Can God Heal Your Heart from A Wounded Parental Relationship?
Written by: L. Giordano
This summer God has really been walking me through a season of releasing hurt and trusting that he is with me every step of the way.
In January I started to walk through a very dark valley. I solely had to rely on God’s presence and his complete guidance in order to help me through it. God was peeling back some deep seeded trauma that was hindering me from HIS plan for my life and it was also keeping anger in my heart. This anger was keeping me captive, and it was hindering me in many ways. I had been wrestling with so much anxiety; something that I had never felt before. My heart and my spirit were hurting.
When people sin against us, intentionally wrong us and never seem to have consequences for any of it, this apparent lack of fairness is what stirs up feelings of bitterness and unforgiveness. It’s hard to not let these feelings dictate how we live and act towards those who wronged us. I have always tried to be the first one to apologize when I have done something wrong. I have always tried to do what is God’s best, even though I am human and make mistakes as we all do. I want to be obedient to God.
What happens when those who wrong you never admit they have? What do you do? How do you feel? Better yet, what do you do when you apologize to someone for your actions towards them and they say very hurtful words in their response that diminish your character or your heart and relationship with God?
Something that I have learned A LOT over the last few months with the intense healing that has happened in my life, is that the unfairness of hurtful situations or words from others is, remembering when people sin against us, they unleash into their lives the consequences of that sin.
Proverbs 1:31 says, “They will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.”
The best thing that I can do when others have done wrong to me is to trust God and know that he is the one that will handle the consequences, as long as my heart is pure, and I am living the fruits of the spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.” Galatians 5:22-23
When I am wrong, I confess it, ask for forgiveness, and do my part to change. God will take care of the rest in HIS timing.
But what happens when those that hurt you don’t know God’s love and true forgiveness? What happens when the hurt and bitterness that you have been carrying for most of your life, is because of significant childhood trauma and it comes to the surface? God has a way of having us face some pretty ugly hurt, even when we aren’t ready.
A few months ago, I received a message from my younger sister saying that our birth mother, Deb, reached out to her. She wanted to make peace with us. She had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and wanted to make amends before she passed. She explained that she has been clean from drugs for over a year. After receiving her diagnosis, and realizing all the pain she had caused myself and my younger sister, there needed to be peace with us before she got worse.
I had no idea how to navigate through the high emotions that I had been feeling. I knew that God was there and walking me through it, however I was struggling with all the emotions of anger and bitterness I had felt my whole life. The feeling of neglect and abuse from her negative choices came flooding all at once; of abandonment and of never feeling worthy. I never understood why I couldn’t have biological parents who truly loved and cared for their kids, like I had witnessed in some of the many foster homes I had been in. All these feelings had come flooding back and I was angry.
I knew the anger and the bitterness that I had been holding onto was wrong, but I wanted so desperately to keep it tight, instead of releasing it.
God was moving in the background; laying things on my heart for me to work on. I remember sharing with my friend that I had been feeling like I needed to start looking for my birth mother, even before I knew about Deb contacting my sister. God was already preparing me for what was about to happen.
This part of my life I tried so hard to forget about, because it brought so much shame. God knew what parts of my life needed true healing. I didn’t want to face this hurt; it was so painful. It had too many bad roots. Roots that I didn’t think I was ready to face.
Layer by layer with lots of prayer and fasting, God began to help me work through my pain, breaking down even more walls. Placing safe people in my life to help encourage me through this big obstacle.
Romans 10:11-13 says, “…Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame,since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How awesome would it be, after going through so much pain and heartache, to see Deb accept Christ! A friend said how amazing of a testimony it would be of God’s grace and love. I may have missed 43 years with her, but I can have the rest of her time here, and eternity in heaven, with her.
The process of getting to know her without the addiction side has been really slow with just talking on the phone. I have been able to slowly share God’s love with her. I pray continuously that God is working on her heart with the words that I share and what God has done in my life.
This summer I have really learned my identity in Christ and I have been given peace and comfort, knowing that God is in full control of my life, and I trust him fully.
Things to ask yourself as you may be struggling in a time of bitterness and walking in unforgiveness:
- What do I need to fully surrender to God?
- What parts of my life need pruning?
Open up the lines of communication to Him. God’s love and faithfulness will walk you through, if you trust His plan and timing.
Thank you for allowing me to share my heart, in what I have walked through. This summer has taught me and made me realize that trusting in him in all areas of my life is in my best interest. I hope this gives you encouragement today.