One summer in college, I worked at a daycare center with three year olds.
Daniel was a little tow-headed boy who always seemed to have dirt on his shirt and jam on his face. He was a handful, and I admit, not one of my favorites. My co-workers explained that his parents were in the midst of a messy divorce and it was really hard on Daniel and his brother, David, a two-year-old in the next room over.
One day on the playground, I looked down to see David standing at my leg. He looked up at me, stretched up his arms, and said softly, “Hold me, hold me.” When I picked him up, he snuggled into my shoulder.
That evening, I was home chatting with my mom about my day and the incident with David on the playground. As I talked, I started feeling angry at their dad for leaving these little boys who needed him.
What happened next surprised me more than I can say. Hardly realizing it, what and whom I was talking about changed:
“These poor little boys. I get that there are problems in the marriage, but that’s not their fault! They need their dad and all of a sudden he’s not there. Doesn’t he care about his boys? Did he even think about us? He just left us! We were just little kids, how were we supposed to understand? We were just little kids…”
My words trailed off into sobbing.
I was two or three when my own parents separated and my dad moved out. I was a tow-headed boy with a brother named Daniel. My middle name is David. These uncanny similarities had flown in under my radar, stirring a deep well of pain I hadn’t known was still there.
I’d forgotten. My heart hadn’t.
Over the years of walking with others seeking freedom from sexual and relational sins and brokenness, I’ve come to believe Jesus allows and perhaps even orchestrates present day scenarios that tap into past wounds. He does so not to re-wound us, but to bring healing.
Lovingly, he knows every wound—its edges, its source, how deep it goes, how long it’s been there.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”
Sometimes present pain or habits or addictions are the ways we become able to hear him knocking.
What wounds do you carry—in your body, in your memories, in your soul? What have you buried? Where have you forgotten? What have you left behind, unhealed?
When finally we open these long-forgotten rooms within, light can come. Christ enters not with trumpets and fanfare, but with scars that match your own. His wounds are deep enough to assume all you have experienced.
Here there may be a new kind of pain, but a healing one. Real healing flows from him. He comes to restore you to life.
Our team at Regeneration is here to help.
Question: What do you think keeps people from facing old wounds? Do you have a story that can encourage others to take that risk? Leave a comment here.
Thanks Josh,all that you say is true. Having lost my father at an early age and all that that involves only came to the fore of my awareness after I became a Father myself and started to understand that I was ill prepared for that responsability . Through this ministry I have learned how to be there and have done what I could to correct the things that I got wrong with my children. It has taken me a long time to see the way that our Father show’s us what the wounds are in our life. your words help as another brick that has been placed back in the foundation that is part of me .
This touched me today, Josh.
“When finally we open these long-forgotten rooms within, light can come. Christ enters… with scars that match your own. His wounds are deep enough to assume all you have experienced.”
My first reaction reading these words was “Will He?” There’s been a lot piling up and I want to retreat in pornography. When things pile up I feel like I’ve been abandoned.
I cried when I read about David asking you to hold him. I’m so glad you did.
I was sexually abused at a younger age and one of the biggest reasons that kept me from facing those wounds was the fact that I would have to re-live my past in order to deal with it. But God is gentle and caring and He provided the right time and the right people to be around me during the two hardest years of my life. Nobody knew about the abuse and having to tell my wife, my parents and brother was just too hard and painful. The shame and guilt were almost too unbearable. But I had to do it. I was done with all the suffering it had caused me for the past 20 years, I was done protecting my abuser. I just wanted to be free. So I did it. Saying the words “I was abused” for the first time made me feel free and empowered for the first time in my life, I felt like I had a voice. I cried for days… The emotions were huge. So I had to take one step at a time, one day at a time. Having a young baby at home, a job, and a family to take care of made everything a little more challenging. But God was there every step of the way, with my family and I, giving us the support that we needed in every single area of our lives.
Regeneration has been a huge part of this journey. It was there that I dealt with things that were way beyond the surface, but I felt welcomed and safe to share the part of my life that I thought I would never talk about. The feelings about myself, my feeling towards God and the church, the porn addiction… The abuse had a part in all of this… It has been over two years now and after all the hard work that it has been, I can look back and say that I wouldn’t choose any other way. My journey is definitely not over, but it feels good to be free and feel that there is nothing to be guilty or ashamed of. Jesus took it upon himself and it is all at the foot of the cross.
No matter what happened in the past, or whatever your current struggles are. Let God come in and do his thing. It is not going to be easy, but you are not going to regret it.
The only way to really heal the past is to revisit the past and shine God’s light on deep wounds from childhood. It’s painfully difficult emotional surgery but worth the work if one has the courage to face the truth. Continual avoidance behaviors will only prolong the road to recovery and wholeness.
A powerful glimpse into God’s sovereignty. I too have experienced this type of unawareness through my own struggle with sexual and relational brokenness. The transferance from one human in my past to another in the present only brought pain, but ultimately healing where I needed it most. Wounds that I had forgotten surfaced and grace poured out. Grace, O the ocean that we need to swim in!