeled orange, she tried to make sense of the picture in a theological way but it turned out that a young mum whose child had bitten into un unpeeled orange, told her that’s when she realised(the young mum) that she needed help.(God uses pictures sometimes to push people to ask for prayer-my thoughts not said on the day).
Rejection (Jesus was rejected in his home town, and at other times but he was able to cope)  We can’t always cope with rejection. We become people pleasers to avoid rejection or we don’t allow ourselves to become independent or over rule people but this causes the rejection that you’re trying to avoid,
Symptoms Shame , guilt, self harm.
Anxiety, fear, depression, despair, humiliation, resentment, bitterness, aggression.
Phobias, obsessions.
Manipulative behaviour.
Physical symptoms. Migraines,insomnia, stomach problems,tension.
Useful websites.:- www. mindandsoul.info
www.selfharm.co.uk  (help on listening)  www.ccpas.co.uk (child protection)
 Survival stratergies
Denial.  I’m fine. Head in the sand, puts on a front, Tears and anger(natural but won’t help) It has to be acknowledged to be healed. Brain blacks out things too painful to remember this might not be deliberate, can be the body’s natural form of defence.
Dissection. You can’t leave it alone, keep going over and over it. This doesn’t allow healing to take place. Sometimes the pain defines who we are so we don’t want to let go. We are constantly talking about it. Music played over and over again that reminds us of something can help in the short term but not long term. Old patterns of behaviour can be strong even after years. Re-visiting places with memories.
Drowning. Immersing in something to relieve pain, shopping, drink, activities (an excuse to avoid pain) You don’t stop for a minute in case the pain catches up with you.
Burying. You know the pain is there but you cover it over so it’s hidden under layers, the pain is still there but it keeps it out of the way.
Look at 2 Samuel 13- the rape of Tamar, You can’t cover up things in the hope they will go away you can cut links but this can cause more problems.
Defending. Might start as necessary protection but we shut out everything and everybody.
Self defence. Sulk, explosive anger, avoid talking. If this continues it destroys us.
Self destruct. Adds to your own pain.
Drawbridge. Withdraw go off on your own become emotionally cold.
Outcome of stratergies
If we deny- We develop a destructive heart it becomes an excuse to lie to people.
If we dissect pain_ We develop a selfish heart.(We don’t care about others)
If we drown our pain_ We develop a wrestles heart.
If we bury pain- We develop a hard heart and desolation.
If we defend pain- we develop a stony heart(become unemotional)That damages us and others.
If we don’t express emotions we attack others and bring them down.
Grief is natural-A danger of turning into bitterness so everyone I love leaves me.
A companionate heart means our pain helps us to understand others.
All these hide a broken heart.
Don’t judge but don’t collude with destructive behaviour either. Pray for the person not the problem.
 We then broke for lunch.
Second part.  HOW DID JESUS DO IT?
Ministry of Jesus.
Jesus knows what it’s like – He responds with love and compassion.
Humans continue to let each other down.
His death and resurrection gives us hope. (Victim of someone else’s sinful choice.)
He brings healing.
He heals and restores.(and takes away our impact of our sins on others)
He saves us from whatever we need saving from. Isaiah ch 53 v4.
Luke ch 8. The woman with issue of blood. He opened up her problem, she tried to be secretive.
Zacheus tried to hide but Jesus made him come out into the open to be healed of his behaviour.
He heals from guilt and condemnation.
He heals from the abandonment and rejection.
John 8 the woman caught in adultery.(Jesus takes her guilt and puts it on those who condemned her.) John 4 the woman at the well. Peter is forgiven for his denial three time then restored three times(on the sand by the charcoal fire, Peter do you love me etc)
Psalm 34. The righteous will have many afflictions but the Lord will rescue them.
Verses 15-22. God speaks clearly He is on the side of justice. The psalms often condemn the unjust.
Hebrews 12 v 13 don’t let hurts take root.(Don’t learn to limp-get healed)
The Cross is there to lay down stuff and let Jesus take it away.
We may have to change our own image of God.
How we see God can affect the way we let Him help us. Unhelpful images of God can hinder our healing. He’s not waiting for us to go wrong He’s waiting to pick us up and send us on our way.
Think about your picture of God. What sort of person do you see?
Are we expected to forgive those who hurt us?
Forgiveness is a helpful way to let go of hurts. Forgiveness isn’t an excuse for what they did.
It doesn’t mean forgetting or being reconciled  we shouldn’t put ourselves in a vulnerable position.
It does mean letting go of revenge-but not justice. It takes time to forgive and probably has to be done over and over again.be willing to try. Tell God you are struggling to forgive. They have to face what they did to receive that forgiveness.
How to Minister .
Atmosphere in church matters.
There needs to be trust.
It needs to be a safe place.
Pray for the person to discover grace and mercy from God.
Be at peace with your own stories and understand our own motives. Know yourself.
Some Christians need to be needed this is not a good reason to minister to others.
Before we expose ourselves to others we need to face our need and hang ups.
Be aware of our own triggers and personalities.
Take time out to reflect. We need to be involved in daily worship.
Examine our own motives.
1)      Discern the root of the problem- Ask the Holy Spirit, wait to hear on the person or for words or pictures. If not sure what to pray for pray in tongues or silence.
2)      Remove the bitter shoots. Maybe confession maybe forgiveness. We are not into the blame game. Recognise responses that might damage us.
3)      Remove concrete. Survival plans may have damaged us. We need ministry. Trust the Holy Spirit.
4)      Release the pain. Open our hearts and mind to access the Holy Spirit. Then pain can be released. As the Holy Spirit works ask for memories and build bridges between memory and pain. Walk through past memories if they can manage to do it. Name what they are feeling then it’s easier to leave it at the cross.
5)      Ready to receive healing. Patience and empathy…Don’t move on until memory is healed. Think about their needs they are then in a position to help the healing. Bless the person, pray God’s promises, ask the Holy Spirit to speak to the person, be prepared to walk with them. Don’t judge, don’t be too directive, don’t make assumptions don’t replace one dependant relationship with another. Don’t use ministry to boost your own self- esteem. Self-esteem is who we are in God not to boost our own self- esteem. Don’t always see results straight away.
6)      There may be a need to meet with the same person over a number of times.(Because of the way we are doing prayer ministry at Filey this might need thinking about)
7)      Think about things you need to let go of.
8)      Think about images of God.
9)      Get prayers for your own needs before you pray for others.
Proverbs 14.

During the day we were encouraged to draw a time line of our life with good memories on the top and painful memories on the bottom. This was an interesting exercise as it made you realise the things that you maybe had pushed one side and needed prayer. It’s also good to be thankful for all the happy memories.
The afternoon ended with more worship songs and an opportunity for many of us to receive prayer ministry. It was a very Spirit filled day and I came away feeling totally recharged. Bear with me as these notes were scrawled as the day went on but I think I got it all.

Seamer Churchyard  , a reminder that the Lord can deal with hidden and buried wounds






Report by
Ann Stringer










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