I like instant. I like brewed coffee in a minute or less. I like microwaved leftovers in 45 seconds or less. I like instant text, instant online shopping, and instant movies at the click of a button. But sometimes healing takes time.
I’m not a fan of process, but would rather have immediate results. One of my favorite words in the New Testament is “immediately.”
- “Immediately they received their sight” (Matthew 20:34).
- “Immediately the leprosy left him” (Mark 1:42).
- “Immediately her bleeding stopped” (Luke 8:44).
Sometimes, God does heal immediately, but not always. Most times, He heals through a progression of healing steps. Click & Tweet!
Whether we’re talking about someone’s healing from the results of a bad decision, healing of violent childhood memories, or healing from a broken heart, healing takes time.
Healing begins by recognizing that a broken heart needs mending, a busted life needs repairing, the consequences of a regrettable decision need righting.
It starts with a decision to “get well”—to set the shattered bone of contention, to lance the festering boil of bitterness, to remove the rotting soul ache of resentment, to stop metastatic memories from spreading. Healing peeks through the birth canal of wholeness when we tell someone our story for the first time.
Because healing is a process, it usually happens through a series of steps or decisions. It’s not a sprint, but a marathon—one with potholes, bends in the road, and a few straightaways that build momentum. A process implies movement—a progression from one step to the next.
I grew up with a world of wounds from what went on in my home. I couldn’t wait to graduate from high school and get out of that house. The problem was, when I left, I took my memories with me. I was a Christian; I loved Jesus; but I was weighed down with anger and resentment for what my parents had done and what they had not done.
My healing came over time in layers of forgiveness, stages of shedding shame, and progressively learning to see myself as God saw me. Just when I thought I was in the clear, God would reveal another closet of my heart that needed cleaning out.
When we have a physical wound, the need for attention is obvious. We sew up the cut, bind the break, bandage the burn. Then we douse the injury with medicine and wait for it to heal. Once a scar has formed or the bone has set, we know the body has repaired itself. The area may still be tender for a while, and it might take some time before we stop being mindful of it, but the wound is closed, and a healthy scar remains.
But when we are wounded emotionally, it’s not quite that straightforward. We can’t see the wound, so it often goes unattended, festering and spreading infection into our thoughts and relationships. Time does not heal all wounds, especially wounds of the heart. They may lie dormant for a season, but triggers poke them with the hot iron of remembrance that lets us know they’re still there.
Forgiveness begins with a decision, but there is also a process that follows. The mind and the emotions don’t always move in tandem. Emotions tend to lag behind. Even when we make a sincere decision to forgive, it might take a while for our emotions to catch up.
So if you have made a decision to forgive, but your feelings are lagging behind, don’t beat yourself up or think that you haven’t truly forgiven. Simply keep reminding yourself that you have forgiven the person who hurt you, and eventually your emotions will catch up to your obedience.
Oh God, I really want to let go of this pain from the past. When triggers bring it up again, help me to remind myself that I have already let it go and placed it at Your feet. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
How have you seen forgiveness change your story. Leave a comment and let’s share.
Are you ready to turn your pain into purpose? Are you ready to transform your worst chapters into your greatest victories? If so, check out my new book, When You Don’t Like Your Story: What If Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories and begin the journey today. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
Join my FREE on-line Bible study running from February 16-March 9, 2021 and let’s do it together. We’ve created 6 video sessions that will be available for individual or groups!
Thank you your words bring comfort
Thank you! This is so very needed. I am still healing in areas that God is showing me. It has been almost 5 years, coming out of 30 plus years of an emotionally and mentally abusive marriage to a narcissist. My faith is in God, and I trust Him, He has and will always be my Hope. Blessings to you!
I too discovered that I was married to a narcissist. The most freeing revelation from the Lord was that my husband wasn’t emotionally capable of an intimate relationship with anyone…ever!!!
I stopped telling myself that it was my fault; not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, funny enough…. it had NOTHING to do with me!!! Praise God!!! I was free!
Healing and forgiveness came quickly after that and I was able to emotionally heal. Today I press into Him more deeply than ever before and share His love with others.
I agree. He has done many miracles in my life. Many are small ones like finding things for me or directing me to where they are. Praise God for all things.
I just bought the book and can’t wait to read it ! I too was married to a narcissist for 27 years, the wounds run so deep.
Thank you for this friendly reminder!
I found out in July that my husband had been watching and meeting in chat and live videos on app from his iPhone for 10yrs, I knew my husband had struggled with porn all through the 22yrs of our marriage but didn’t realize the lie that was bright to life in July. We both have been taking steps but the emotional pain is so hard to let go.
Forgiveness frees me me from someone else’s pain! I’ve learnt that hurting people hurt people! Example my dog loves me! But when he has pain from an affliction or hurt if I try to touch it or fix it he snaps at me even though he loves me & would other wise never hurt me, pain can cause us to do or say things that we would not do if not for the pain ! I’m learning that forgiveness frees me!
Thank you for that analogy! My husband and I are really struggling right now. He constantly snaps and speaks to me disrespectfully. I believe that somewhere in his past lie the answers as to why. Your analogy of the hurting dog is perfect! I need to find forgiveness for the last 9 years of snapping in order for ME to be free.
I found out in July that my husband had been watching and meeting in chat and live videos on app from his iPhone for 10yrs, I knew my husband had struggled with porn all through the 22yrs of our marriage but didn’t realize the lie that was bright to life in July. We both have been taking steps but the emotional pain is so hard to let go. I’d love to join the Bible Study
Praying Comfort and strength for you and praying complete healing for your husband. God is able to do the impossible. May His Word be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. Light in the darkness. (Lamp is a device but light is the result of a device) His Word is both! Praying!
I look fwd to your new on-line Bible study!
Love to join the Bible study
I would like to join the Bible study
I bought your book and I am excited about your on-line Bible Study.
I am not sure what the website is. I have an IPhone 10r that I use.
Yes I would like to join the bible study online.
Yes, yes, yes, and amen! From forgiving my grandfather for having sexually molested me to forgiving my ex-husband for having cheated on me and leaving my girls and me for another woman, God has turned the bad into good. He has put people in my path who have been in similar situations. I have been able to empathize, cry with, and encourage them to know they are not alone and that life can get better. It does not happen overnight, but the process is also a tool of what to do and what not to do. Mostly forgiveness is freeing! Not of the memories but of the pain, guilt, and shame. Thank you, Lord!
Looking forward to this.
All I can say is THANK YOU
I too couldn’t wait to graduate high school & leave home. Memories so deeply embedded in my mind of my alcoholic father & the hurt & pain it inflicted in my tender young years . Even though he passed when I was 14 , the scars were deep & I was looking to be loved by a man because Dad couldn’t fill that part of me. Unwise choices began
Same here Carlene. I was married at 18 to escape my home life. Alcoholic father my entire life made growing up full of shame, embarrassment, and fear. I didn’t receive the nurturing from him that I needed and as a result it was hard for me to trust anybody. I vowed to never marry somebody like him and my husband has been wonderful. Living in fear, because my parents became violent with each other at times, caused me to be a fearful adult. God has helped me overcome a lot of it but sometimes the fearfulness still creeps in quickly.
Healing of the heart
I can’t tell you what reading “When You Don’t Like Your Story” has done for me. Several of my friends have gotten the book and we are discussing it frequently and working through it together. I am signed up and looking forward to the upcoming study.
It seems pain never stops happening in my life but I am seeing, powerfully, God’s hand and the comfort of His loving arms emerging. Thank you for your faithfulness in writing this book that has, and will continue to touch so many lives with the love and forgiveness that only comes from knowing God has a purpose and plan for our lives.
Thank you for telling me that it takes time to heal…I have a hard time taking the time for myself to not think on other things except my need
Thank you for this reminder that healing begins with forgiveness. Sometimes the forgiveness is forgiving ourselves. Lord I thank you on this day for this word let the healing process begin ❤️
I am comforted by reading the raw, honest sharing here. I have experienced so many of the same childhood traumas. I know God won’t waste that pain as I forgive others. Now in a 40 year marriage where financial infidelity has crept in over the last few years. I am seeing a counselor and have gone to the church for prayer to be able to forgive, trust again and move forward. There are no guarantees except that God will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you to everyone who opened up here.
Bless the lord oh my soul thanks a lot ladies such powerful words time dont heal healing takes time
Thank you for doing this on line study. Do we have to purchase the book first?
It is always a blessing for people to know that you are not alone in your endevors to know someone understands your experiences with your emotions. Thank God for you
I love what your wrote about emotional pain. I have felt the freedom of forgiveness but it has taken a good share of my life to do so. Once I was able to let go and let God work in my heart and my mind, I was able to lay most of my hurts at His feet and I found joy in life. Praise God for His goodness and grace!
Thank you for your wise words, Sharon. I wish I had read this post years ago, as I struggled with my guilt. I had forgiven my son & daughter-in-law, as I knew I should, years ago. But hurt feelings are so hard to swallow when they creep back into your throat as “life” goes on. I prayed often for a healing between us, and constantly “beat myself up” for being able to “forgive”, but not to completely “forget”. With time, and God’s will, things are beginning to be better, and my memory of the “hurt” is finally really fading. Time, prayer, love from my good friends, all have been a huge blessing from God that have helped me through this time of healing. I pray that others will continue to be obedient knowing that their blessing will come through their obedience, and that their pain will also disappear.
I am convinced that God has led me to this bible study! Looking forward to it so much❣️
I too am awaiting my emotions to catch up to the forgiveness. Perhaps that will happen when I am done writing my book.
This really captures exactly what I have experienced. Physical & mental abuse in 2 marriages. It keeps me from ever accepting another relationship after 38 years. Then we lost a young family member and a split in the family began, so much pain. At this time getting this website from the grieving & angry family member is a ray of light. We need to heal.
1 Peter 2:23 has helped me so much with forgiveness, showing me how Jesus managed to forgive- He entrusted Himself to our Father, who judges justly. God will deal with people who hurt us, so we don’t have to wish for revenge or their repentance. We also entrust ourselves to the Father to help us with the anger, guilt and shame.
Thank you for sharing this verse. It is what I needed. I have been retaliating in my pain. It needs to stop. God bless,
Thanks Sharon for your words of encouragement..Emotional healing and transformation takes time and that is not an easy process at all..
If our emotions are sick and if we don’t treat them or let them heal then, we are walking around sick.,It’s just that we are good at hiding it through stuffing our emotions and putting on different types of masks changing colours depending on the surroundings .. the deep rooted wounds leads to self destructive behaviours , more self pity, and when we live on emotions, our life will be a roller coaster…
We know that the fruits of the flesh are self pity, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, envy.. and the Fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Humility, Kindness, Self control
Our forgiveness is only by the grace of God.. Trusting God in the midst of our trials and storms shows Him that we count on Him fully. The breaking point of crying out to God, asking for help, spending more quiet time and learning his Word starts the process..
Pray about EVERYTHING..,Take your eyes off your problems and Look up to Jesus, He loves you and He HAS THE BEST PLAN FOR YOU!
Emotional healing and transformation takes time and that is not an easy process at all..
If our emotions are sick and if we don’t treat them or let them heal then we are walking around sick.,It’s just that we are good at hiding it through stuffing our emotions and putting on different types of masks changing colours depending on the surroundings .. the deep rooted wounds leads to self destructive behaviours , more self pity, and when we live on emotions, our life will be a roller coaster…
We know that the fruits of the flesh are self pity, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, envy.. and the Fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Humility, kindness, self control
All forgiveness is by the grace of God.. Trusting God in the midst of our trials and storms shows Him that we count on Him fully and not the world. The breaking point of crying out to God, asking for help, spending more quiet time and learning his Word starts the process..
Pray about EVERYTHING..,Take your eyes off your problems and Look up to Jesus, He loves you and He HAS THE BEST PLAN FOR YOU!
You gave examples about God’s “immediate” healing but when you say; “…Most times, He heals through a progression of healing steps,” can you guide me toward scriptures that support that statement?