A friend of mine once told me that she was envious of my ability to “self-heal”.
But what she didn’t realize at the time was that I don’t heal myself… I only allow the Lord to come and do the work in me.
When I say things like that to people, sometimes I get a polite nod and an “isn’t that nice” type of response. Other times I am met with a totally blank stare.
I realize that this concept of “allowing the Lord to heal me” is very vague and mysterious for someone who hasn’t experienced it themselves.
Sure, there are some circles (Immanuel Approach, SOZO & other inner healing ministries) who know what I’m talking about… but to be honest, most of my “friends” aren’t in those circles!
So, today I want to give you an example. A peek into one of those times that I let the Lord do some work in me. After reading this next section (which will come straight out of my prayer journal), I will then explain a little bit about what was going on and give you some links for learning more!
*First some background on what was going on in my life at the time: I had just discovered that my uncle, (I’m giving him a fake name of Peter in this blog entry) who had abused me as a child, was on Facebook because his picture showed up in one of those “friends recommended for you” based on common friends notifications. I was thrown into a fit of despair and panic and found myself on the bathroom floor sick over the thought of him possibly seeing my daughter’s picture on Facebook somehow. The next morning I went to the Lord with my pain.
“Be with me Jesus, I am ready to go wherever you want to take me. Remind me of your love Lord-
I’m remembering when I was driving home from Bradenton watching the sunset- singing praises as loud as I could. Feeling so close to you God- feeling alive- my entire body lifted up and so aware of your presence in the car with me. I felt your love and your joy and your pride and overwhelming acceptance. All of this was felt at my core- I could feel you smiling- I was warmed and touched by the sunset- watching pink spread across the sky like a blanket- each breath I took seemed to extend the reaches of color even further across the sky. As I sang- you painted- and we created joy together.
In my mind, remembering this time, I need to ask you…. “Jesus, where are you now as I am faced with seeing Peter again?
Distractions… frustration… nothing!!!
(Decided to call my Dad to help me connect with Jesus again- I told him briefly about how I was stuck and not able to hear from Jesus about his situation)
I go back to the image in my mind of the car and thinking about the sunset and singing and joy together with Jesus.
I ask Jesus… “What’s up with this panicky feeling?”
Everything feels really dizzy….. the room is spinning ….
My Dad reminds me to stay focused on Jesus.
Everything is spinning but me and Jesus. Like in the mad tea cups at Disney world… in my head everything is crazy… but there’s Jesus. Standing still, in the middle of it all with me.
Now, instead of feeling panicky and afraid, I still see Jesus and I have peace.
Now it’s like a ride at the fair- part scary- part fun- exciting.
What does Jesus want to show me about all this spinning?
He takes my hands and spins me around like a child. We laugh together.
All the spinning in my head comes to a complete stop.
What now Jesus?
He still has my hand in his- and now we are in a very dark hallway.
But I’m not afraid. (Normally I would panic at this point, afraid of where he’s taking me)
But I’m not afraid. We’re just in a dark hallway… and suddenly I have a rush of overwhelming compassion for Peter come over me.
It’s like I’m here- at peace with my Jesus- but I know Peter is alone in the dark somewhere.
I ask Jesus, “Why aren’t I scared?”
And I notice that I know the door is right behind me. Behind the door is light- its outside- its fresh air and bright sunshine.
I ask, “Jesus, what do you want me to know about this door?
I have a choice. I can stay in the dark and let fear creep back over me OR I can go through the door and shut Peter alone inside OR I can go through and leave it cracked open so he can find the light OR I can go through and burst it open- letting the light flood in over him.
There’s no right or wrong here. It’s my choice.
I choose to leave it cracked open for him. It feels like me to do that. Part of me wonders if it would be more holy to leave it wide open though.
Jesus reminds me that when you’re in the dark- a large quantity of light thrown at you hurts… it’s gentler to do the “cracked door of light”.
Jesus is okay with my choice.
So Lord- what does this mean literally?
Peter has seen me- but I am not a victim- I have Jesus’ light in me- and it’s okay to let him see that.
The disgust I was feeling is gone- I don’t have to go charging at him- I can trust that God has a plan and take comfort in focusing on Jesus- not Peter.
I am safe.
What you just read is an example of what is called the “Immanuel Process”. This is a healing prayer format that is led by the spirit… not by man. It begins from a place of appreciation … in a “memory” of a good connection with the Lord. This is different from other inner healing methods because it begins in a place of safety instead of jumping headfirst into a trauma memory.
Sharing a time of peace and joy with “God with us” (Immanuel) essentially warms up our brain so that it is more open and receptive to hearing from God or dealing with pain.
Because I had done this before, I was comfortable doing it right in my living room with just me and Immanuel. But I hit a wall. The issue I was dealing with was a big one and I needed someone else to come along side me as well to help me increase my capacity. That’s why I called my Dad. My Dad didn’t do much talking at all… he was simply glad to be with me and his presence and familiarity with the situation and with the Immanuel process I was in gave me the strength I needed to overcome my fears.
As you see, after hitting the wall… I had to go back to the joyful memory before pressing on further into the painful place. This is another key element of the Immanuel process that makes it feel much safer.
Then you’ll notice that I still had a wall of sorts to get through… in the Immanuel process, whenever you notice something…whether it’s a feeling or a picture or a word… you simply ask Jesus what he wants you to know about it. As you can see from this example, he is quite capable of using the walls we hit to move us beyond them without our even realizing it!
Over the course of an Immanuel Process, the key element is that God is with me.
Even though God is technically always with me… discovering where He is and recognizing that He is there is when I am able to experience His peace and healing happens.
Before I knew (experienced) God was with me, I felt disgusting and panicky and I wanted to run away and hide forever. But then Immanuel showed me that He was with me and that I had a choice about what to do with my pain. When I made my choice and started to question if my choice was the right one, he came alongside me again and encouraged me. Knowing that I had a choice and that my choice was pleasing to Him removed the panic and the disgust that I felt before.