Strategy 9: Your Hurts (pages 151-167)
Within 45 seconds of watching the singer retell a painful and familiar story from childhood through a song she wrote for her daughter, I found myself sobbing ugly on my bedroom floor.Her story echoed mine and it pressed on a piece of me that I refer to as emotional scar tissue.
Have you ever had an old wound that seems to have healed completely, yet when the gnarled up tissue surrounding it is touched with only the weight of a feather, it releases a pain so intense your body trembles? That song about a daddy leaving his little girl was my feather.
I showed the video to my husband, cried some more and then opened the package waiting for me. Fervent. I had agreed to read the book and write about strategy 9. When I took on the assignment, I did so because my prayer life felt dry and I wanted to reclaim my passion for prayer. But I didn’t know a thing about strategy 9 until I turned to that chapter first and read: “Your hurts. Turning bitterness to forgiveness.”
In my bones I knew that God had assigned me this chapter and to open it at that very moment.
With eyes still wet, I clung to every word. Again and again I read the chapter and Hebrews 12:14-15.
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”
“Lord,” I prayed. “I’ve forgiven my father for leaving when I was two. I have a relationship with him now. I don’t feel bitter. But I hurt. Please show me why. Show me if I haven’t really forgiven him.”
Again I heard the singer choke out the line “she will never question her worth, because I will put her first.” And I knew the source of my hurt.
I forgave him for leaving, but I never forgave him for making me question my worth.
My struggle with my worth has been the robber of joy far too many times in my life. At that moment in fervent prayer, God revealed how I still silently accused my father of creating that robber. Once I clearly viewed the depth of my hurt and unrecognized root of bitterness surrounding it, I was able to rely on God for the healing I so desperately need. For me, it’s a process, but it began that moment I cried out for answers to an ache almost as old as me.
For Friday, read Strategy 10: Your Relationships (pages 169-181)
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Is there a pain in your life that needs release? Which of the scriptures on pages 164-167 are you using to craft a prayer strategy of freedom and forgiveness?
Angela Nazworth is passionate about living life with a heart wide open. She writes mostly about the beauty of grace, friendship, vulnerability, and community as a monthly contributor for incourage.me and on her personal blog, angelanazworth.com.