Hey, my friend. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
Today’s conversation is going to be a bit of a heart-to-heart. Because I’ve seen something in my own life that I’m guessing might be happening in yours.
It’s something that is hurting a lot of my relationships. It’s hurting people that I love.
And I certainly don’t intend for that to be happening. Yet all too often, I don’t do what it takes to change, to fix it, to do what it takes to make things better.
What I’m talking about is letting hurt from my past prevent me from loving those around me well.
I know that many of you are here because you have someone you love who is hurting, and you want to do everything you can to support them through it.
But you, too, are hurting. You’re carrying grief or trauma or abuse or illness or depression or uncertainty or fear around.
And it’s not just hurting you, it’s hurting those around you.
Today, I’m going to share some examples of how I see it playing out, and I just invite you to consider if there is some way that hurt from your past is hurting those you love without you even realizing it, okay?
Example 1: Past Relationships
So one of the first ways I see this in my own life is that I can look back at past relationships and see how they impact my relationship with my husband.
In one previous relationship, the guy got angry really easily. He was manipulative and deceitful. He liked a lot of drama.
And even though that relationship is long past, I can sometimes treat my husband as if he, too, is behaving in a way that is deceptive or hurtful.
Which is SO incredibly far from the truth.
And it’s not fair to him, and it hurts our relationship.
Have you experienced anything like that? Where one person’s behavior from the past influences the way you treat someone in a similar role today?
Example 2: Fear
Or what about this? I used to have a really close friend. Someone I could talk to about a lot of things—my depression, struggles I was having at work, God, dreams God had laid on my heart.
We served together. I was informally adopted into their family.
And then one day, that person was suddenly gone. Disappeared.
I couldn’t reach them. I couldn’t message them. I was left with explanations from others that didn’t feel right, that didn’t offer any sort of closure, but made me feel like I was a child they were trying to calm down.
And the sting and hurt I felt from that went deep. So deep that even today, I am dreadfully afraid to trust someone like that again. Because I don’t know if they’re going to someday disappear like my other friend.
It doesn’t mean I don’t try to develop friendships. It just means that experience is often in the back of my mind.
What about you? Has the sudden disappearance of a friend or loved one caused you to build walls around yourself so you don’t let others in? Whether it’s from something like what I described or maybe where a loved one was suddenly killed?
Who Is It For You?
My friend, I want you to take a look around you. Name the people you interact with on a daily or weekly basis.
Is it possible that your unhealed hurt is impacting them in some way?
- Your fear of being betrayed keeps your conversations safe and superficial.
- Your past abusive relationship causes you to question everything others tell you.
- Witnessing the addictions of others leads you to set super strict boundaries on you and those you love.
- Your mom or dad’s critical voice often pops up in your mind and causes you to say critical things to your own children.
Is this how you want to live?
Is this how you want your loved ones to live?
My friend, I am not here to guilt you or condemn you. No, ma’am. I have made my own share of mistakes and foolish choices, and I’ve had to trust the Lord for His forgiveness and healing for each and every one of them.
And as I’ve done so, I’ve experienced His peace, freedom, and joy.
And I so desperately want that for you.
What Do We Do?
So what do we do with this unhealed hurt that is impacting us and those we love?
We carry it to Jesus.
We can do this through counseling.
We can do this through therapy.
We can work with a grief coach.
We can practice breath prayer and Immanuel prayer.
We can learn ways to care for our bodies and souls.
We can ask our trusted friends to pray for us.
But, my friend, I have also found journaling to be an amazing tool in helping me process these things with God.
Through journaling, I was able to write about those painful experiences in a safe, gentle, and private way. And even now, I am still able to talk to God about all the yucky things that happen when I notice the way they still impact my life today.
And if that’s something you want to try, if you want to learn how to use journaling as a way to talk to God about those hard places in your life, those painful experiences that you’d rather pretend never happened… then I would love to invite you to join me in the Journal Gently program.
It is intentionally designed for us more introverted gals who need that quiet space to reflect and pray and write. You can work through the material at your own pace, and you have direct, private access to me to ask questions or share what you are learning or to have someone bear witness to your story.
You can join Journal Gently at any time and get started right away, however, if you are listening to this in real time, I have a special round of Journal Gently starting on September 4th where you can bring a friend and go through the program together. Just go to lovedoesthat.org/journalgently and use code FRIEND20 when you register. Both you and your friend will need to register separately. But I’ll send you some extra resources so you can support one another in your healing journey. Plus you’ll save $20 on your registration. The deadline for that is this Thursday, August 31, so you can’t wait too long to decide.
If you have any questions—about the program, about journaling in general, about these unhealed hurts we carry around and how they are impacting our lives today—I hope you won’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can message me on Facebook or Instagram. I would absolutely love to connect with you and support you in any way I can.
Would you let me pray for you before we leave today?
Okay, my friend, that is all for today. I hope I will see you inside the Journal Gently program when you are ready. There is never any rush. And there is never any pressure. I care too much about you to push you into a program that isn’t right for you or not right for you in this season.
But I will be back next week with the podcast. Until then, let’s encourage one another.
Learn more and register for Journal Gently, an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.