During the most scenic stretch of my morning commute I suddenly decelerated allowing a squirrel to scamper across the road. My intrinsic powers of deduction led to the conclusion that this was a very young squirrel. He was quite small. 🙂 What struck me was his tail. It was bent and lacked the usual amount of fluff. I wondered if a nasty squirrel fight was the cause?
Pain invades all our lives whether we are human or squirrel. 🙂 Unless a wound is minor it will rarely heal perfectly and most leave some sort of scar tissue which is inferior to the original flesh. Instances causing scars somehow seem meant to be remembered. I wonder why?
Like a squirrel with a bent tail, we can go through life with visible reminders of pain we’ve experienced. I call them battle scars. There are some battle scars that are invisible to the public because the pain is so sharp and buried under the skin deep in our souls, the seat of our emotions. Some are physical, some are emotional or even mental. Often these injuries occur when we are young (like Mr. Squirrel) when we are forming our identity.
The word form means to shape and the word formative means capable of shaping or molding something or someone. Ages 1 through 8 are considered by most experts to be the first set of formative years of physical and psychological development. Ages 9 through adulthood, with the onset of puberty and hormones, is the second set of important development. Any injuries or traumas during these periods can shape us for life.
Physical and sexual abuses generate brutal wounds with deep scars. Psychological abuse can be harder to recognize and define even by professionals. It appears to be so widespread and concealed by victims that it can be difficult to study. Some examples are; bullying, neglect, abandonment, intimidation, control, shaming, verbal assault, humiliation, blaming and any act including confinement. They can affect our daily function for years to come in tremendously negative ways such as anxiety, resentment, chronic depression, and post traumatic stress disorder.
If we ignore our wounds they can fester with infection into something ugly that we cannot bear to face. Sometimes we try to distract ourselves with unhealthy diversions such as alcohol, drugs, sex, overeating etc., As Christ followers desiring to FLURISH we need to be more responsible to care for ourselves.
All of us have something negative in our first twenty years but how we choose to handle those pains make the difference. If we want to FLURISH we have to take action:
First, we need to be willing to examine our memories for any of the unhealthy examples listed above. Be honest with yourself. If you are reading this, HE may be prompting you to face something you’ve ben avoiding?
Second, we have to recognize what happened. Identify the pain, or abuse we encountered. Own the fact that this happened. Remember, you are not alone. We all have stuff that needs attention.
Third, pray for God to heal your mind, body and emotions in whatever way necessary. Pray for and expect direction. Trust me, HE wants you to be healed, to be whole.
Perhaps HE will lead you to share your pains with a TRUSTED friend? That simple act can be powerful. “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 New Living translation
Sometimes HE will guide us to professional help. Please do not be afraid of this. Fear is what the enemy wants to keep you immobilized in crippling dysfunction. But Jesus desires to heal you and set you free. But HE will never force you, only lovingly encourage you to start the healing process. HE will stay by your side. Hebrews 13:5.
Early traumas can have positive effects IF we choose to recognize the injury occurred and then receive help. We can use the healing process and our experience to help others who may be wounded in a similar way. That is very positive and very biblical;
“HE comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.”
II Corinthians 1:4 New Living translation
Like it or not, battle scars show up on all of us. Seeing someone’s scars can be rather scary. Seeing our own can be frightening, especially the ones hidden under our skin. But remember Jesus’ words, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in ME. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, Because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 New Living translation
Take the first step toward healing.
No fear! Know faith! Now FLURISH!
Shine on. . .