Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could protect our children from difficult painful emotions?
It would be wonderful if we didn’t have to deal with them ourselves.
I imagine it was a very sad day for our Heavenly Father when Adam and Eve decided they wanted to know “good and evil.” The day they listened to the serpent’s temptings…
“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”Genesis 3:5
But he’s a liar. He knew that Adam and Eve knew and experienced good. The only thing they would gain was the knowledge and experience of evil.
And ever since sin entered the world, parents have tried to protect their children from the emotional pain and consequences of evil. But we live in a sin-filled selfish world and those consequences are part of life. No one escapes them.
So, what should we do when we are affected by the painful emotions caused by sin . . . our own or someone else’s.
5 Steps to Begin to Heal Painful Emotions
1. Acknowledge and Identify your feelings. – Admit how you’re feeling. Don’t pretend everything’s okay when it’s not. Spend some time analyzing what you’re feeling. Are you angry, sad, or afraid? Do you feel foolish or guilty? Honesty is the first step to healing.
2. Go to God. – Your Father already knows what you’re feeling. He’s more able to identify the source than you are. He knows you better than you know yourself. Spend time talking with Him. Turn to His Word. Cling to His promises. Confess your emotions and ask Him to guide you and help you.
3. Accept that healing will take time. – A physical injury takes time to heal and emotional pain requires time too. (There is an analogy that compares an emotional injury to a broken bone. It begins to gradually feel better, but if you bump it the pain can come roaring back.) Emotional pain lessens with time, but painful memories can quickly cause those feelings to return.
4. Journal and pray. – Pause and put your feelings into words. I find it’s helpful to put my thoughts on paper and I love writing my prayers. It helps me organize my thoughts. And as I progress in my healing, it’s a blessing to see the ways God has worked in my life and how far He’s brought me.
5. Talk with a counselor, trusted mentor, or advisor. – If you find yourself stuck in a pattern of playing mental reruns . . . reliving your painful emotions. Get help. Don’t give in to the temptation to complain to your friends – they will likely tell you what you want to hear. They may even share the private parts of your story and make the situation worse. Talk to a counselor or pastor – someone who will not gossip and who will give you godly advice.
A Prayer to Heal Painful Emotions
Oh, Father. My heart hurts. Sometimes it hurts so much that I’m not even sure how to describe what I’m feeling. Please forgive me and help me forgive others. You invite me to come to You . . . to talk with You about the things that are on my heart and mind. Please guide me and help me understand these emotions. I don’t know if they are more because of current circumstances or if they’re the result of burdens I failed to give to You long ago.
Thank you for knowing everything about me. You know the needs of my heart. You have the truth that will help me heal. I believe that even when I don’t understand what You’ve allowed, I know I can trust Your love. I bring the burden of my heavy heart to You leaning on Your promise to help me carry it in a way that trusts and honors You and Your will for me. Please help me heal. Please restore my joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
If you’re hurting today, please know I’m praying for you. And I also have one more tip that I have found helpful…
Stay active. Do something for someone else. Reach out. It will help you heal.
Friend, you’re not alone. I’ve had times when painful emotions were so great I didn’t think I’d ever feel like myself again.
Times when I wanted to curl up in a ball of despair and hide.
But as the saying goes…
“That ain’t no way to live.”
I’ve needed these steps and prayers myself. And I have good news that comes from personal experience…
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! Psalm 147:3-5
By God’s grace, even new problems are less painful because I know that whatever happens – God is with me and He is able to heal my painful emotions.
He’s able to heal yours, too.
May the Lord be with you today. May He surround you with His love as He heals Your surrendered heart.
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