We were camping and getting ready to go swimming. I was 13 and in the tent changing into my bikini. I started to pull up the straps of my top when my dad opened the flap. “Get out!” I screamed. He snapped back, “You haven’t got anything anyway.” I was devastated. How could he say such a thing? I had a pretty nice body for a 13-year old, but his degrading comeback hit me like a hammer. He dropped the flap down quickly and left. The End. For him maybe, but not for me.
The words cut deep. “You haven’t got anything” is what I heard and what I believed about myself for years. I felt like I could never be good enough, that my dad thought I was ugly and unworthy of love. So I saw myself that way. My teenage years were horrible. The seeds of rejection and self-hatred had developed deep roots in my young soul.
The most hurtful problems in our adult lives often come because we have experienced devastating things in the past and the results have rooted themselves deeply within us. They make us think, speak, and act in ways that aren’t even appropriate to the current situations. But something triggers a connection to the past and we react in the way we did back then. We need to get free of these old hurts and deep wounds. Jeremiah gives us God’s word on this: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, ‘This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after’” (Jer. 30:17).
Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The Greek word for “know” in this scripture is ginosko and it means to “know absolutely, to be sure of, to understand and be resolved.” Our past horrific and hurtful experiences and their results need to be once and for all resolved and put in their proper place, where they no longer are a part of our present day life. So how do we facilitate that happening?
To annihilate the clinging noose of past negative experiences is going to take the supernatural touch of Jesus Christ. It was Satan working in the past, through people, often good people who had no idea they were causing such devastation, to bring the evil on us in the first place. The effects can’t be taken care of completely and thoroughly without the supernatural help of the one who “came to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
Only Jesus can get to the root of any problem. He’s alive now and real and still doing the same things He did when He was in the flesh on earth: honing in on the sources of our anxieties, fears, hatreds, etc., exposing them for what they really are and giving us the clear deliverance we so desperately need. He said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). When the word “shall” is used, it is absolute, in contrast to the word “will,” which is less emphatic.
A great example of the type of freedom Jesus came to bring is in John 4. Jesus came to a well and asked the woman there for a drink. She asked him why He was talking to her since she was a Samaritan and Jews weren’t supposed to have dealings with Samaritans.
He totally ignored her question. He came with deliverance for everyone. It didn’t matter if she was Jew or Samaritan. Everyone has hidden hurts. He didn’t care what she thought of herself or the boundaries she’d set up to guard herself. He was there to set her free.
He told her that instead of her giving Him a cup of physical water, he could give her a different kind of water that would change her life. She was hesitant and replied: “The well is deep,” and she wasn’t talking about the physical well.
Jesus had the power to go into that deep well of her soul, uproot the source of the problem and give her complete and lasting freedom. Psalm 42:7 tells us: “Deep calleth unto deep.” There is nothing deeper than the insight, understanding and love of God through Jesus Christ.
As it turned out, the woman was broken. Her self-worth was about as low as it can get. She had gone from man to man looking for true love, but something was wrong. She couldn’t find what she was looking for, no matter what she did. How many people are stuck in that trap?
Jesus explained to her what was happening with her. He uprooted the cause and He showed her what true love was. She received it. I don’t know how long it took, but she was so excited about being free of her bondage to the past that she ran out to tell the men of the city and they came out to see.
Jesus ministered to them for two more days and they had the same types of things happen to them. “And they told the woman, ‘Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves [personally], and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ’” (John 4:42 AMP). Why did they say “savior?” Because they were saved—rescued—from the effects of whatever past life-changing negative experiences were still playing havoc in their lives too.
Jesus is real, alive now and able to work in many different ways to get to the bottom of our wells, or to the deepest sources of hurt in us. He is the answer to getting rid of them once and for all.
I learned that I could ask Jesus to go back with me to the incident with my dad in the tent. Time exists here on earth, but there is no time with the Lord, so He could show me in the Spirit exactly what was happening back then. I needed to see it through the eyes of the Lord Jesus. And He showed me the truth:
My dad’s angry words had nothing to do with me. Lashing out in anger was a defense he learned as a child when he was so often accused of being wrong. It was an automatic trigger reaction. When he opened the tent flap without asking, he did something wrong. When I called him on it, he lashed out at me just like he always did when he was accused of being wrong. I finally understood and I could let go of my own hurt and anger. I was totally set free. My wound couldn’t be opened anymore. It instantly became like a scar—a reminder, but without the attached emotions of the opened wound.
This worked for me; it’s worked for many others and it can work for you too.
I understand that some people won’t be able to take the Lord back to the incident because they’re angry with Him for allowing it in the first place. I have adult friends who have not yet forgiven God for things in the past. It’s more common than you might think—secretly blaming God for abandoning them in the past and not answering their childhood prayers.
But we have to forgive God too, even though it wasn’t really His fault. Whether or not we understand it, we still have to just do it, to release our minds and hearts from all unforgiveness. Do it first, then get the understanding.
How to accomplish these feats starts with a decision to be willing to learn. Jesus takes our willingness and leads us to complete freedom.
I pray that if you are a person looking to be free from past wounds that are still popping up in your life, let the Lord guide you in going back to just one significant incident that hurt you and let Jesus show it to you through His eyes. We don’t need to let those old wounds be ripped open repeatedly in our lives, but to be healed once and for all and never hurt us again.
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