In my last blog, I wrote about The Three Questions Everyone is Born With: Who am I? Who will love me? What is my purpose?
According to former NFL player Joe Ehrmann, God intended these three fundamental questions of identity to be answered for each one of us within the loving context of our family.
The only problem is - none of us grew up in the “perfect family”. And none of us are raising our own children perfectly. Which means none of us (including our kids) grow up hearing all the right answers to those questions all the time. And those wrong answers can affect us. In fact, they deeply wound us.
We’re all wounded.
Recognizing my own wounds and my desire for healing led me to counseling twenty years ago. At the time, some of my wounds were staring me painfully in the face; others I had pushed far away. Some I had even pretended never happened.
I’m still on that path toward healing, as I learn how to live in the truth of who I really am - allowing the Lord to rewrite the lies with His healing truth.
About a month ago, the Holy Spirit showed me something deeper about these wounds. But I wasn’t sitting in a counseling office when it happened; I was actually driving in my car listening to a podcast!
I had never heard of Dr. Bob Schuchts, but I hung on every word. What he shared penetrated my heart. But his message wasn’t just powerful; it was so practical.
A counselor for the last forty years, Dr. Bob described what he calls “the 7 universal wounds in the human person”. He explained how each one of these wounds has an “identity lie” associated with it.
Lies. I’m all too familiar with those.
Dr. Bob shared about his own wounded past. He talked about how we experience trauma we’re wounded, but what holds the trauma within us is the false belief (lie) we carry forward from that traumatic event into our everyday lives and relationships.
It’s like wearing a set of glasses that colors our perception of reality and our relationships. And we begin to relate to people out of that warped perception.
I want to share with you these 7 wounds and the lies associated with each one. But I encourage you to find a time to listen to the entire podcast called Healing the Whole Person here!
Abandonment - the loss of someone we love (through divorce, death, suicide, or neglect)
Lies: I’m alone. Nobody cares about me. Nobody understands me. Nobody wants me. Nobody’s there for me.
Rejection - personal rejection (through betrayal, divorce, disownment, neglect, exclusivity, or bullying)
Lies: I’m undesirable. I’m unacceptable. I’m disgusting. I’m repulsive. I’m unwanted.
Hopelessness - Our heart shuts down when we lose hope. A lot of depression stems from the wound of hopelessness.
Lies: Things will never get better. Things will never change.
Powerlessness - feeling stuck; feeling trapped; feeling unable to do or accomplish something. Wounds from our childhood can often lead to a feeling of helplessness and even a victim mentality - Why does everything always happen to me?
Lies: I have no ability to do anything. I can’t change anything. I’m stuck. I’m trapped. Everything bad always happens to me.
Confusion - results when we get hurt and we try to figure it out ourselves
Lies: I’ve got to figure this out, but I can’t make any sense of it.
Fear - Fear is the opposite of security. When we’re securely loved, there is a confidence in being beloved; lovable; worthy of love. Being known, safe, protected. The wound of fear is a mindset of fearfulness. (A lot of our anxiety is undefined fear.)
Lies: If I trust, I’m gonna get hurt. If I don’t protect myself, I won’t be safe.
Shame - self-loathing, self-rejection, self-contempt. Shame can happen through verbal abuse and sexual abuse. With the wound of shame, we begin to see ourselves through the filter of those abusive words or actions, and we carry that forward within us.
Lies: I’m unworthy. I’m unloveable.
As I listened to Dr. Bob’s description of these wounds, some painful moments from my own life flashed before me. I recalled even the seemingly insignificant (yet very hurtful) things spoken to me as a child that were a rejection.
But what felt so different and so freeing was the simple, practical invitation Dr. Bob gave to all of us listening…
When painful memories and negative emotions surface in us, we can often become overwhelmed. But God doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed by our story or our pain.
There is something we can do.
First of all, we can learn to recognize this as the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Bob describes it as if God is saying, “I want to heal this, and I can. I am more powerful than this wound, and I am bigger than anything you think about this situation.”
“God reveals out of His kindness our wounded-ness,
because He wants to bring us into communion.“
Sr. Miriam James Heidland, S.O.L.T.
Dear sisters, the Lord is inviting you and me to step into our own story and allow the healing power of God’s love in. God doesn’t show us our wounded-ness to hurt us, but to heal us.
Even now, as you read this blog, maybe there is something the Holy Spirit is bringing into your awareness. If so you can ask yourself, What is He trying to show me?
And just start there.
One of the other things that struck me so powerfully and practically is when Dr. Bob explained what it means when the same emotion or pain keeps coming up in our lives, like anger, resentment or hurt. If we react in a way that is “bigger” than fits the situation, that’s usually a sign that something deeper is going on.
“Our overreactions often reveal the places where we need to be healed.”
- Dr. Bob Schuchts
So what do we do with that? How do we let the Holy Spirit heal us?
Counseling is an incredible gift along our healing journey. Allowing someone to pray with you is also deeply powerful.
But there is something you can do right now, wherever you are.
Just ask Him.
Ask the Lord to heal you.
Lord, here I am. I give you this wound and every lie attached to it. Please heal me. Help me to live in Your truth and in the freedom of Your healing love for me.
If you want to experience more of the healing God has for you, one place to start is reading Dr. Bob’s life-changing book “Be Healed”. I am also including a spotify link to a song I wrote years ago when I first opened myself up to deeper healing called “Here I Am”.
We’re all wounded. But we can all be healed.
Let’s fight for our freedom by asking to be healed.
“Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
For you were called for freedom.”
Galatians 5:1, 13