When you think of the word “wound,” or the concept of a wound, what comes to your mind? Usually, we think of cuts, scrapes, burns, or some kind of trauma, like when you accidentally hit your thumb with the hammer!
I think that when we hear the word “wound,” or “hurt,” we automatically think of physical wounds. Along with that, we think of the physical pain that would result from the wound, and picture smiley-faced bandages and antibiotic ointment.
But what about emotional wounds? Emotional wounds are just as painful, but differently. Physical wounds heal, and perhaps are quickly forgotten, yet emotional wounds stay with us, like an old movie that plays again and again in our minds.
Oh, we may think we’ve gotten over whatever trauma has happened, but just when we least expect it, something triggers a reaction within us, causing us to remember and relive the pain of an abusive relationship, a broken home in our childhood, a loss of any kind, or any one of hundreds of other scenarios.
Such emotional wounds can shape us and form us into the person we have become, and sometimes that is not a good thing. However, sometimes this is a good thing. An excellent thing.
Stay with me…..
Depending upon how we respond to the traumas and heartaches in our lives, there is always something that God has for us in the brokenness. God did not cause the brokenness, but is in the middle of it with us, and has something for us. Our prayer then becomes “God, what do you have for me in this brokenness?”
Then, it’s up to us to open our hearts, minds, ears, and eyes to be able to recognize and accept what God has for us. And it’s OK to ask God for help in doing this.
This is not to minimize significant trauma and post-traumatic stress. But even in these situations, God has something for us, is in the middle of it with us, and once again, we must be open to that. God equips and empowers professional counselors, doctors, and specialists who know how to work with our trauma … and us … to bring about healing and wholeness, and to give us tools to manage our responses to our emotional wounds.
This is how God is in the middle of it with us, even in the darkest of times.
So, I invite you to pray this prayer daily … (I have prayed this, or a form of this, almost daily for several years): “God, I am open to that which you have for me this day, whatever that may be.
Give me the wisdom to recognize that, and the courage to accept it.” Amen? Amen!
Rev. Dr. Denise Luper was a pastor at First United Methodist Church in Red Oak.