Category Archives: Healing

Free from Things Others Do

Free from Things Others Do

Have you ever noticed that you seem to be the target of a series of people in your life who do negative things to you? Let me explain what I mean by that by telling you a story from my own life.

When I was about 22 years old, I was a single mother of a little girl. I had a “friend” who wanted to give me a pair of ski pants for a four-year-old boy. They were torn at the knees, worn out at the ankles and the elastic straps over the shoulders were stretched out beyond help. I tried to refuse them. 

She told me, “I know you will need them, you are poor and I am doing you a favour here. Take good care of them and give them back to me when you are done with them. They are important to me because they are a keepsake to me.”

I tried again to refuse them, but she wouldn’t hear of it and I didn’t have the strength to offend her by insisting on refusing her offer. I knew that this “gift” had strings attached. I thought she would expect them back in better condition than she had given them to me. 

I was really bothered by this strange act of kindness which didn’t feel good at all. I felt trapped into storing something I didn’t want, and that I would be obliged to dress my cute little girl in ugly worn brown snow pants three to four years down the road.

Over the course of the next couple of years others gave me “gifts” with strings attached. Even though I said thank you again and again, it seemed I was never grateful “enough”.

Finally, I found someone I could talk to who understood the problem. She asked the Lord on my behalf where the problem began. I was taken back to an incident in my childhood at our small-town skating rink when I was about six years old.

My mom usually accompanied my brothers and me to the rink and supervised us there. She did not help us to skate, much as I wished she would. My brothers had great balance and skill in skating, but I was wobbly. One day she could not accompany us. My brothers begged her to let us go and she finally succumbed and said yes provided we all stick together and watch out for each other.

We were six, seven and nine years old. The minute we got there, my brothers forgot their pledge and I stumbled my way onto the ice. There was one man there who had often helped other children to skate. He offered me his hand and I gratefully accepted. I stayed on my feet as he guided me around the rink slowly and carefully. I was thrilled.

Where Fear Sets In

After two rounds of the rink, he lifted me up and plopped me on the side boards. With a hand on either side of me, I felt a sudden rush of fear. I frantically looked around for my brothers and could not spot them. All the other adults were behind glass in the warm up room chatting with one another and not looking at the ice. The man leaned very close to me and said, “I did something nice for you, now you owe me and have to do something nice for me.”

“What do you want?” I whimpered. 

“You owe me a kiss.” he said.

I felt trapped and there seemed to be no one to help me. I’d been trained as a child to be quiet and didn’t know yet that there were exceptions to the rule.

Finding Truth in the Past that Affects the Future

As I recounted the story to my friend, she asked Jesus to bring me truth. As I was feeling the fear of the memory and the sting of the words, “I did something nice for you, now you owe me.” I suddenly saw Jesus appear between us facing me. 

“That is a lie,” Jesus told me. “If a person offers a gift, they do not have the right to get paid for it.” Then He took a cloth and wiped a little chalk board clean in front of the man.

The memory faded and my little girl heart felt safe and secure. Then the Lord turned to me and said, “You don’t owe me anything either. You’ve been trying to pay me back for salvation from the moment you accepted me as your Lord. Salvation is a free gift offered to anyone who will receive it.”

I was surprised to hear that. “What about serving you as Lord and Master?” I wondered.

“Certainly, I am your Lord and your Master. But I would much prefer it if you would serve me because you want to, not because you have to. Service given in love is far more precious to me than service out of obligation.”

Immediately, I felt a peace and a love wash over me and through me that is very hard to describe. Yet it was tangible to me and I felt warmly loved and treasured. It’s easy to serve someone who makes me feel so loved.

Since that day, I have received many gifts and have enjoyed them without any strings attached. Some of those gifts may have been given by people who normally attach expectations of deep and abiding gratitude or special treatment of their gift (like putting their picture in a prominent place in my living room), but I have not been affected by it since Jesus revealed the truth to me. Furthermore, I have had no more trouble with inappropriate sexual demands since then either. You can have this too.

Getting Rid of Nightmares.

Getting Rid of Nightmares

Years ago, one of my daughters brought a friend home. We will call him Hank. He was a young man who did not have any religious background. He’d been warned that I was a “Jesus Freak” and that I was very religious. One day I was asked to entertain him for her while she went on an errand.

Hank: “Soooo, I hear you’re pretty religious.”

Me smiling, “You might say that. It depends on your definition.”

Hank: “She says you pray a lot. What do you pray about?”

A bit surprised by his childlike question I replied, “One of the ways I pray is to have a conversation with people who are struggling with some kind of issue in their lives where they feel stuck and can’t get free on their own, like fear of spiders or nightmares. That sort of thing. We invite Jesus into the conversation so that they can get unstuck.”

Squirming, Hank says, “Did she tell you about me?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, about my nightmares.” he said.

“No,” I told him. “I didn’t know that.”

“I had one last night.” He shivered.

“That must make it hard for you to sleep.”

Hank shivered again. “Yeah I haven’t hardly slept since I was a teenager. They used to be every day, but now I get them four to five times a week.” 

“Well, Hank,” I said, “would you be open to an experiment? Instead of telling you about how I pray with people, how about I show you instead and we can use your nightmares as my example?”

The young man agreed. He began to tell me about this terrible dream he’d been having for more than ten years. In the dream, he was always falling off a cliff. Each time he woke, he was about to hit the ground. In this young man’s case, the fearful nightmares were based on a real live event that occurred when he was a youth.

The Young Man’s Story

The boy grew up near the badlands of his nation. There are deep valleys that dip hundreds of feet below a prairie flatland made up of largely clay and sedimentary rocks with very little vegetation on steep slopes. They are quite amazing to a tourist since you cannot see them as you approach them. They just suddenly appear out of nowhere. They are great crevasses of coloured layers of fine rock.

One particular day, he and a buddy were riding their bikes toward the badlands with plans to dig for dinosaur bones all afternoon. In the last few hundred yards before reaching their destination, one fellow challenged the other to a race to the finish where they would park their gear and get started. Hank got there first. Too late, he saw the valley appear out of nowhere. Slamming on his brakes as hard as he could, he was not able to prevent himself from going over the cliff with his front tire. 

Hank flew over the handle bars twisting his body so that his bicycle went one way and he went the other. He flipped, landing hard on his belly feet first. With all his might, he tried to slow himself down by digging his sneaker toes into the loose grit and clawing the hard but slippery surface with his nails, ripping the sneakers, his jeans and his skin in the process. 

His friend managed to stop on time and watched in horror as he saw his best friend disappear over the edge. Peering over cautiously and terrified by what he might see, he looked down perhaps forty to sixty feet to see Hank hanging over a small lip of steep incline by his waist, feet dangling in the air. He had just barely stopped from plunging another 200-300 feet below.

As Hank dangled precariously over the edge, terrified to move or even breath, his buddy called down, “Hang on Hank. I’m going to get help. Don’t MOVE”.

Hank had no intention of moving. He was so scared. He knew he was hurt, but also knew that if he fell any further, he’d be broken to pieces on the floor of the valley. He hung there between life and death for more than an hour before he could hear the fire truck approaching with the siren blaring.

The rescue itself took another hour as they cautiously built a safety station around him, made him secure and pulled him up from the precipice. It was a near death experience that replayed itself in his dreams for years.

What Made the Memory Stick in His Dreams?

When I asked him what he believed about himself in that memory, Hank was able to identify several beliefs.

•He was going to die and probably go to hell 

•He was stupid for racing with his friend 

•His life was worthless since they took their time getting back to him 

•He was an idiot to have even thought of going out there with a friend without telling an adult where they were going or having planned for this kind of event.   

•He should have known better. It was his own fault. 

These beliefs and the fear connected to them made the memory remain stuck in his mind. Some of these beliefs came from the mouths of those he trusted. Some were based on his interpretation of what happened that day. Needless to say, a lot can go on in your mind in an hour while you are waiting to be rescued from a life-threatening situation.

When I asked Hank if he was open to hearing what Jesus had to say to him, he said yes. 

Almost Immediately, I saw him shrink into his seat. “That’s so weird,” he said. 

“What?” I asked him. 

“I just see this big guy fly through the air at me. He caught me and stopped me and held me on the edge of that cliff until the rescuers came to get me. I can feel his arms under my armpits.” At that point Hank began to cry openly. “He was there, man. He’s real. It feels so real”. 

I quietly waited for the tears to subside. “What would He like you to know?” I asked.

“Wow,” said Hank in awe. “He says I’m going to be ok and I’m not going to die until my time is up. He says His name is Jesus, and He has some pretty good plans for me. He just flew down there and caught me. He stopped me from going over the edge. Just like that! He was there. He says I don’t have to go to hell. I’m not stupid. It wasn’t my fault. It just happened. Wow. Wow. Wow.”

“How do you feel now when you think about that incident?” I queried.

“Wow. I feel so safe and secure. I’m not shaking anymore. I’m so peaceful. Man, that is such a strange feeling. What a trip.” he marvelled. 

“So, Hank, is there any reason you can think of that you wouldn’t want to follow this Jesus so you can find out what good plans He has for you?”

The rest, as they say, is history. He did not have another nightmare while at our home during the visit.

Recovering from Disappointment

Recovering from Disappointment

In this blog post I want to share with you a word I believe I received from the Lord that really helped me to overcome one of my greatest disappointments. I had been married for twenty five years. It had not been the worst of marriages nor had it been the best. We had separated and I’d always hoped we would reconcile and somehow it would all work out. During the course of the following three years, I’d experienced a series of disappointments. The greatest of these was finding out for the first time that my husband was in a gay relationship. Although this news explained a lot of our marital problems, I was nonetheless very sorry that I would not have a marriage recovery.

When God Answers “No”

In the aftermath of that shocking discovery, I went on a trip to California with a personal development organization. It was a four day weekend full of unique activities and instructions to help each of us increase our productivity, believe in ourselves and the like.

During one of the particular challenges, I  knew I was going to need a little help from my friend Jesus. The exercise required an excellent balance and bodily strength that I did not quite possess. As I watched different people attempt the challenge, some succeeded and some didn’t. The safety of all was clearly demonstrated for everyone. I decided it was my turn to try it.

I threw up a little prayer asking Jesus to please help me to succeed at the challenge. It was just a little thing, but I knew that if I managed to succeed, it would be a slight miracle and I’d be the first one to give Him glory for it. I proceeded with a hope that I’d enjoy the thrill of doing something just a little bit beyond my known abilities.

I got to the apex of the maneuver, the very part that would be the hardest. I whispered to the Lord, “Here we go,” and launched myself up and off the challenge. I’d failed to complete the final round. Those in charge of my harness floated me to the ground amid cheers and applause from the onlookers as a sign of encouragement for a good effort. I smiled when my picture was taken, all the while masking my deep disappointment in the Lord for answering my prayer with a resounding “NO”.

God Gives an Explanation

A few minutes later, having my harness removed and passed on to the next challenger, I went for a long walk toward the rest rooms. All the while wondering (whining) why the Lord couldn’t give me this one little thing I’d asked for. About halfway to the washroom, I was done asking and paused long enough to hear His answer.

“Muriel, I know you were just asking for this one little thing and I could have given it to you and in another circumstance, I might have. But, if I had given you this one little thing, you would have then proceeded to ask me for a much bigger thing. You would have asked me to change your husband into the man of your dreams.”

As I heard it, I realized that it was absolutely true. I had to agree.

“Now,” He continued, “about your husband, I am a God of choice. He made his. Will you please let him go?”

Coming into Agreement With God

Again, I saw the truth in the matter. I came into agreement with Him and proceeded with the divorce as soon as I got home. I was no longer attached to false hope and I was able to release my ex-husband to his own choices and accept them for what they were. It was very freeing. Had I asked for the greater miracle after receiving my first little one, my disappointment would have been much bigger.

God’s Ways are Better than My Way

We will not always appreciate God’s answers. If the whole world was as we would have it be, I’m not sure it would be a better place. I’m glad that God is a God of choice. I do wish people made different ones sometimes, but God is always good. There is no doubt in my mind. When He spoke to me that day, He was very kind and gentle. There was no condemnation in it. He knows me and loves both me and the man who disappointed me. Its much easier to be ok in spite of my circumstances when I get an explanation from God.

I continue on in my own healing journey. The more healing I get, the easier it is to get to know this God I serve. He truly is a great lover of my soul.

You Can Know the Truth.

You Can Know the Truth

The Bible says in John 8:32, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Is that even possible? According to the Bible Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

If Jesus is the Truth, then when we interact with the truth, we are interacting with Jesus. If you get to know the Truth, then He can set you free from all kinds of emotional bondage.

What do you want to be free from today? Most likely, that which keeps you stuck. Jesus is looking for volunteers not slaves. He came here to give us our freedom back from whence it was stolen. I’ve found that Jesus is quite willing to help us in any area we are stuck with.

That reminds me of an experience I had. I met a woman in a coffee shop. She seemed very tired and worn out. As I walked by her, I leaned forward and asked her if she was ok because she seemed so weary. She looked at me with surprise and wryly remarked “If you had about an hour, I could tell you a story.”

“Actually I do have about an hour but I need my coffee and the bathroom first. If you want to tell me your story, you’ll still be here when I get back. Ok?” I responded.

Sure enough, she was still there when I got out of the bathroom. She began to tell me her story. It was an account of despair. She had been widowed in her fifties, her family were far away, and she’d experienced a great deal of loneliness since her husband had passed away. She lived on a farm and tried to make it work again because it was the only livelihood she knew, but it was tough trying to do it alone.

She had met a fellow farmer at a cooperative meeting who was full of ideas and strength. He was looking for a partnership of some kind. He’d been a butcher for many years and wanted a place suitable to set up a small butcher shop. She and her former husband had raised their own animals and had a small butcher shop next to the barn where they used to butcher their own animals for family. It hadn’t been used since the children left home and her husband had gotten too sick to help her.

It seemed like a good fit for her. She was not romantically inclined towards the neighbour but he seemed to know what he was about and so she allowed him to look the place over and set up shop. She had no idea what she was signing up for.

In a few short weeks, he was giving her orders left right and centre. He had virtually enslaved her. Every day he had new orders for her. “Buy these chickens, scrub the tables, vacuum and disinfect the floors, buy that calf and that set of lambs, feed those animals, you will need a dog.” On and on it went like she as his personal slave. She was exhausted and bewildered. She couldn’t seem to refuse his orders and she couldn’t seem to get rid of him.

When I met her in the coffee shop, she was beyond weary, and had gone to town without her phone so she couldn’t hear from him for a while till she could come up with a solution. She needed to get her farm back from this control freak.

I asked her if she was open to a bit of help? She gave me a resounding “YES” I explained to her that being trapped was based on beliefs. Did she want to know the Truth that would set her free?

On that day, she discovered a series of beliefs that had held her captive.

  • She was helpless
  • She was weak
  • She got herself into this on her own therefore had to get herself out on her own
  • It was all her fault
  • If she told anyone in her family about this they would be angry with her and punish her for it and make it worse.
  • No one loved her enough to help her or care.

In the course of perhaps an hour, she received truth over each argument set up against her and her face reflected the renewing of her strength with each new revelation. When I asked if there was any Bible verse that would convince her that she might be hearing from God, she asked if there was a Book of Jere-something or another. I asked if it was Jeremiah she was thinking of.

“Yes, that’s it she said.” Then she asked what on earth two 911’s meant.

I was a little confused by the question.

I see 2-911’s. She wrote it down on a napkin.

“WELL”, I exclaimed, “that would be Jeremiah 29:11 I believe.” And I quoted it to her from memory. “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.”

She looked at me with great surprise. “It says that in the Bible?”

“Yes and would you like to know who said all those things to you today?” I asked her.

“Yes” she replied so I  introduced her to Jesus.

I’d like to say her problems were all solved that day. But she did have to go back and deal with a very belligerent controlling person. She went to face the challenge with peace and determination.

She told her children. They were very supportive and helped her work through everything. Last I’d heard she sold the farm and moved to the city where 2 of her children lived so she did work it out in due season.

There is hope. When we meet the living Truth, He sets us free.

Can God Have a Conversation with You?

Can God have a Conversation with You?

Some might say not anymore. They would say that if you want to hear from God, read your Bible. Everything He has to say to mankind is written in the Book. I beg to differ. The infallibility of the Bible has been established for hundreds of years. That is not in question here. The question is, “Does He still speak to us today?”

I believe He does. Although we can be mistaken about whose voice we are hearing, with the help of the Bible we can check what we are hearing against His Word in the Bible.

In John 10:27 we read Jesus saying to His disciples, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me.”

In Isaiah 30:21  we read, “You will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”

In Psalms we often read of people crying out to God, expecting an answer. In view of these and many more scriptures on the subject, we have a Biblical standard of hearing God’s voice. Based on that, I believe it is safe to say we can hear God’s voice.

What does His voice sound like?

In the many years of experience listening in on conversations people have had with God, I can tell you that there are a few ways He chooses to speak to us. It is rarely an audible voice. More often than not it is a voice that you hear in your head. Yet sometimes it isn’t a voice at all.

In some cases it is a “knowing”. That is, you suddenly are aware of something you never knew before. As in my Healing from Sexual Assault, I suddenly knew that I was not injured from the trauma as much as I should have been given the circumstances. In that article, I also wrote about seeing Jesus, whom I did not see with my physical eyes at the time of the incident. I saw what He did to help me in my memory when I asked Him where He was. I also mentioned the words I heard in the incident.

Some people get colours and ask for an understanding, some get a song running through their head. Yet others get a verse from the Bible that just stands out to them, makes sense and they apply to the situation they are facing.

When I am in prayer with someone for their healing, I ask them to report to me whatever seems to becoming to mind, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense or apply to what we are praying about. Then we look at it and ask the Lord for clarity. I will often ask for a Bible verse that applies to what they are seeing or hearing or to whatever they may seem to be receiving.

A Few Checkpoints

There are a few things you can check to see if God is talking or not.

  1. Does it agree with the Bible? It is most helpful if you are familiar with the Scriptures or receive a Bible passage to check what you hear.
  2. Does it agree with God’s character? God loves us. He is not mean and condemning. He corrects us and offers us good things according to His loving character.
  3. Does the result end in peace? The truth will bring us peace. We may need truth on several issues, but each truth will bring us closer to complete peace.

There are many more things we could say about this, but that is not within the scope of this blog.

I encourage you to take a risk and try to hear God’s voice. Write it down. Then you can analyze it with the help of the Bible and a mature friend who is familiar with His Word.

Healing for Sexual Assault

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

I was studying the Bible in the Book of Matthew and arrived at Chapter 5 verse 8. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”  I wanted to know how a person could really purify their heart enough to see God.

I had been listening to a teaching tape on the beatitudes when I heard the author of the teaching series direct us through a series of prayers and proclamations that would help up to get “pure in heart”. I was eager to get my heart cleaned up. I wanted to see God and live to tell about it.

One of the definitions of “pure in heart” is “unstained with the guilt of anything” This is an act of God. This is not something I can do. So, in thinking about my question at the beginning of my story, going to God to get His perspective was my action that led to Him purifying my heart and conscience.  Heb. 10:24 says “our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”  One of the meanings of “evil” conscience is freedom from a conscience that accuses us of guilt.

Agreement with the Scriptures and Prayer

As I progressed through the prescribed list of activities, I could tell that I was making some progress and I felt a sense of relief as I confessed sins, forgave people for ancient offences and gave God control over my life. Somewhere in the process, the instuructor announced that we would be pure in heart if we had come into agreement with the scriptures and prayed. Now we should be able to “see God”.  Then he asked us when in our lifetime had we wished we could have seen Him.

Suffering from Guilt and Shame

Immediately the spring of 1982 came to mind when a stalker succeeded in luring me into a trap where he was able to kidnap me and take me to a place where he was able to brutally sexually assault me. For years I had been plagued by the resulting nightmares, fear of someone coming up behind me, and many other results of the trauma. I also suffered from guilt and shame wondering how I’d gotten myself into such a situation.

I instantly remembered the day as if it was yesterday. The perpetrator was before me, 6’2” tall, 240 pounds. He was someone I had known briefly and spoken to three or four times before. His countenance was dark and foreboding and his previous conversations with me terrified me enough to ask him not to contact me again. All the way to his destination, I prayed for an open door. I was not able to find a way out and now I saw the room I was in. I saw the window, the door, and the furniture in the room. I felt the terror all over again as I heard the man demand that I take my clothes off.

In the safety of my own home, I asked God to show me where He was then. Instantly, I saw Jesus appear in my memory and the next few minutes were all replayed in slow motion. As the man swung his hand toward my face for refusing to obey him, I saw Jesus put His hand up and absorb most of the blow. I saw the Lord’s hand vibrate from the force in that strong arm. The blow connected with my face, picking me off my feet and throwing me into a corner of the room where I landed on the floor.

The Lord turned to me, pointed to me and gave me permission to stop fighting.

All of a sudden, I knew things I didn’t know before. I had not been seriously wounded in that encounter. I had no whiplash, no bruising, no soreness on my back, shoulders or head where I’d landed. Furthermore, I knew that the Lord wanted to minimize the effect of the noise on children who were within hearing distance of where I was.

Then I saw Jesus take a chain and wrap it around this man from head to toe. While I was wondering what that was, I heard Him say, “I bind the spirit of murder.” Then He announced that He had given me eternal life and no one could snatch me out of His hand. I had been given to Him by His Father and no one was able to snatch me out of His Father’s hand. ( I found this later in John 10:28)

Not My Fault:  No More Guilt

At that point, the terror I’d felt for years disappeared. The details of the actual rape scene that followed was fast forwarded and  relegated to the place of the unimportant. Then I saw the Lord put a white sheet over me and wrap me in it. He told me it wasn’t my fault and he restored to me a sense of innocence that has lasted for more than twenty years. All the emotions from the trauma were replaced with peace and calm.

At that point, He asked me if I wanted to see this man as He saw him. I agreed. I was at the foot of the bed we’d been lying on and this huge hulk of a man shrunk before my eyes into the body of a two-year old, and with a child’s voice begged me to tell him he was loved. I felt compassion for him instead of the outrage I’d experienced before. I was able to forgive him from my heart and have prayed for his salvation since then.

The Lord then showed me that He commanded the man who intended to rape and murder me, to take me back to my own vehicle where I was able to go home. When at home, I rocked in my rocking chair for weeks and months, and Jesus let me see how He rocked with me while I recovered over the course of the next weeks and months and how  He brought people alongside of me who prayed for me and loved on me.

The perpetrator came to my home about three months later to ask for forgiveness. I talked to him through an unlocked screen door with words of forgiveness. I refused to allow him to enter. I said I was not obligated to trust him again even though I forgave him. When the guy tried to force his way into my home, he could not open the door even though it was not only unlocked, but also would regularly fly open in the wind. He tried several times while I went to my phone to dial the police. He left before I could find the number (this was before the days of 911). This too was an act of God protecting me. I never saw the fellow again and have never been threatened or molested since then.

I feel safe and secure knowing my life is in God’s hands now.

Memories are No Longer Painful

Since I received that healing, my memories are no longer painful. I sleep without nightmares and do not fear I will “get myself into trouble”, but can rely on the Lord to keep me safe. The incident was not wasted. I have been able to help many women find healing for similar situations since then.

Ask for God’s Perspective

Perhaps you have been the victim of a trauma similar to mine. If you are still alive, it is because God intervened to some measure. He is not mean because He “let it happen”. If you are angry at God because of what man has done to you, may I suggest that you can ask Him to give you His perspective. Misplaced anger can keep you from receiving the healing you need.

By the time I received my healing, I did not blame God for what one man did to me. I was in fact very thankful to Him for intervening. There is more to the story, but that is enough this time.

The Natural Resistance to Healing

 The Natural  Resistance to Healing

There is a natural resistance to healing. It’s hard for some of us to believe we need any.  After all, our lives seem to have an order about them. We have control over our own affairs quite well, thank you. To suggest that we need healing is rather ridiculous after all.

That reminds me of a story. One time, I was a part of a group mentorship class. I had taken the training to learn one method of healing prayer which seemed to work quite a bit better than some of my other courses I’d taken. Furthermore, I had been accepted on a healing prayer team where I could be an apprentice. That was really helpful to me since I was paired up with an experienced prayer team member each week and could practice the method I’d learned and get helpful suggestions. The cool thing was that the Truth would always show up even when I had no clue if I was doing things properly and the recipients of prayer would get great breakthroughs in spite of me. At the end of each evening I was fine tuned by my mentors. If I really got stuck, the more experienced prayer partner could take over the session.

One of our leaders found me to be particularly irritating. At first I was confused about it and in due season, I began to see that how I talked and laughed was very disturbing to him. Seeing him disturbed, disturbed me so I went to one of the other leaders for the healing I needed so that I wouldn’t be so disturbing to him. As a member of the team, I was always able to get prayer for my own stuff since it was built into the program as each member of the team was required to have at least 10 healing sessions per year. Sure enough, I found my need to please others had been a dominating force in my life. I found the source of the problem and the truth set me free. I experienced the peace that follows a good prayer session.

The next week I met the leader who found me so irritating. The interesting thing was that although he was still irritated by me, I was no longer disturbed by his behaviour or his remarks about how much I talked.

I decided to talk to him about the situation. I told him that I noticed his annoyance towards me and he agreed that he found me to be grating on his nerves. I told him about my prayer session and the success I’d had and the peace I was now enjoying. I asked him, “Is it possible that the source of your irritation is an area you need healing in? Perhaps it’s not actually me who is the problem, but the pain my personality or mannerisms triggers in you.”

He seemed taken aback at the mere suggestion. He seemed quite agitated but agreed to explore the possibility with his own prayer partner since no one else on the team seemed bothered by me. The following week he returned to me to let me know that I was indeed correct. The trigger had been dispelled and we became friends for many years after that.

The moral of the story: Don’t be too quick to believe that you don’t need healing. You might just find yourself held hostage to the words, actions or mannerisms of others. And that would be a shame.

Forgive and Forget: does it really work?

Some people get impatient with people who are wounded. They get tired of hearing the stories of those who never seem to get over certain things.

“Forgive and forget,” they say.

“Move on,” they say. “

“Let it go,” they say.

If it were that easy, don’t you think they would have by now? I do not believe people really like misery as much as the impatient seem to think they do. As a matter of fact, I think that those who get annoyed or grumpy toward their wounded friends or relatives are more triggered by the pain of others than they might realize.

I have found, that when the one who is annoyed examines their own lives, they will find the patience to listen to others when they deal with their own pain which causes so much irritation.

Back to the question of whether or not “forgive and forget” works. It is true that forgiveness can be an integral part of healing. But is forgiveness healing? Not at all. Forgiveness can lead to healing but healing and forgiveness are 2 different things altogether.

Let’s look at a Biblical definition of forgiveness: According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary Forgiveness is: one of the constituent parts of justification. In pardoning sin, God absolves the sinner from the condemnation of the law, and that on account of the work of Christ, i.e., he removes the guilt of sin, or the sinner’s actual liability to eternal wrath on account of it. All sins are forgiven freely ( Acts 5:31 ; 13:38 ; 1 John 1:6-9 ). The sinner is by this act of grace for ever freed from the guilt and penalty of his sins. This is the peculiar prerogative of God ( Psalms 130:4 ; Mark 2:5 ). It is offered to all in the gospel. (M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.)

As you can see, it is not necessarily the removal of pain but rather the removal of sin and it’s punishment. Not all pain is caused by one’s own sin. Neither is all pain caused by the sin of another.

Next let’s look at the definition of healing: To restore a person or wound to health; cure a person or disease; of a wound become sound or whole. (the Concise Oxford Dictionary copyright 1952 public domain).

It is therefore clear that they are not the same.

I would suggest from my years of experience in the healing prayer ministry that although some can forgive without healing as an act of their will, when healing comes it is much easier to forgive. Healing is the restoring of a person to wholeness. When we are made whole in an area of woundedness, the ability to forgive is a natural by product of the healing and peace is the result.