Healing Unpleasant Memories
The Holy Spirit is grieved if you are one who is suffering right now with unpleasant memories. May I say also, so am I.
In Isaiah 61:1, our Bible reads; The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (NIV).
Our memories may be good ones or we may have some we would rather forget as they are unpleasant for us to think about. Some painful memories may be dealt with easily while others require more of our attention. The following steps can be used to minister to the healing of unpleasant memories.
1. Allow the problem memory to be recalled. Sometimes a painful event of the past gets buried in our subconscious and we would rather not have to think about that ever again. We would rather erase it from our memory. However, it’s possible that allowing ourselves to be aware of that bad memory again under different circumstances will help us to release what once troubled us so. But then, there are some painful memories that aren’t that easily forgotten.
2. Discuss the problem with others. It is not good for us to attempt dealing with our problems alone. Our perspective of the situation may become too one-sided due to our seeming claim of ownership of the problem. When we talk our problem through with a trusted friend, clergy or a support group we learn we are not alone. Others have similar problems too, and getting our problem out into the open allows us to deal with it more successfully.
3. Pray for God’s healing. Why is praying for healing beneficial? Our God allows us free-will to deal with life under our own power unless He decides to step in and exercise His will for us. When we pray we open the door for God to help us. Many times He waits until we ask for His help. In our Bible; James proclaimed; “We have not, because we ask not” (James 4:2).
4. Partake of Holy Communion. Receiving Communion allows us to lay our sins, burdens and hurts at the foot of the cross. We then receive His grace and are made whole. Our “intention” of laying our burdens at Jesus’ feet by focusing on His sacrament of healing grace allows more healing to happen for us, and more often. You may take Communion in your own home using whatever elements you may have on hand as long as you honor His blood shed and His body sacrificed.
5. We must forgive others. Clinging to resentment blocks our healing. Jesus tells us we are to forgive others and we are to pray for them as well (Matthew 5:44.) He also warned that if we do not forgive others we ourselves will not be forgiven (Matthew 6:15.) Our forgiveness brings about our healing.
6. Contact a professional Christian counselor. Anyone who may have experienced serious abuse or abuse over a prolonged period, in addition to prayer, may require the caring, gentle, and consistent attention of a professional Christian counselor where healing can come over a more gradual, enduring process.
Know this, child of God, you are precious in His eyes. It is for you He died. Whenever your unpleasant memory was conceived He was there standing beside you. You were never alone nor are you now. Jesus cares for you and so do I.