Linda Barrick has experienced tragedy personally at the hands of a drunk driver. She and her family have an amazing testimony, and here, she shares tips on how to heal a wounded heart.
Perhaps you wonder if healing is really possible. Whether it's physical, emotional, or spiritual healing, we're all desperately searching for relief.
On November 5, 2006, a drunk driver traveling more than eighty miles per hour struck our van head-on. In an instant, my husband, my two children, and I were physically broken, crushed in countless ways. My daughter, Jen, wasn't expected to live through the night because of traumatic brain injuries and multiple skull fractures. She remained in a coma for five weeks, and months passed before we were all reunited. Today our lives don't look like they once did, and they never will.
In the years following our car accident, the one thing that would bring me comfort was to think about how God allowed his innocent Son to suffer and die on the cross for me. As I begged God for healing, I started listening very carefully to the words Jesus spoke when He was in those final hours of suffering.
Even though the cross is a one-time act of redemption, Jesus's final words have also become a crucial part of my daily healing.
Jesus Final Words – A Unique Healing Prescription
Healing Your Wounded Heart 1. Ask God Why
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
In his deity, Jesus knew the heart and mind of God. He didn't need to ask why. But Jesus was also a man. He felt pain just as we do. It's comforting to know that when He hurt the most, He had to ask "why?"
By asking why, Jesus gave us permission to bring our tough questions to God. Because He asked why, we don't need to be ashamed of our own doubts and fears. God isn't angered because we need more answers. In fact, our tough questions may be the very thing that draws us closer to Him.
If you were standing before God right now, what would you ask Him?
Satan controls what we keep hidden in darkness, but when we bring our wounds into the light, Satan no longer has power over them. Jesus is the light! When we acknowledge our pain, He begins to heal us. Go ahead, ask Him!
Healing Your Wounded Heart 2. Choose forgiveness
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).
While they were still driving the nails into His hands, Jesus said out loud, "Father, forgive them." He refused to let any bitterness take root. I suspect He was teaching us that the sooner we forgive, the better.
Maybe someone who was supposed to protect you and keep you safe hurt you. Abused you. Destroyed your security. You might be thinking, It's impossible to forgive. You're right! I don't think we can forgive in our own strength. We need to ask God our Father to help us.
My daughter, Jen, says it like this: "Take people off your hook and put them on God's hook. Then you will be free!"
Healing Your Wounded Heart 3. Share the Gospel
"Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).
One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus on the cross understood that his sin was to blame for his problems and Jesus was his only hope. He says, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And Jesus replies, I will do more than remember you, I will be with you.
While He was dying, Jesus was intentional about saving others. He modeled for us what it is to care for others in the midst of our own suffering.
Your pain gives you the right to be heard. When you share the gospel, your pain has a purpose. What if your temporary earthly pain could change someone else's heavenly reality forever?
Who could you share the love of Jesus with today?
Healing Your Wounded Heart 4. Secure Your Spirit
"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46).
This isn't just a phrase that Jesus said because He was dying. He was quoting a phrase Jewish boys said daily before they went to bed at night from Psalm 31, teaching us to use it daily as well.
I can't describe the relief that washes over me when I know my Father is holding my fragile spirit securely in His strong and loving hands. I can start to breathe again. I can start to think again. I can put one foot in front of the other and keep moving.
Next time Satan reminds you of wounds from your past. Try saying, "Father, wrap up my wound; I give it to You to hold." You are safe and secure in your Father's hands.
Healing Your Wounded Heart 5. Find Someone to Serve
"Woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother" (John 19:26-27).
In the midst of His pain, Jesus noticed His mother standing near the cross. He chose to take care of her instead of focusing on Himself. Don't you think Jesus was leaving us a powerful remedy for our pain? When you're suffering, look to the needs of others. Whom can you help? Whom can you serve?
Jesus modeled what I've discovered to be true in my own experience: sometimes the only way to survive or make sense of your own pain is to help someone else.
Healing Your Wounded Heart 6. Schedule Margin
"I am thirsty" (John 19:28).
The great I AM cried, "I am thirsty." And when He did, He gave you and me permission to ask for help and admit your physical weakness.
God created our bodies with enough frailty to need His help. Feelings like thirst, hunger, and fatigue expose the limits of our humanity and remind us daily that we need more of God.
With that frailty comes our need for rest and margin, which means designated space and time to take a break. Often we're so busy taking care of our families that we forget to take care of ourselves.
What are you doing to take care of your body and your mental health? What is one thing you could schedule daily or weekly to start getting some physical relief?
Healing Your Wounded Heart 7. Exchange Your Brokenness for Healing
"It is finished" (John 19:30).
When Jesus said "It is finished," it wasn't a cry of defeat. It was a shout of victory! In the Greek, these three words are actually one word, tetelestai, which means "paid in full."
This is a game changer! When Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself for us, it wasn't only a substitute punishment-His life for our sin. It was a full exchange-all of Him for all of us. He did more than pay for our sin and take it away. Jesus gave us His right standing with God. He took everything that was wrong about us and exchanged it for everything that was right about Him.
Jesus traded our sin, sorrow, and pain for His unlimited righteousness, joy, and healing. You don't have to carry around shame any longer. God exchanges your wounds and brokenness for the wholeness and beauty of His Son.
Do you view yourself the way God views you?
My experience convinces me that God will use you in greater ways because of what you've been through. He often allows our wounds to change our destiny and the destinies of others. God not only heals our wounds, but He also turns our scars-the reminders of what we've endured-into beauty marks of purpose.
Now picture Jesus Himself holding your face in both of His nail- scarred hands and looking directly into your eyes. Hear Him say to you, "I love you. I see you. I hear your cries. I remember you. I will take on your pain. I will heal you."
Let those words soak into your soul!
Linda Barrick, author of Miracle for Jen and Total Bliss Bible study, is an inspirational speaker and founder of Hope Out Loud, an international ministry. Linda leads a weekly Bible study of over 500 women in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she lives with her husband Andy and their children Jennifer and Joshua. For more information visit HopeOutLoud.com.
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