Tag Archives: emotional healing

“What’s All That Crying About?”

When I was a child, my dad said things that many dads say. “Stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about”. My dad passed away many years ago and I can still hear his voice and the way he said it. At the time, those words evoked fear in my heart. I was always terrified of my dad as a little girl. I know I wasn’t the only child to hear these words.

I now have four wee little grandchildren and although each one is different, they all have one thing in common. They cry. When they cry a lot, they distress their parents to no end. Crying is a child’s non-verbal way of expressing their needs and desires, like pain, boredom, hunger or fear. There are lots of reasons a child cries. Parents in their humanness sometimes react in ways that are not helpful or healthy.

How People Respond Matters 

Some responses to a child who cries can cause the child in their immaturity to interpret their caregiver’s tone of voice or reactions in a way that may not be intended or even considered. Sometimes this can create a core belief in the child that becomes a theme or framework for their entire lives.

I know now that my dad was a tender-hearted man who loved his three children and was very proud of us. I didn’t always believe this. When I was growing up, I saw him as a mean man who was too quick to strike and too slow to listen. I never felt secure around him, especially when I was alone with him.

My perspective changed several years after he died. I had a load of memories of him reacting to my tears or my other childish “flaws”. During my early years as a Christian, I was taught the need to forgive others. The Lord’s prayer reads in Matthew 6:12, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It further states in Matthew 6:14, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

I learned to forgive my dad for every negative memory I had of him. I released him into the hands and care of my heavenly Father and asked God to bless him. I then asked the Father to forgive me for holding those negative actions against him and asked the Lord to wipe the slate clean between us over those events. It took several years and loads of memories to go through, but over time it became easier and easier to remember some of the good things about him. As I cooperated in this process, God met me along the way.

After Practicing Forgiveness   

About fifteen years after my dad’s funeral, I woke early in the morning before anyone else in the house stirred. Not wanting to leave my comfortable bed, I decided to just thank God in my head for all the blessings I was enjoying at that point and time. As I did, I entered into what seemed like a daydream. I “saw” the Lord walk into my room with another fellow. I knew it was Jesus and he told me that this gentleman had asked permission to talk to me and He had decided to grant permission. Now it was up to me to decide.

Because I didn’t recognize him, I wondered who he was even though I’d said yes to letting him speak to me. I saw an old picture of my dad in my hand.  It turns out that this person was indeed my dad and he wanted to tell me how sorry he was for not knowing how to raise me well. He apologized for a long list of faults and failures and asked me to forgive him.

Astonished, I forgave him immediately. The confession was so sincere. My dad proceeded to tell me all the things he loved about me as a little girl. From there he went on to affirm me as a woman and a mother and to let me know how proud he was of me. Years of fear washed away. Any list of sins I had retained against him were forgotten during that conversation except what I needed to remember for this testimony. He bestowed upon me a father’s blessing and assured me that I would recognize him in heaven when I got there as he had been healed of all that had deformed him as a man on earth.

The conversation went on for many minutes. I cried during a lot of it and still cry today in the memory of it. These tears are not negative in nature. They are not a sign of need or pain and they are not full of regrets either. These are tears of gratitude for the encounter I had in a day-dream where the Lord revealed something to me in a way I could receive and accept. Now, I can hardly remember the negatives of my childhood with my dad.

I do remember him getting on the floor with my brothers and me playing arm wrestling with him and hearing him laugh at our vain attempts to beat him. I remember playing checkers and washing the dishes with him. I remember how he used to boast about my brothers to visitors after they left home and I am sure he boasted about me too when I left.

I remember the many hours he, being almost illiterate, helping me with homework by dictating the numbers I had to copy out of the text book to help me get it done faster. I remember him bringing my mother breakfast in bed when she was really really sick and bringing her plastic flowers on her birthday.

I remember reading the Bible to him as he lay dying of cancer at home. And I remember being there when he said his last word to God, and I know that I will see him again.

May you, my reader, learn to forgive those who did not react to your crying well. May you practice that act of forgiveness in the presence of God and may He lead you to the full healing you need so that you in turn can react well to those who cry around you. And may your tears become tears of joy and gratitude in many times and in many ways.

A Biblical Account of Transforming Truth

New Information Can Bring Healing

Here is one of the Bible accounts that I think illustrate the principle of how God can heal with new information. The story is found in the Bible in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 3. It’s a familiar story for those who grew up going to Sunday School: the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I would encourage you to read it again in your own favourite translation.

In this story a king named Nebuchadnezzar ruled over Babylon. He was, an arrogant cruel tyrant who held all of his subjects’ lives in the palm of his hand. In this particular story, he set up a giant golden image to be worshipped. To make sure he was obeyed, he announced that anyone who didn’t fall down and worship the image would be thrown into a fiery furnace.

King Nebuchadnezzar heard that three of his leaders, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to worship the golden image. The king was in a furious rage and ordered the furnace heated seven times more than usual before he had the three men thrown into the fire. Would you agree that Nebuchadnezzar was emotionally upset? That sounds like an enormous understatement.

Our Beliefs Impact Our Emotions

Why do you suppose he reacted so violently? May I suggest that his fury and rage were based on his beliefs:

He was absolutely always right

He had the right to expect and demand complete and unquestioning obedience because he was the king and like a god

Perhaps he was also very much afraid of allowing any other opinion or practice lest he appear weak before men which could cost him his own life

If you skip the middle of the story and jump straight to Chapter 3 verse 30, you might scratch your head and wonder, “What on earth made him change from vengeful rage to promoting them in the province of Babylon? What would calm a fury and lead to an endorsement?”

The answer is found in verses 24-27. Nebuchadnezzar was astonished when he saw four men walking in the midst of the fire unharmed and the form of the fourth one is like the Son of God or the son of the gods. When he called the three Hebrew men out of the fire, they were not singed nor did they even smell like smoke.

Truth Can Set Us Free and Change Our Attitudes

Nebuchadnezzar had a complete emotional transformation that day. Interestingly enough there is no evidence that anyone else saw the fourth person in the furnace. Not even Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego mentioned seeing him or talking to him. It may have been for the king’s eyes only. But none the less, the truth set him free from whatever he believed enough to completely change his attitude towards the Hebrew servants and their God.

I believe that God can grant you freedom the same way by showing you things that you could never see without His help. Because God is not limited to time, He can appear anytime and act in ways you could not have imagined on your own. In the next post, I will share with you how He showed up in one of my own most difficult circumstances.

 

Everybody Gets Hurt Sometimes

That’s right, honey. Everybody gets hurt sometime. There is no free and easy ride for anyone. We live in a fallen world, some say. We get to choose how we will deal with those bad days, weeks or years.

Hi there,

My name is Muriel Rae. I’ve had my share of bad days, just like you. I used to be a victim, and I grew very unhappy. I whined, cried, begged, ranted and raged for life to be different and grew angry and depressed. I put on fake smiles at all the right times but never left my sad state of mind. I felt helpless.

One day I got tired of my life as it was. I thought I’d done all I could to be the best person I could be and had been rejected for my effort. I wanted my life to be different. I wanted a change. This blog is a record of my story. Some changes took a long time, some happened in an instant. I’m still on the journey.

I am sharing this with you because maybe, like me, you want a change. It all starts with one simple decision and then another and another. We all get to choose. It is the one single talent everyone has. The ability to make choices.

It is my hope that you will learn from my story. Perhaps you can make your life different.

 

My life is radically different today than it was when I made my first big decision. It is full of joy and blessing. It’s not perfect of course (who’s life is?). But it is a whole lot better than it was because I chose to embark on a healing journey. It’s been a wild ride at times. But, oh how glad I chose to go this way. Join me if you like. You get to choose.