How to get out of the rut of revisiting past hurts and re-opening old wounds.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32, NASB
As a high school and college cheerleader, I found tan legs to be an important asset. So, I tanned—probably more than I should have—at tanning salons and lying on an actual beach when time allowed.
So, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when the biopsy on my left leg came back positive for melanoma in October 2006, but I was floored! I simply couldn’t believe I had skin cancer! When all was said and done, the doctor had skillfully removed the cancerous mass, leaving a 4 1/2 inch scar on the upper back part of my left leg. (Praise the Lord, all of the tests since the surgery have come back negative—I am 9 years cancer-free next month!)
But I remember so well the weeks following that surgery. I had to be very careful with the incision, dressing and re-dressing it with a certain kind of bandage. Still, it seemed like that scar took forever to heal. Just about the time it would start to close completely, I’d accidentally hit it while getting out of the car and intense pain would shoot through my body. It hurt so much—almost as much as the day my doctor made the incision!
Today, though I can still see it, the scar has faded, and it hasn’t caused me any pain for more than eight years.
Maybe you haven’t had to undergo a major surgery leaving you with a scar, but you’ve probably endured some emotional pain in your life, leaving you with one or more painful heart scars.
And, if you’ll be honest with yourself, some of those heart scars are still open wounds, never completely healing because you keep re-opening them with your words.
Every time you talk about that heart scar and replay how badly you were hurt, your heart takes a hit, just like when I bumped my leg getting out of the car. Then that scar is torn open again, and the hurt returns.
When you dwell on painful experiences in the past, your emotions go right back there, causing you to feel real pain in the present. So, don’t do it!
Instead of recounting all of the painful times in your life, start sharing just how good God has been to you over the years.
You have a choice to make every time you open your mouth. You can choose to recall the hurts and pains of the past, or you can choose to praise the Lord for sustaining you through the hard times and giving you an inexplicable joy in spite of life’s circumstances. If you choose the latter, those old heart scars will completely disappear—just like my leg scar slowly faded with silicone gel pads and tender loving care.
I say, let the healing begin…
Pray this with me:
Father God, I praise You today for all of the good things in my life. You truly are a good God. And, Lord, I ask You to take away all of the hurts from my past and replace them with your healing love. I receive that healing today. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me as only You can. In the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.