In Heart Healing, we learn to help each other connect with the Lord in the midst of the lies and pain in such a way that we are genuinely and finally set free. This is the difference between managing pain and being set free. The best we can do before the Lord heals us is to understand the problem, use various strategies to cope with the problem, work to control our behavior, and to pray and seek advice from others. After the Lord heals our heart, we don’t need to do any of these things: because our heart has been changed, right behavior and thoughts naturally flow from us.
We go through a frightening or hurtful experience successfully when: we remain inwardly and outwardly our healthy best self, we stay connected to the Lord and compassionate toward the other people involved, we are able to correctly interpret what has happened.
Children are generally unable to do this without the help of an adult who is able to do these things and to help them go through the difficult experience. For a child, the unresolved fear and pain lead to fundamental lies about her own identity and what others and God are like.
These lies, not the events themselves that resulted in our coming to believe them, stay stored in our ‘basement’ and are the source of our pain when similar feelings are triggered in the present. When pain from the lies formed in the past is triggered, it comes back to us connected to whatever caused the upset in the present, so we do not realize it comes from the past.
When we learn to recognize that the overload in the present is caused by the unresolved past, we can follow our feelings to the lie, feel its pain and let the Lord Jesus replace the lie with His truth. Lies disappear forever like darkness disappears when light comes.
Here is a very simple example of how this works:
I was talking with a small group of older women about these concepts and one of the ladies, Jane, finally said that this was very interesting but that she didn’t have any deep problems, so it wasn’t relevant for her. Later, Jane asked for prayer for a visit to her son’s family the next week. It would be her birthday and she knew they would want to celebrate it with her. But that would be difficult for her since she had never wanted anyone to celebrate her birthday. Her friends in the group affirmed that — as long as they had known her, she never wanted anyone to acknowledge her birthday.
I asked Jane if she’d like to take that to the Lord and see what He would say. Because it seemed like such a small thing, she agreed. As the facilitator, I only asked her questions and she either described what she was thinking or I asked Jesus questions for her and He answered her. As she asked Him about it, she remembered the day of her birthday when she was 4 years old. It had started out to be a joyful day of celebration with her extended family, but suddenly everyone became upset and many of them left the house. Little 4-year-old Jane stood alone by her party table, feeling the deep distress of her family and unable to understand what had happened. In her heart she believed she had done something wrong that had caused everyone to leave. We asked the Lord what He wanted her to know about the incident.
Jane then remembered learning later that her uncle had had a heart attack at the party and had been rushed to the hospital. The incident really had nothing to do with her at all. She felt a deep sense of relief and peace, feeling the Lord’s love and care for her as a child. We closed the prayer time thanking God for His lovingkindness.
The next week when the group met again, we asked Jane how her birthday had been. She described the joy she felt as she celebrated with her son and his family. Her friends were surprised — this is the person who as long as they had known her hated her birthday being mentioned? She had not connected the peace the Lord had given her when we prayed with her joyful birthday celebration. Now she realized that the Lord really had set her free from a lie that had robbed her and her family of some of their joy for most of her life.