How to Receive Inner Healing After a Breakup
Growing up, I never really thought about marriage. Maybe because it was always the expectation. And it seemed “cooler” to not care. What I wanted instead was to live my own life, fulfil my own dreams, accomplish things for myself. And where was God in all this you might rightfully ask? Indeed! Patiently walking with me, answering my prayers, blessing (some of) my selfish desires, and teaching me many things along the way. Around age 26, I experienced my toughest season ever. I was dating an atheist who could be very emotionally and verbally cruel and I put up with it for ages because a) pride and b) an unresolved deep seated fear of rejection. Never had I ever had anyone even dare to treat me so poorly and I was determined not to stand for it … not by calling him out and leaving but by waiting, hoping, wishing and, yes, praying (but not listening…) that if I showed more love, then he would be more loving, and we could work things out. It breaks my heart to think of myself back then, lost and allowing a young man, broken and searching in his own way, to become my god, the thing I was looking to for my identity and value.
This is going to sound pretty random but isn’t it true that God can use anything to bring things to our attention? I was reminded of all this the other day because I was watching a sermon that mentioned Chris Brown (...it’s true!) which led me to do some totally unnecessary celebrity googling and eventually watching an old interview with his ex-girlfriend Karreuche Tran. It was heartbreaking when Iyanla Vanzant (the interviewer) asked her why she put up with being mistreated for so long, and she vulnerably said it was because she was willing to wait, to wait for him to mature. It really triggered something in me because that was exactly how I felt about my situation above. Things were unhealthy, things were messy but … even still, I thought I could give love and change him in the way I now realize only Jesus can.
Anyway eventually I could take no more and surrendered my mess to God and the next year, 2017, ended up being the second best year of my life (post on all God has done in 2019 will come another day! :). I even had 2017 engraved in Roman numerals on a pendant because that was the year I began to understand what it was for God to heal my heart.
It was the year my church introduced this (slightly embarrassingly titled IMO) course called Single Life Workshop from Bethel Church’s Nothing Hidden Ministries. After dragging my feet for a few weeks, I signed up. Because I was learning to trust in the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Thank God for community, especially my friend C who was the one person to who I’d share my “I think God said…” thoughts. She’d always keep me in check. “So have you signed up for SLW yet?” she asked one day. “Didn’t you say you felt the Holy Spirit tell you to do it?” Indeed… haha.
By the end of the ten week course, I felt like a new person. Because for me, the course was much, much more about learning to hear from the Holy Spirit and experiencing inner healing than it was about dating. If you haven’t heard of inner healing (it was pretty new for me), John Wimber, founding leader of the first Vineyard church, describes it as “the application of God’s grace and forgiveness in those areas of our inner lives that hold us back from experiencing the abundant life. With these obstacles fully removed, people are freed to live fully for God” (Power Healing, p. 61). This includes being healed and released from the effects of hurtful memories and bondage to their emotions, effects like guilt, shame, rejection and depression (p. 61).
Here is the list of things we learned in SLW:
Releasing the vision
What is coming against you?
Importance of really listening
Taking away the ‘horribleness’ of no!
Pursuing relationship with the opposite sex
Embracing our sexuality
Blessing your spirit
How to bring God into your relationship
Our last session
*We doubled up some weeks to fit it into a 10 week course including a retreat
Week 4 on Living Shamelessly was most impactful for me. I went into the session thinking I was very open and didn’t have any shame … and left it realizing I just wasn’t acknowledging shame I felt because it was too painful. I learned that shame’s biggest asset is hiddenness and that it tries to isolate you and get you to hide. It goes right back to Adam and Eve, and their hiding from God after the fall (Genesis 3:1-24). At this point, I’d been single for almost a year but was still dealing with the after effects of the unhealthy relationship. I thought time would heal but it wasn’t doing it effectively … but the Holy Spirit did. Week after week, God’s truths about my identity and his desire for me to live in wholeness and hope sunk in deeper and deeper.
No matter what mistakes we’ve made in the past, we can confess and give them to Jesus and he will wash us white as snow. By inviting the Holy Spirit to help us clean up our messes and mistakes, we can replace shame with freedom, numbness with intimacy, pretensions with truth. We can be fully healed and live a full life.
During SLW, we were introduced to a number of prayer tools that I still use today. When I feel something coming against me (e.g. past hurtful memories or new instances of anger, fear, etc.), I use the 1-2-3 Skidoo prayer to ask God to send it away from me and ask the Holy Spirit what he wants to give me in return. In healing from past rejections, I’ve used the Forgiveness prayer. To be free from unhealthy effects of past relationships, I’ve used the Breaking Soul Ties prayer. All of these prayers are available in the Nothing Hidden Ministries (NHM) app and there is a fee but I think it’s well worth it (just as someone who has benefitted from the tools ... I have no affiliation with NHM or Bethel!).
Here’s a list of the Breakthrough Tools:
Breaking soul ties
Breaking vows and curses
Reveal your mind
Rules for sharing in a group
Rules for working through conflict
Spiritual weapons for overcomers
Steps to reconciliation
The spiritual weapon of confession
When the poop hits the fan
Wherever we’re at with God, I pray that we are hungry for a greater awareness of who we are through Christ and passionately claim all Jesus died for. Because of Jesus we are forgiven, renewed and empowered for righteousness by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-12). We are blessed, called, healed, whole, saved in Jesus’s name (God You’re So Good - Passion). In him we can find our true identity, value, and purpose too. And for us single ladies (and men), when God’s timing for us to marry comes, we’ll have the wisdom, experience and awareness through God of what it means to be a God-centered human able to know, trust, and follow God into his perfect plan as an individual and as a partner.