WAITING in the Midst of Pain and Trauma

WAITING?!? Most of us, especially those with broken hearts, have a very difficult time waiting for anything. We have become a society of instant everything. We want it now, whatever it may be. However, the Most High God often tells us to wait on His perfect timing for answers to our prayers. We may never understand why the Lord requires us to wait for so many things, but we must trust that He knows what is best for our lives and what will cause us more harm if we receive answers to our prayers too soon. Trusting the Lord makes it easier to wait on Him.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

(Psalm 27:13-14)

Many people lose heart because they do not believe that they will ever see their situations improve. The pain and trauma they carry can become unbearable and may even lead to suicidal thoughts. The enemy can bring discouragement our way through numerous methods. One of those is when he whispers the lie to us, “God does not care about you. He would not have allowed this terrible thing to happen if He did.” If we listen to the devil and his lies, our faith will be weakened, our hearts can become more troubled, and deep depression can set in.  

What does the goodness of the Lord mean? Some people are under the impression that it means their lives will be pain-free and problem-free. However, the Lord never promised that our lives would be easy. The goodness of the Lord is not based on our circumstances. The Lord is always good! His goodness can be seen all around us, but we must look for it through eyes of faith. Looking through eyes of despair and depression hinders us from seeing the goodness of the Lord. 

Our prayers to see God’s goodness in certain situations may be delayed for various reasons, but we need to continue to have faith that He is working on our behalf. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” We must allow the Lord to strengthen our broken hearts by standing firm in our faith.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

(Romans 8:25)

Saying that waiting is difficult is an understatement. How many of us eagerly wait with perseverance? The Lord may require us to wait for answers to our prayers for emotional, physical or spiritual healing for days, months, years, or even decades. However, God’s plans for us are always good, and in the midst of our times of waiting, He will strengthen us and draw us into deeper relationships with Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit if we allow Him to do so. Our heart attitudes must be that—regardless of our circumstances, pain, trauma, or our lack of understanding why—we will trust our heavenly Father completely. He is the Most High God, the Lord of Hosts, and the Creator of the Universe. We must remember that He is never surprised by our situations and suffering, and that He loves us with an everlasting love!

The Lord did not immediately deliver numerous people written about in the Bible. Many of them had to wait for years and decades before they saw the answers to their prayers. Noah, Abraham, Joseph, the Apostles and many others had to wait on the Lord before they saw God’s promises fulfilled.  However, while they were waiting, they served the Lord! In obedience to the Most High God, while Noah was waiting for God’s deliverance from the immense evil on the earth, Noah built an ark even though there had not been any rain. Joseph went through horrible circumstances, but he kept his eyes on the big picture—the Lord’s will for his life during each season regardless of the pain and trauma he endured. Paul did the same. We must also keep our eyes on the big picture. Having to wait is not unusual, nor is it punishment for anything we have done. It is just a fact of life.

As we are suffering unspeakable trauma, we often pray for Almighty God to intervene and relieve the emotional and spiritual pain that has cut us to the core of our beings. We may ask the Lord why we have not received answers to our prayers and the prayers of others, and why the suffering has continued in spite of them. Wanting immediate answers to our prayers is a dangerous attitude, because the devil can take advantage of that and lead us to doubt and be discouraged when answers are delayed.

Spiritual warfare can also be a reason that we have to wait for answers to our prayers. According to Daniel 10:12-13, the answers to Daniel’s prayers were hindered and delayed for 21 days!  There was a very real battle taking place in the spiritual realm over Daniel’s prayers and the answers to them. Our Most High God heard those prayers as soon as Daniel prayed them, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia battled against the answers, delaying them from being delivered.

Spiritual warfare is more real than anything we can see in the natural realm. We must understand that our broken hearts are often the result of attacks from the kingdom of darkness, either directly or through other people. Continuing to pray and ask Almighty God for help is crucial as we fight against demonic and evil entities. The blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross is more powerful than anything the devil, or his helpers, can do to us. As we remember to stay focused and wait on the Lord, we will see the answers to our prayers and healing for our broken hearts!

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

(Isaiah 40:31)

 

Kathy Shelton

 

All Scripture verses are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible.

GODLY BOUNDARIES – No Door Mats!

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.  (Psalm 139:14)

Brokenhearted people often have major problems setting godly boundaries in their lives. The lies of the enemy, Satan, can cause us to feel like we deserved the abuse and/or trauma that we have suffered. We may feel like a doormat, being walked on over and over, because we were vulnerable and an easy target. That is how the enemy would like us to view ourselves. Embracing the true identity that the Lord God has created for us enables us to reject Satan’s lies!

We are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Most High God! The enemy would like us to forget that and see ourselves as less than the beautiful creations that we were meant to be, reflecting God Himself. When we are carrying pain and trauma in our hearts and spirits, our opinions of our worth and value can be skewed. Not having godly boundaries is agreeing with the devil that we are worth less than how our loving God views us. The true nature of who we are in God’s eyes can be distorted—which then causes us to accept more abusive treatment—and the destructive cycle continues. We must break that cycle by believing God’s Word and taking godly action to receive the freedom to be who God created us to be.

“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18 )

Genuine followers of Jesus Christ are sons and daughters of the Most High God, the Lord Almighty! We must protect our hearts, minds and spirits, realizing that we are precious to our Heavenly Father and that He is saddened when we do not do so. He paid an enormous price for us to become His sons and daughters when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer an excruciating death for our salvation. Jesus’ death and resurrection from the dead needs to be treasured for the amazing and incomparable gift it is to us by our valuing ourselves enough to set godly boundaries!

Connected to the practice of not having healthy, godly boundaries is the fear of man. The fear of man—and what a person may think or do if we do not make them happy and comply with their requests or demands—is one of the most difficult things for people with wounded hearts and spirits to overcome. Many people learn that the fear of man keeps them from suffering additional abuse and trauma. The fear of man becomes stronger with time and brokenhearted/traumatized individuals will often do anything to please people to avoid the consequences of not doing so.

We must understand that forgiveness does not mean that we are supposed to allow repeated abuse. Nowhere did Jesus say that we have to trust someone to love them. He also did not say that we have to continue in relationship with those who continually cause us severe emotional or spiritual pain. Jesus told the woman who was caught in adultery to go and sin no more. If a person is not remorseful and repentant, we should not stay in the relationship unless the Lord leads us to do so, knowing the possibility of future reconciliation. If they honestly repent and/or seek help to stop the behavior, we should cautiously and with the Lord’s direction, support their pursuing freedom from the sin. However, allowing them to continue to hurt and abuse us is not how the Lord wants us to live. We must value ourselves as sons and daughters of the Most High God who loves us beyond anything we can imagine. It grieves Him when we don’t set godly boundaries with people.

Not setting godly boundaries in our own lives is a trap that the devil uses repeatedly to cause us emotional pain, especially in the lives of ministers. Most ministers are compassionate. That is why they have entered ministry. They desire to help people and this desire drives them at times to neglect the wisdom of the Lord in setting healthy, godly boundaries in their lives. Although we should be “moved with compassion,” that does not mean we are to allow people to deceive us or take advantage of us. Setting godly, healthy boundaries is so important if we are going to run the race and stay in it to the end. People will test our boundaries just like children test the boundaries with their parents. It is not a sin or an ungodly practice to protect ourselves from exhaustion and unreasonable demands from others. Saying no to people is not sin. Of course, saying no applies only to people and not to the Lord. He will never ask us to do anything that He does not give us the strength and guidance to accomplish.

Godly boundaries are good walls. However, painful and traumatic situations happen in our lives that can break down the good walls that the Lord designed to shield us from evil. We tend to develop ungodly, destructive walls as a result. Those detrimental walls can separate us from the love of God and His Son, Jesus. Harmful walls can also prevent us from receiving the healing we need for the emotional, mental and/or spiritual pain that exist inside us.

We cannot be truly healed unless we allow the finished work that Jesus did on the cross to penetrate the ungodly walls that we have built around our broken hearts and spirits. Jesus will remove the harmful walls as we receive His healing, and He will replace them with godly ones. Asking Jesus to release the pain we are carrying and replace it with His love will help us to develop godly, healthy walls, or boundaries, in our lives.

Accepting help for healing and freedom from past pain and trauma can be a difficult and frightening thing to consider, because it involves facing the truth and being honest with others about what we have endured. This is especially true if the pain and trauma were caused by other believers. However, we must return to the Lord’s truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and ask God for the courage to begin setting godly boundaries and to restore our true identity in Jesus’ name!

Kathy Shelton

 

All Scripture verses are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible.

The Emotional Pain and Trauma of BETRAYAL

And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place;  for Jesus often met there with His disciples.  (John 18:2 )

Betrayal is the most insidious form of emotional pain and trauma that a person can experience. If you have ever been betrayed by someone close to you, you know the extreme pain that betrayal can cause in your heart, mind and spirit. Betrayal can break your heart more quickly and more deeply than any other kind of emotional pain or trauma. It is much worse when the person is a professing Christian.

Jesus suffered betrayal at the hands of one of His disciples, Judas. He sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver!

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.  (Matthew 26:14-15)

This betrayal preceded the transition in Jesus’ ministry to his death and resurrection. It was necessary for God’s plan of salvation to be accomplished and it was prophesied in Psalm 41 and Zechariah 11.

Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.  (Psalm 41:9)

Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.  (Zechariah 11:12)

In spite of the fact that He knew it would happen, I believe that Jesus suffered great emotional pain from that betrayal. In Matthew 26:24, Jesus said, “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

What a powerful statement! “It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” I think that the Lord takes betrayal very seriously and as followers of Jesus Christ, we need to do the same.

That is just one form of betrayal, delivering someone to an enemy. Betrayal can take other forms such as revealing confidential information, or breaking a vow or a promise. It is always based in deception, which is lying. Since Satan is described as the father of lies in the Bible, we know that he and his army are at the root of betrayal. This is clearly pointed out in the following verse.

Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them.  (Luke 22:3-4)

Betrayal can be used by the kingdom of darkness to bring disunity in ministries, families and any other relationship. Many families and marriages have been devastated as a result of betrayal. The Body of Christ is under attack from the kingdom of darkness. When Christians betray and attack each other, they are assisting the devil and his forces.

A lack of integrity within the Body of Christ has led to backstabbing that resembles what occurs with non-Christians. This practice is definitely not—loving one another—as Jesus instructed His disciples. Gossip is extremely damaging and often results from broken promises of confidentiality. That betrayal can and has caused unimaginable emotional and spiritual pain for those who were betrayed in this way.

All-too-common, overwhelming heartbreak occurs when people are serving the Lord Jesus and being productive for God’s kingdom only to be attacked and gossiped about by fellow Christians. The ones doing this may not realize how much pain they are inflicting on others in the Body of Christ. It may be done out of jealousy or pride, but it is always sin and causes deep wounds to those who are the targets of the betrayal. Many of those who were betrayed have left the Church as a result. Thank God that Jesus is able to heal those hurts and release that emotional and spiritual pain!

Broken trust is always involved in betrayal. Whether it entails disloyalty, unfaithfulness, infidelity, or any other form, trust is always broken!

There are many examples in the Bible of situations where people went through various types of betrayal. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss (Matthew 26:49). Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery (Genesis 37:12-36). Delilah betrayed Samson after learning the secret to his strength. She had a man shave off Samson’s hair and then turned him over to the Philistines for an enormous amount of money (Judges 16:4-21). Hosea’s wife committed adultery (Hosea 3:1).

Adultery, breaking the marriage vows by having a sexual relationship with another person, is an extremely damaging form of betrayal. It destroys not only the trust between the married couple but also the soul of the one committing adultery. Ungodly soul ties are formed between the man and woman committing adultery. This negates the ability of the one committing adultery to be loyal to the godly soul ties with their spouse. The more the adultery is repeated, the more desensitized the people involved become as with any other sin. The ungodly soul ties become stronger and the result may be another marriage ended. An emotional affair can be just as devastating for the same reasons.

Viewing pornography is another form of betrayal. It is a serious betrayal of a person’s relationship with the Most High God. It becomes an addiction and an idol in the heart of the person, because it takes the place of the Lord in their mind, heart and spirit. Viewing pornography is also a form of adultery. Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The betrayal of a spouse viewing pornography has destroyed innumerable marriages and families.

Surviving and healing from the emotional and spiritual pain of betrayal requires a level of obedience to God that comes through years of training in the Lord’s school of life. Forgiving someone who has betrayed you is the most difficult thing to do. It may require that you receive inner healing ministry prayer from another believer. If you allow the pain to fester inside you, it will turn into bitterness and resentment. In time, it will also affect you physically. Dealing with these emotional hurts is for your benefit and well-being. Inner healing from the pain and trauma caused by betrayal is absolutely necessary if you are going to fulfill your God-given destiny and endure to the end.

Kathy Shelton

 

All Scripture verses are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible.

(This article was written using excerpts from Chapter 5 in my book, Healing Hearts: A Journey in the Midst of Spiritual Adversity.)

Thankfulness… One Leper Returned

 

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

Luke 17:15-16 (NKJV)

Luke 17, verses 11-19, recounts the story of the ten lepers healed by Jesus. It is a remarkable testimony of the genuine thankfulness of the one leper who returned to thank Jesus and give glory to God. However, it is also a very sad statement that the other nine lepers did not return once they realized that they had been healed.

The one extremely grateful man glorified God with a loud voice! He wanted everyone to know that Jesus healed him and how thankful he was to God. He did not just continue on his way as the other nine did, accepting the miraculous gift of cleansing, but failing to go back and thank the One who had mercy on them.

Besides returning to thank Jesus, this one leper also showed his great thankfulness by falling down on his face at Jesus’ feet! He did not just glorify God verbally, but he demonstrated his immense gratitude with his physical actions as well. He humbled himself, knowing that only God could have done such an incredible healing. His physical suffering from the horrible effects of leprosy was over. The terrible social stigma of being a leper was also ended. The emotional pain and trauma connected to that would no longer continue. He was overwhelmed with thankfulness!

The most important healing anyone can receive is the healing of our hearts and spirits through a sincere conversion to following Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior! As followers of Jesus, we should also be overwhelmed with thankfulness. Our hearts and spirits should reflect the amazing gift we have been given of being forgiven for our sins and welcomed into God’s family. We are children of the King of Glory. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. Regardless of anything else He ever does for or through us, the undeserved gift of salvation is more than enough for us to be forever grateful to the Lord.

We must show our thankfulness and love for Jesus by obeying God’s Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us when we fall short of living the godly life that the Lord desires for us. When that happens, we must ask God to forgive us in Jesus’ name, and change our attitudes and behavior. Repeating the same sin over and over does not indicate that we are truly thankful for Jesus’ incredible sacrifice. Only genuine repentance, having a change of heart, and following the Lord’s instructions demonstrates how much we love Him and how grateful we are for what He has done for us. 

Too many people, including a large number of Christians, take everything for granted and have an attitude of entitlement. They act like they deserve blessings from God—like the Creator of the Universe owes them something. If we do not surrender our lives to the Lord and have a sincere, personal relationship with Jesus, what we deserve is punishment for our sins. That includes spending an eternity after physical death in Hell—separated from the Most High God forever. None of us deserve any blessings. However, thanks to our merciful and loving, heavenly Father, He does bless us if we accept His Son, Jesus, and live according to God’s Word. That includes being thankful to the One who sent His Son to die for us and to heal our broken hearts and spirits.

An attitude of entitlement is an ungrateful attitude. It is also a sign that people do not really understand Who provides for them. How could the nine lepers not return and thank Jesus? The Scripture says that the one who returned was a Samaritan. The Samaritans and Jews normally despised each other. Jesus was a Jew, but this Samaritan man did not care about that reality. That one leper was exceptionally grateful and honored Jesus!

Showing the Lord our thankfulness is an essential part of the inner healing process for emotional pain and trauma. We must verbalize our gratefulness to the Lord and share our testimonies of what He has done for us. There is no substitute for being thankful. It blesses the Lord when we thank Him and we bless others when we tell them how He has set us free. The more we do that, the more freedom we will receive. Our broken hearts will continue to be healed as we deliberately and daily thank God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 118:1 (NKJV)

 

Kathy Shelton

 

 

Relationships

The Importance of Supportive, Godly Relationships in Going Through and Healing from Trauma

Supportive, godly relationships are critical as we go through and heal from traumatic situations. Traumatic situations include the death of loved ones, serious illnesses, physical abuse, spiritual abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, verbal abuse, molestation, rape, divorce, accidents, devastating financial conditions and natural disasters. Those extremely painful circumstances can leave us feeling alone, abandoned, rejected, depressed, hopeless, betrayed and even suicidal at times. The Lord never meant for those things to happen in our lives, but we live in a world full of pain and trauma and there is no way to avoid it. However, our Most High God provided ways for us to not just survive, but to more easily go through and heal from trauma.

The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;

Deuteronomy 33:27 (NKJV)

 

A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.

Psalm 68:5 (AMP)

The most important relationships that our Father God wants us to turn to when we experience and need healing from traumatic events are our relationships with Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Our Most High God wants to comfort us and lead us on the paths that will help us. He wants to heal our broken hearts that have been devastated by traumatic situations. However, we must accept God’s love and His Son, Jesus, as our personal Lord and Savior, to be able to receive His incomparable comfort and healing. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14:6 (NKJV)

Jesus also said,

 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

Therefore, the first relationships that we should always rely on for comfort are those with Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are the most important relationships we can ever experience on this journey we call life. Supportive, godly relationships with other people are also essential for us to continue to be comforted during, and heal after, emotionally traumatic situations. The Lord knows our need for godly counsel and support when we are too weary to hear Him clearly. We all need a kind word, a hug and a smile to lift our spirits when we are weary. He will surround us with people who love us and care deeply about our pain, but they may be people other than family members. The family was created to provide that kind of comfort and support. However, we do not live in a perfect world and our own family members may be the cause of some of the emotional pain and trauma we suffer. That is when feelings of rejection, betrayal and abandonment can become intensely painful.

God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the stubborn and rebellious dwell in a parched land.

Psalm 68:6 (AMP)

Traumatic circumstances always break our hearts. We can carry emotional pain inside us for years and decades without even realizing that suppressed pain and trauma are affecting us in significant areas of our lives. We were never meant to go through pain and trauma alone. Isolating ourselves during those circumstances is the worst thing we can do and only adds to the pain. That is why we must receive love and kindness from people who are living according to God’s Word whom we can trust with our broken hearts—not in place of the Lord, but in addition to Him. We must reach out to godly friends, family, healing ministers and others who can provide prayer, encouragement and the love that we need for the healing process to be accomplished. Our Most High God created us to be in close relationship with Him and godly people. Cutting ourselves off from those relationships makes us incredibly vulnerable to negative feelings and to the lies from the devil. Fear of being hurt again can also cause us to be hesitant to reach out people for help. However, The Lord will show us who can be trusted and through whom He wants us to receive His comfort and healing. We must receive God’s provision of healing for our broken hearts through His Son, Jesus, and the godly relationships with which He blesses us.

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;

Luke 4:18 (NKJV)

Jesus came to not only save us from our sins, but also to heal our broken hearts! A personal relationship with Him is essential in receiving comfort and healing during and after times of emotional pain and trauma. Our heavenly Father also blesses us with His love and peace through supportive, godly relationships with people who know how to listen and be compassionate when we are in emotional pain. Keeping emotional pain stuffed inside only makes things worse. We must let go of our pride, reach out to the Lord Jesus and His genuine followers, and allow them to help us.  

 

Kathy Shelton

 

 

Laughter & Healing

 

A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 15:13 (NKJV)

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)

These verses make it very clear that a merry heart is good for our physical well-being. However, when we go through emotionally painful and traumatic experiences, it is difficult to have a merry heart. That, in turn, can seriously affect our physical and spiritual health!

Medical and scientific research has found that laughter reduces stress hormones and boosts the immune system. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces pain. Once again, the secular world is proving that what the Lord told us in His Word is absolutely true.

Not only is our spirit broken by sorrow of the heart, but our health is negatively affected as well. If we do not acknowledge the emotional pain and trauma we are carrying and pursue inner healing through godly, Bible-based ministry, the results can be devastating later in life. When we least expect it, the suppressed emotional and/or spiritual pain will be triggered by other similar situations. This cycle will repeat until we deal with the inner pain.

Laughter and a merry heart are part of the physical and inner healing process for past and present emotional pain and trauma. They are also excellent maintenance for our bodies and spirits. As followers of Jesus Christ, we must be intentional and very selective regarding what we read, listen to, and watch in order to maintain a merry heart and healthy bodies and spirits. Let laughter be a regular part of your daily spiritual exercise!

Inner Healing — Healing from the Inside Out

 

There is a great need for inner healing in this world! So many people are miserable because they cannot bear the emotional and spiritual pain from trauma that they are carrying. That pain results in addiction, abuse, murder, abandonment, physical illness, suicide, and many other epidemics  in our society. Inner healing from emotional and spiritual pain that we have suffered is not optional if we desire to fulfill the Lord’s destiny for us.

Trauma can be experienced in many ways including molestation, rape, death of a loved one, divorce, accidents, and natural disasters. Abuse, including mental, verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual abuse, produces traumatic effects on our hearts and spirits. Traumatic situations always leave our hearts and spirits broken. Without inner healing for the emotional and spiritual pain, we can become bitter, resentful, excessively angry, full of hatred, and physically ill.

Luke 6:45 says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (NKJV)

The good treasure in our hearts does produce good in our lives, but it does not prevent the evil treasure from producing pain and suffering for our family and friends. Those closest to us—the ones we love and who love us—end up being easy targets when our own pain and trauma is triggered. This dynamic alone causes more relationship issues, broken homes, and divorces than most people realize.

A large portion of the evil treasure of our hearts is formed as a result of painful and traumatic circumstances. We often suppress the emotional and spiritual pain without even trying as a defense mechanism that we develop to continue to function form day-to-day. However, the pain will not stay hidden forever, and it will eventually erupt like a volcano. That is when the abundance of the heart pours out of our mouths, or through our ungodly actions. Denying that emotional and spiritual pain exist within our hearts will never stop that from happening, and it will never cause the inner healing that we need to be accomplished.

Many people have hurt us because they were carrying emotional and spiritual pain and trauma for which they never received healing. It is often said that hurt people, hurt people. That is true, but no excuse for us to continue to hurt others because we have not pursued inner healing for ourselves.

In Psalm 51:10, David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (NKJV)

A clean heart represents a heart that has received healing for the things it contains that are not godly and glorifying to God. Our spirits cannot be steadfast as long as we are suffering the effects of pain and trauma. We must ask God to show us what is in our hearts and spirits that needs to be released so that we can truly obey Him in every area of our lives. That is the first step.

Bible-based inner healing that relies on the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is the most effective and long-lasting healing. We do not have to live our lives in a prison of pain and trauma that we carry in our hearts and spirits! Isaiah 61:1 says that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted—not Buddha, Allah, Mohammed, or any pagan god. Jesus Christ, the Son of Almighty God, came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. True freedom is possible if it is pursued in a godly way.

Asking for help to receive inner healing takes courage and a willingness to admit that there is emotional and spiritual pain and trauma that is contributing to your lack of peace. Talking to a Christian counselor or prayer minister about your need for inner healing may seem frightening, but it will be the most important step you can take to help yourself and those you love. The Lord has provided many Christian ministries that help with inner healing. However, they will not search you out. You must do some research and find the best one for the specific pain and trauma that you have experienced. Our website includes a HELPFUL RESOURCES page (CLICK HERE) on the top menu that includes suggestions for ministries that you may want to contact for help.

Inner healing for emotional and spiritual pain is a process like peeling an onion. I pray that you will allow yourself the time necessary and receive the Lord’s grace to continue one day at a time. Each step you take in the inner healing process will bring you that much closer to Almighty God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Kathy Shelton
 

The Holidays (updated)

Joy to the World…

What a blessing it is to get together with family and friends during Easter, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, birthdays and other times of celebration.  However, these times can also be very emotionally painful for many people. As a result, the rate of suicide increases during the holidays. That tragedy can be prevented!

When emotional pain or trauma from the past is triggered during the holidays, it can be extremely difficult for those who are unknowingly carrying that pain.  They may not realize that their reaction to Aunt Suzie or Uncle Harry is really partially the result of past pain that has been buried and is now coming to the surface.

An example of emotional pain from the past being triggered after over six decades was related to me by one of my ministry recipients several years ago.  This woman, Betty (not her real name), had been married for over 50 years when she asked her husband to go to the store for her to buy a jar of pickles.  Betty told him the type and brand of pickles that she wanted, but when he returned home, he had a jar of generic pickles that was not even the type that she had requested.

Well, this woman, who was in her seventies, said that she went into a rage!  However, Betty also had some knowledge about inner emotional wounds and quickly realized that her reaction had very little to do with the pickles.  So, she asked the Lord what was going on with her, and He revealed the root of her emotional outburst.  When Betty was a child, her family was very poor and her mother only bought things that were the least expensive.  If her mother came home with anything that was not the cheapest item, this woman’s father went into a rage.  The pain and trauma that surfaced when Betty’s husband came home with the generic pickles had been stuffed for over 60 years!

The end of the story is that Betty received the healing and freedom that she needed from this past emotional pain and trauma through Jesus Christ.  Praise the Lord!  You can also receive the same healing and freedom if you will pursue it with a qualified, trained Christian minister. Healing the Brokenhearted Ministry is one type of inner healing ministry meant to help people receive freedom and healing from emotional, spiritual, and physical pain and trauma.

If you dread the holidays because emotional pain from the past is usually triggered, please know that you are not alone. This is very common. However, there is help. Jesus can release that past pain and trauma!

Please see the suggested resources on the HELPFUL RESOURCES page on this website (CLICK HERE). You can also contact me for more information by filling out the form on the CONTACT AFJM page (CLICK HERE).

God loves you very much and wants you to be set free from past pain and trauma! My prayer for you is that you will allow the Lord to direct your steps to receive the healing you need. May God bless you this holiday season!

Kathy Shelton

The Trauma and Heartbreak of Spiritual Abuse

The seriousness of spiritual abuse and its effects

cannot be overstated!

Some people do not think of spiritual abuse as being traumatic and heart-breaking, especially when a person is in the midst of that abuse. The deception accompanying spiritual abuse often keeps the victim in a state of confusion and disbelief. They may ask themselves, “How can people who are supposed to be helping me grow in the things of God be abusing me?” Unfortunately, spiritual abuse happens more often than one might imagine. The results are ugly and very devastating.

I have ministered to many women who have been spiritually abused since I began ministering to the brokenhearted. Yes, there are the obvious ritual abuse and Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) survivors who suffered extreme levels of spiritual abuse. There are also those who have come out of mainstream churches, Christian organizations, and non-Christian organizations where there was intense spiritual abuse that caused them substantial amounts of pain and trauma.

Anytime a person places themselves in authority over another person in the place of the authority position of the Lord Jesus Christ that is a recipe for spiritual abuse! Anytime someone is told that the person in authority knows better because they “have a better connection to the Lord,” or “to God,” that is a wide open door to spiritual abuse.

One of the ladies to whom I ministered in the past told me about an abusive incident, which was one of many, that she experienced with her husband. She had disagreed with him about something that a man in ministry was teaching. She said that her husband grabbed her arm, twisted it behind her back, and repeatedly yelled at her that she needed to repent for disagreeing with the minister. He told her that she needed to ask God to forgive her for having the “horrible” thought that the man in ministry could possibly be wrong. The lady was in tears as she shared the details of these events with me. That was physical, emotional, verbal, and mental abuse as well as spiritual abuse! This is just one example of spiritual abuse being accompanied by other forms of abuse. It is often the case that emotional, verbal, mental, physical and/or sexual abuse happen together with spiritual abuse. 

The damage that is done to a person’s heart, mind and spirit, to their whole being, as the result of spiritual abuse can be overwhelming. It can be devastating. It can lead to that person not being able to function normally in any way. Survivors of spiritual abuse often struggle with anger. They experience different levels of anger as a result of that abuse. Most of the time, it is righteous anger and not sin.  The pain and trauma of spiritual abuse can also lead to suicide if the victim becomes hopeless about the possibility of relief from that pain.

People who are spiritually abusive often twist Scripture. They take Bible verses out of context. They manipulate people in ways that are absolutely inspired by the kingdom of darkness. Perpetrators of spiritual abuse also use isolation, secrecy, and fear to control their victims. They count on the victims’ silence about their abuse. All of these things make it very difficult for a victim to break free and receive the healing they desperately need for the pain and trauma.

However, the abusers are sometimes deceived themselves into thinking that what they are doing is right. A lot of the perpetrators of spiritual abuse are deceived, and the nature of deception is that the person does not realize that they are deceived. That is no excuse and does not forgive their behavior, nor does it release them from accountability. They will answer to God for their actions just as we all will answer to Him for our actions. On the other hand, many perpetrators of spiritual abuse know exactly what they are doing!

The perpetrators of spiritual abuse do not usually stop because they are convicted by the Holy Spirit, or something inside of them says that they have gone over the line. Normally, someone who is spiritually abusive only stops if they are caught, if they are exposed, or if they fear that they are in danger of suffering consequences for their behavior that are greater than the fulfillment that they receive from being abusive.

Several of the women to whom I ministered were survivors of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). One of those ladies told me the reason that the abuse finally stopped for her. The high priest was in the process of murdering her in a horrific way when he suddenly, and unexplainable in the natural realm, died. His neck snapped. The lady told me that she believed it was angels that came to her assistance at that time when the perpetrator was going to end her life. I do not believe that the high priest would have stopped otherwise. The Lord came to her rescue.

People will ask, “Why does God allow people to be spiritually abused? Why doesn’t He stop all of it?” It is the same reason that He does not stop sin in general in this world. He has given us all a free will. We need to stop blaming God for all these horrific things that happen and put the blame where it belongs—on the human beings who make the choice to be abusive and on the kingdom of darkness that inspires those evil choices. Spiritual abuse is one of Satan’s many tools to destroy human hearts, minds and spirits.

When people invite Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior, they often have experienced significant pain and trauma in their lives and they are brokenhearted. Many times that is what draws them to the Lord Jesus Christ, because He is so loving and forgiving, and it is an opportunity to be accepted in spite of all of their past sin, pain, and trauma. However, because of that, they are also easy targets for those who are spiritually abusive. Christians, especially new Christians, are normally too trusting.

Jesus Christ is never spiritually abusive. He never tries to force anyone to do anything against their will. Jesus understands the frailty of human beings. He understands the sin nature of human beings and how it can interfere with our relationship with God. He did not accept or condone sin, but He forgave and told people to “go and sin no more.” That is God’s will for us—that we would be forgiven and that we would not repeat the sin in the future. That is called repentance. Abusers rarely repent, although they may call themselves Christians. They are not truly following Jesus Christ.

Back to the survivors of spiritual abuse and people currently going through spiritual abuse… If that describes you, I would highly recommend that you seek help from a trained, qualified Christian prayer minister or counselor who can give you the assistance you need to obtain freedom from the pain and heartbreak of spiritual abuse. Look for someone who can help you receive the healing you need from the effects of that abuse. God loves you and He wants you to be whole. He wants you to be free. He wants you to be healed. He has a destiny for your life and it is not for you to experience or suffer through spiritual abuse and its effects any longer. Please make the decision today to step out and pursue your healing and freedom. It is worth it. YOU ARE WORTH IT.

There are suggested resources on the HELPFUL RESOURCES page on this website (CLICK HERE). You can also contact me for more information by filling out the form on the CONTACT AFJM page (CLICK HERE).

May God bless you! My prayer for you is that you will have the strength to stand up and make today the first day of the rest of your life—free from spiritual abuse.

Kathy Shelton