Healing the Bruised Heart – Part Two

“Irreplaceable” – A Heart Healing Testimony

So, now I’d like to share with you a testimony of healing in my own life. A beautiful miracle, an encounter with God that changed my life. While there are lots of healing testimonies I can give, this particular one stands out for me. And I think it really showcases God’s grace when we take hold of Psalm 139 and just believe in God’s character. Believe God is who He says He is! He is faithful to His Word.

I was 36 when I finally began to let God into my messy life, which upon giving Him the green light, He went right to work! God began a major healing process in me. He set me free from self-hatred, depression and suicidal and destructive thoughts. He gave me a revelation of His forgiveness which released me from the shame and guilt caused by my past. He gave me a revelation that I wasn’t a mistake or evolved from a monkey, but that He created me on purpose for a purpose. “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” (Psa 139:13-14) I was “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God Himself. God began establishing me in a new identity as His own, completely different than the one the world and life circumstances and my worthless opinion of myself had given me. He began replacing the lies I had believed all my life about myself with who HE said I was, and I found Jesus’s words to be true – the Truth DOES set us free! (John 8:32)

In the midst of this healing process though, I noticed I was still struggling with overwhelming feelings of jealousy that seemed to just come out of nowhere without any warning at all. It would come about as an intense physical and emotional reaction, like a powerful wave that would rise up on the inside of me, and I’d feel so out of control, unable to stop it. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening, and I wanted to be free from it, but didn’t know what to do about it. So, I took it to the Lord and prayed these words, “God, I don’t know why, but you do. You know me better than I know myself. You know all the whys behind the whats. I ask you to show me why I experience this jealousy and I choose to trust that you will reveal it to me in Your perfect timing”.

That night and over the next few days, I started getting flashbacks. Memories kept coming up where I had experienced this same jealous reaction. I saw situations that rose up throughout my entire life involving my relationships with roommates, people at work, family members, and friendships from my teen years up through adulthood. I could for the first time see there was a common thread in every single situation – I feared being replaced. The Lord showed me my intense reaction to the news that my brother-in-law was getting married, and realizing that the security I had found in my husband’s parents who had taken me in like their own daughter was crumbling, because now they were going to have a second daughter. I saw myself once again as being replaced which caused intense and uncontrollable feelings of jealousy that lasted for two years. It was horrible.

Finally, the Lord showed me where it all began. It was when my father started a second family. I was 13. Without mentally processing this or verbalizing it, my heart which was already wounded from my parents’ divorce, perceived this new family as my replacement. And so the lie was born. The Lord also showed me my wedding day and how I didn’t invite my father or even tell him I was getting married, but instead gave my stepfather the honor of walking me down the aisle to give me away. I had replaced my father. Hurt people hurt people. Replaced people replace people. I had unknowingly done to my father what I had perceived he had done to me. It all made sense! I could see it all so clearly now!

So even though God was revealing all this to me, I didn’t know what to do with it. But I felt a great need to just be alone with the Him. So I started praying out loud and sharing with God all that He had revealed to me (as if He didn’t know) and then said “I don’t know what to do with all this.” And I just sat there.

Suddenly, I heard the Lord speak so clearly, it was almost audible. He said in the most comforting voice, “Praise me for you.” I knew that wasn’t my own thought because everything inside of me rejected those words – it totally went against my grain. How could I praise God for me?!?! I felt frozen in my chair unable to budge, a deer in the headlights. A command like that was hard to obey – it was uncomfortable. But God said to do it. So I got down on my knees and began praising Him …  for me. It was hard at first, but eventually my praises flowed into thankfulness and recognition for the beauty that was in me, the special details He created in me that made me unique and special to Him. I praised Him for the wonderful creation He made when He made me. When I was all done and couldn’t think of anything more to say, I just continued to sit there on the floor drying my tears.

And then the Lord spoke again! And I will never forget it! He said, “You cannot be replaced.” The God of the universe, the creator of all things, the One who made me out of His own imagination and love, just told me Himself I couldn’t be replaced! My heavenly Father spoke to this lie I believed by telling me His opinion of me, which couldn’t be argued. God got the final say and what He says is TRUE! I just fell into a puddle of tears, crying out of me all those years of pain, as His words washed over me.

Not long after this encounter with the Lord, I realized I needed to forgive my father. While he didn’t intentionally try to hurt me, I still needed to forgive him so I could be free. I forgave him for causing me to believe I was replaceable. I forgave him for causing me to believe that I was less than what God said I was. I began speaking the Truth about who God says I am and taking claim to it! And as I forgave my dad, I could feel the wounds melt away, I was released from their power – I was healed. And as time continued on I could see the fruit. I was free from jealousy, free from those dreadful episodes, free from that insecurity I had in my all relationships. And even my relationship with my father began to heal too. And now years later, having put these things behind us, we can finally be a father and daughter.

As I have grown in my walk with God, I can now look back on this experience and really see the true character of our heavenly Father in the person of Jesus.

Jesus healed them all! (Luke 6:19; Matt 12:15) And it was after He healed them that they repented. He healed them into repentance. He forgave them into forgiveness of others. He loved them first so that they could love others. He blessed them into blessing others. God healed and loved and forgave and accepted me first, and my response to that love was to forgive and love much those who wounded me (Luke 7:47). God’s healing love that day lead me to “repentance”, to come into agreement with what He says about me, and to forgive my dad! Romans 2:4 even says that the kindness of God leads you to repentance.

Remember this: God’s Grace is never dependent on what you do; it’s solely dependent on what Jesus did. You don’t need to qualify yourself to receive from God because Jesus is your qualification. Don’t wait until you get your act together and think you’ve been good enough long enough. He is the answer to your messiness. His Grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. (2 Cor 12:9) Go to Him in your weakness and you’ll find His strength.

I will end this now with a prayer for you, that hopefully, possibly, the Lord is wooing you now to trust Him with your most protected treasure – your heart. I promise you – He can be trusted.

I pray you will see the burden is too heavy to carry any longer, and just believe Jesus’s words, that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt 11:30). I pray that you can find rest in your Heavenly Dad (Heb 4:10), who promises He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb 13:5). I pray you will discover the expanse of His love for you (Eph 3:18-19) and come to see yourself as He sees you and be changed forever. I pray your heart is softened and willing to invite Him into your broken parts and that you allow Him to search you, and to know your heart; to Try you and know your anxious thoughts. And see if there be any hurtful way in you, And lead you in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23-24) Amen

Healing the Bruised Heart – Part One

Search Me, Know Me

Psalm 139 - Search Me Know Me

I was reading Psalm 139 today, a psalm that has been so healing to me over the years. “Oh Lord, You have searched me and know me”, a beautiful opening to the living words that follow. “You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.” Oh how the Lord knows everything we do, and He knows all our thoughts! “You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.” And He not only knows what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and we’re going to do, but He fully understands our heart’s reasons why we do it! “For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.” Even when we can’t articulate the heaviness in our hearts, or we can’t produce the question that we need answered, He knows it. He knows it all! But somehow in our limited understanding of our own inner workings, we fear being vulnerable, we fear being exposed because in our minds, if we let the monster out of its cage we won’t be able to get it back in there. We will be face to face with the very thing we’ve shoved deeper and deeper into the abyss of our heart, relying on time as our healer. But really, this feeling of being vulnerable before God is really just a lie we buy into, as though He will reject us when He finds out what we’re hiding beneath all our protective layers. How can you be vulnerable with a God who already knows everything about you? The very One who can help you, is the One you avoid.

To come into the realization that you don’t have to fix yourself, you don’t have to figure it all out, that you don’t need years upon years of psychotherapy, but instead, can find everything you need in THE Counselor Himself who knows us in the most intimate way is completely life changing. Even when our self-constructed fortress of coping mechanisms is in place to protect ourselves, even when we keep God at a distance and deny Jesus access into our mess, God still knows the inner workings of our soul. Even when we choose everything else besides Him to be the answer, He knows. He knows our stories, He knows our thoughts and all the whys behind the whats, and even if it takes a lifetime, He will continue to woo us into His goodness and loving-kindness so that we can be touched by Him. We can be healed and changed once and for all. To be whole. It is His great pleasure and desire to hide you inside the safest place in existence – His love. As I was reading along, I came upon Psalm 139:11-12:

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm meAnd the light around me will be night, Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.’”

That word “overwhelm” translates in the Hebrew as “bruised”. So many of us walk through life with a bruised heart that was caused by the darkness we’ve experienced in our lives. These bruises can ache so intensely or just maintain a dull existence with an occasional outburst to remind you it’s still there. They can bother you to the point of needing relief, even forcing desperate measures, which many times come in the form of antidepressants, alcohol and drugs, toxic relationships, busyness, you name it. And you may find a quick fix in some of these vices, but somehow the pain always manages to rise back up to the surface. It becomes a repeating theme in life, the very thing about ourselves we don’t like but can’t seem to change. But what seems like darkness that’s overwhelming you, or bruising you, is never too dark for God. Be it light or dark, He has searched you and knows you and He can see it all. Nothing is hidden from Him! And as the psalmist says “Darkness is not dark to Him”, because He is bigger and more powerful than any of our brokenness, yet so loving and tender and patient and comforting that when invited in, He will come right into our pain and deliver us, as if the wound never existed in the first place. He doesn’t just take it away, but He replaces it with something so much greater – His Love.

The hope that we have for this healing of our bruised hearts is found in the prophetic words about the anticipated Messiah, Jesus, in Isaiah 53:5:

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”

 And then again in Luke 4:18-19 as Jesus reveals himself as the fulfillment of this promise that had been given hundreds of years earlier in Isaiah 61:1:

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

This very promise Jesus proclaims is fulfilled at the Cross where He took OUR bruises and broken hearts and oppression, so that we could be free and be made whole. The Cross is God’s ultimate show of His love for us, in that He judged every sin, every curse, every sickness and death in the body of Jesus. Jesus took the judgement we deserved, the punishment we should’ve had, so that those who put their faith in Him and His finished work, receive ALL that Jesus deserves being counted as righteous and forgiven, fully blessed and treated by God as though we are Jesus himself.  Because as Christ is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). It is not something we keep trying to get, but it’s something we already have. Just receive it freely knowing that Jesus did it all for you and there’s nothing more for you to do except to see it is finished – just believe and receive!


Healing a Bruised Heart – Part Two is the continuation of this article. It is a personal testimony in light of Psalm 139.