Soreness, Scabbing, Scars and Celebrating: Anatomy of a Healing

Soreness, Scabbing, Scars and Celebrating: Anatomy of a Healing

I am sitting reflecting on counseling appointment with a client. I am in a reflective mood and needed to talk to someone. Do you have a moment? If you do, pull up a chair and let me share with you.

My heart went out to my client because he was so overwhelmed with something that is so often ignored...hurt! He is a good-looking gentleman, a unique Denzel Washington/Brad Pitt mix, with seemingly all of the blessings and benefits of life. He is charming, intelligent, cultured and creative. There were no outer bruises of injuries but a simple touch of his spirit revealed that beneath his 6 foot 215 pound muscular exterior were massive injuries. He shared with me that he wanted to heal. He wanted to be a better person and move on with his life. I asked him to open up to me and share his hurt. He told me that he could not. I redirected the invitation and asked him, "Where does it hurt?" He said, "I cannot tell you. It just does." Every time I came close to a hurting spot, he would flinch and become protective. He would back away and allow me no closer...I discovered at that moment that he had become engaged in a tragic relationship. He had become intimate and had fallen in love with his hurt! He was clinging so close to his hurt that healing had become impossible. I was baffled for a moment because my 20 plus years of pastoral counseling experience had neither instant solution nor process for his unique case. I could give him some directives for numbness in order to deal with the pain but he needed healing. I was a bit frustrated until the provocation of a dear friend came to mind. We were sharing about physical wounds and the healing process and that thought provided me with a method to help my client through the hurt. I have not yet implemented this process with my client but I will. I have experienced it in my mind and will share with you as if it has already occurred. Perhaps it can help you with some of your wounds too.

Healing has four stages to it: soreness, scabbing, scarring, celebration. I discovered that I had to help my client deal with the soreness in his life. He had hurt for so long that he just wanted to feel better. He regularly took painkillers that numbed him to the hurts of life so that he could cope. Alcohol numbed the pain of memories and enabled him to sleep at night. Multiple uncommitted relationships numbed the pain of a failed marriage and gave him a facade of intimacy without the investment. Countless hours of work gave him the sense of accomplishment and the financial ability to do anything he wanted when he wanted. His house of 6500 square feet and frequent social gatherings gave him the illusion of a home but he was not healed. I asked my client to come close enough for me to dialogue with him to find the hurting places. I warned him that if he wanted to heal, he would have to let me assist him with the soreness. He had been wounded and living with open wounds covered by all these bandages and spiritual sedatives but he had no healing. I told him that he would have to expose himself and remove the coverings. His wounds were deep, nasty and infected. His bandages were pretty but he was dying on the inside. I touched him and he cried and resisted but I continued to assist him with the sore places. He cursed me but it was all right. He was being exposed and did not like the experience. He asked me, "why is all of this necessary?" I told him that you have hurt so long and covered it so long that you have forgotten how to feel. Today we will confront your soreness and expose you. You look for everyone and everything to make you feel better but there are things that are in you that will permit you to begin healing within yourself. You must begin to scab.

My client appeared baffled. Every moment that I could get him to look at himself I did. Periodically, I would share soothing things with him and I refused to allow him to keep his wounds covered. He became afraid of what people may say about his wounds. I shared with him that the important thing was not opinions but wholeness. Have you ever noticed how readily your body responds to your needs? You and I will rush to find bandages to cover our wounds but your body will work tirelessly to create a scab. I discovered that healing does not begin with what someone does for your hurt. It begins with what you allow yourself to do for your hurt. My client loves the bandages and picks at the scabs. Your healing is not what others can make you feel or an avoidance of hurt. Your healing begins in what you will allow your soul to do whenever you are hurt. Could it be that you need to scab in some areas? Guess what? Scabbing is necessary but it is not pretty. My client loved that pretty bandages more than the necessary scabs.

When the scabs had become solid and I had won the battle of the unpicked scab I asked my client to touch those hurting places. He did and he shared with me that they did not hurt as they did before but then he went and repeatedly looked at the scabbed place that had left a scar. He was angry because he had been scarred and vowed that no person would ever do to him what others had done. He re-lived every intricate detail of his hurts in all of those places, pointed to the scarring, and told me that I just did not understand what he had been through. I shared with him that I understood that he had been through hurt but I also understood that he had been healed. He shared that he could not forget all that people had done to him and that he would never let it be done again. I looked at him and shared, "but you have been healed!" He asked, WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT I HAVE BEEN HEALED." I shared with him that he had been healed from the hurt but now he was mad about the scars! Everything that you are dealing with now is about the memories. You are reliving of past hurts. You are scarred but you are able to do everything now that you were able to do before you were hurt. You have healed but you want to use the defense of past hurt to keep you from a future of another chance. Your scar is obvious but eventually it will lighten and fade into you skin. My client shared that he is tired of answering questions about his scars and how he obtained them. I shared with him that scars fade as memories of hurt do. Your scars are not your embarrassments but your testimonies. He asked, WHAT TESTIMONIES???? I said, "The testimonies that you were once hurt and have healed."

The last stage of healing is celebration. So you healed from your what? Remember when you were hurt? What did you do? You mourned. You cried. You thought of all you could have done to avoid the hurt. You beat yourself up and took yourself through all kinds of things. What will you do when you heal? Will you throw yourself a party and share how good you feel or will you remember the hurt and ignore the healing? Will you spend all of your time reflecting negatively upon the scar that will fade and miss the opportunity to tell someone else that hurt may be inevitable but healing in some manner is always possible? Will you spend the rest of your life in fear of failing again and lose the opportunity to succeed? Will you continue to take the opiates that allow you to become numb and wind up with spiritual, emotional and soul addictions that have you constantly looking for a new pusher and another fix? NO! GET UP! DANCE! CELEBRATE! You have overcome. Someone needs to know how to do like you. Someone needs to understand that he ultimate healing begins with what you are willing to allow to begin to happen in yourself. Will you need some help? YES! We all do. However, Jesus asked the ultimate question and I asked it to my client and to you, "Do you want to be made whole? Note that he did not ask, "Do you want to be healed?" He did ask, "Do you want to be made whole?" Inside and out we need wholeness. Celebrate the wholeness as you mourned the hurt.

Wow, what a rehearsal! Your sitting here with me has permitted me to work through the process I must go through with my client. Perhaps our interaction with each other has some benefit for you. I thank you for taking the time to help me to help someone else. Remember this...hurt will come but so will healing. Take the time to be processed whenever you are hurt then live your life in a whole state. Love you all...forgive me if I rambles too long :).


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Comment by Evangelist Laura L Gates on May 29, 2009 at 9:46am
Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise....Amen! Thank you Lord for healing and the healing of my past!
Comment by Apostle K. Lavelle Bowling on March 15, 2009 at 10:45pm
Hey my brother. I want to share with you that I appreciate the work that you did with your client. I often try to become a plastic surgeon and help the client to realize that even though they have a scab and a scar but the wound was topical. You needed to cut them deeper and begin to stitch them up with fine sutures from the inside out and eventually you heal and can't see or feel the scar, There are certain stitches that only you can remove, and you know the progress that the client has made.
Comment by Tara Robinson on February 9, 2009 at 8:14pm
Vern you have spoken about a transition that is all to real in my life i have gone through so much hurt and pain that i use to wonder why was i even born. What is it about me that bad things keep on happening. Then i met Jesus and i began to understand and i found my answers. Even so that doesn't make the pain and hurt go away you just learn how to give it to God and no longer carry it your self. One of the things i learned was when i got to the angry stage i found my self telling everyone what i had been through and giving god praise for bring me out and the more i did this the less and less anger i felt about what happen. I learned through all my hurts and pain if i wanted to heal i had to forgive and allow my self to be transparent before the lord and just give it all to him. None of this was easy but i was determined and still is today to not allow pain to follow me through out my life but instead say yes i was hurt yes i was broken BUT GOD you know what i mean BUT GOD took it all away because i wanted to be made Whole and healed. Thank you my brother for this Subject we have a lot of people in the church who need to come face to face with there pain to be whole in jesus. Amen.

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