God brings hope and healing into our lives as we confide in one another about our deepest struggles.
While reaching out for support is a part of the healing process, Melinda Means reminds us that not everyone is ready to share openly about the pain and suffering they have experienced in their lives.
“Telling our story is something that God reveals to us when it’s time.”
She elaborates on this truth by describing the interview process for her book, Invisible Wounds: Hope While You're Hurting.
“I asked a couple of women if I could interview them for this book and they said, ‘I would really love to tell my story, but it’s not time yet. I’m not healed enough. I’m just not ready. I haven’t forgiven the person I need to forgive, etc.’”
Opening up about personal pain and suffering can be intimidating, but Melinda points out that the risk of reaching out is far lower than the benefit of support that we’ll receive.
“Even if we’re not ready to be very open publicly with telling our story, we all need support when we’re hurting. Even if it’s just one person that you can be vulnerable with, you need that support.”
Melinda shares from her personal experience,
“As I began to share more deeply with a small group of people, then that’s when the healing began, and that’s when I was able to start telling my story more openly.”
God wants to heal us, but we have to be honest about the invisible wounds that we all carry and be willing to share our story as He prompts us to. Melinda encourages us to ask God for discernment and identify trusted people that He has placed along our path.
“My pastor calls them “me too” people. If you share a little bit of your struggle with someone and they respond with, ‘Me too; I’ve had that same struggle,’ or ‘I can understand what you’re feeling because I’ve been through something similar.’ That’s somebody that you can probably open up a little bit more to.
“Look for people who have had wounds themselves and they’re not bitter, but they’re better for their woundedness. Those kind of people tend to be very encouraging, inspiring and not judge mental; they don’t judge your feelings, they don’t judge your questions. Ask God to bring those kind of people into your life and then opening your eyes to who they are.”
Melinda Means is Women’s Director at her church and co-author of Mothering from Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family. Melinda’s work has appeared in Focus on the Family publications, CBN.com, and Lifeway’s Journey devotional for women.