In the life of a Jesus follower, there is clear power in testimony. It has the ability to break down walls of mental defensiveness and justification, and speak directly to the deepest parts of another’s heart. We all carry wounds around with us as a result of the gap between what we needed and what we actually received. In this message Greg shares some of his personal journey in healing from the wounds passed on to him from his family.
In our lives we have experiences that could be described as thin places, where the natural and supernatural seem to get much closer than normal and allow us a special insight and opportunity for healing if we press in. The place these encounters happen is our inner sanctum, or imagination. If we regularly make the choice to follow the Holy Spirit in to this space, then we can allow Jesus to minister and heal our hearts from wounds we’ve picked up along our way. We get both positive and negative input from our biological family. We can be thankful for the positive things, but we shouldn’t ignore the impact the wounds we’ve received might be having on our ability to move forward in trust and love of both God and our brothers and sisters.
Greg’s mother passed away when he was two and half years old. This experience had a profound effect on his view of the world at a very young age. Two things seemed to get on his mind through this loss:
- A conviction that he lived in a cruel and capricious world and is alone
- A yearning for a mother’s love
After his mother died, his father remarried a lady who brought a distinct spirit of cruelty and brokenness in to their household. After several years of physical and psychological abuse, at the age of 6 after a particularly cruel abuse, Greg ran out of the house grabbing a box of matches in defiance as he went. Sitting down by a creek lighting and throwing matches in to the water, he built a seemingly permanent wall between himself and the hurt and pain she caused. He resolved in his little brain that “she will never hurt me again.” He described it as emotional suicide, and never again cried when she abused him. It worked incredibly well at protecting him emotionally from her abuses, but it came at a great psychological cost to his ability to feel and trust.
When you’re 6 years old trying to make sense of the world, it just hurts too much to feel that kind of pain, so he shut it off to protect himself. Greg re-told several other severe abuses he experienced as a child both at home at the hands of his stepmother, as well as at school from a system who didn’t have the necessary understanding of his ADHD to provide any type of an environment of encouragement. Although he had revisited some of these experiences before, this week he let himself re-experience them again peeling one more layer off the onion and going a little deeper. In one of those experiences this last week as he was meeting with Jesus in his inner sanctum. He was taken back to that experience down by the creek where the walls first started going up. He saw the anger and defiance, as well as the deep sadness, hurt, and longing in his young eyes. The adult Greg told the Greg as a child that he was smart for protecting himself this way, and he’s going to grow up and meet people who can be trusted, and who are safe, and he’ll want to experience that love, so he’ll have to learn to open himself up.
Jesus joined their gathering at this point, but showed up as a loving, radiant mother and started hugging the both of them together. Jesus ushered in healing for Greg by allowing him to revisit some of these intense emotional experiences and replacing a sense of abandonment and loneliness with hope, safety, and love. By showing up as a mother, Jesus also helped Greg continue to heal from the wounds of his stepmother and satisfying his deep yearning for a mother’s love.
Jesus showing up as a loving mother highlights the individuality and care God has for each of us, meeting us right where we’re at and providing what is necessary for our healing. In reality, God is only fully expressed when thought of as embodying and expressing the divine masculine and feminine together. As noted in Proverbs, Matthew, Isaiah, and elsewhere, attributes or actions of God are often referred to as feminine. If we need a mother wound healed to be more whole, then God shows up as a mother, and vice versa on the masculine side of things.
Our picture of God is shaped by our experiences. The gaps between what we needed and what we received can create resentment and anger to build up over time if left unaddressed. It takes immense courage to confront that which has caused the deepest pain, but it’s also often the place of the biggest break throughs and healing. If your picture of God does not feel too good to be true, then you haven’t gone far enough in to his love.
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