Nothing particular about the pastor’s message stood out. His invitation to surrender, however, compelled Janice to kneel at the altar.
“Oh Father. It’s been a year since my counseling started. Where’s the end? Where’s my healing?”
As Janice poured out her heart she sensed a warm embrace. She peeked over at her friend Beth beside her.
“Thank you, Lord, for faithful friends. Please reveal to me what’s stopping my healing. Will it ever come? I’m discouraged and feel hopeless.”
For months Janice contemplated the validity of digging into past hurts and wondered if she was on the correct path. She already struggled with severe insecurity and trust. Now her feelings exploded as counseling surfaced deep emotional and physical abandonment issues by her mother.
“Thank you, Lord, that you helped me work through memories of my stepfather molesting me, but why can’t I release the terrible hurt from my mother’s rejection?”
While Janice prayed, she heard one word whispered into her heart. “Idolatry.”
Conviction flooded over, and tears flowed freely and abundantly. Janice feared they’d never stop.
“Show me what to do, Lord,” she begged. She eventually pulled herself together and was able to leave church that day.
Later that afternoon Janice sent a text to Beth. She needed to seek accountability on what the Lord showed her.
“I need to quit counseling.”
“My counselor is my idol.”
“What? How do you get that?”
The texts flowed back and forth for the next hour as Janice explained the ways in which she felt her reliance upon her counselor had become inappropriate. Beth agreed to pray. In the weeks that followed, she helped Janice decide to share her turmoil with her counselor instead of running away from it.
With apprehension, Janice walked into the office. She explained to Amy the neediness she felt.
“I believe I’ve formed an emotional attachment toward you, and it scares me.”
“This is normal,” Amy assured her. “You’ve surfaced wounds you’ve buried, and the emptiness left from abandonment searches for a secure place.”
“But I live from appointment to appointment, and making calls in-between.”
“That’s normal, too. You’re looking for solutions and each appointment and call gives you the hope of finding them.”
Amy discussed again the unmet needs Janice carried due to the dynamic of the relationship with her mother. They decided on a break for a while, and Amy encouraged her to seek the Lord with the healing process. She promised Janice that the Lord would finish the work He began in her life. Amy’s kindness and compassion gave her the courage to continue.
“How do I do this, Lord? Is my healing sure? I’m scared, Father.”
Every morning Janice prayed and cried out to the Lord. She memorized verses about God’s constant presence. She desired His complete freedom and an intimate relationship with Him.
“How do I get rid of the wall preventing my healing, Lord? I’m begging you to show me how idolatry is blocking my healing. Please help me.”
Janice decided to openly share with another friend her struggles. This friend admitted her emotional and abandonment issues as well and recommended Joyce Meyer’s book, “Approval Addiction”. Reluctantly, Janice ordered the book. The word “addiction” frightened her. She imagined drugs, alcohol, or sex with this word, not approval.
When the book arrived, Janice apprehensively started to read it. The introduction immediately manifested the barrier in her walk with the Lord and others. It spoke volumes of truth into her life exhibiting how this addiction consumed her life and affected most of her relationships.
“Thou shall have no other gods before me.”
The light flashed. Finally after a lot of praying, reading, and digging into her childhood, Janice saw the beginning of healing and felt an end existed. She realized it was contingent upon her facing the responsibility of her responses to her past. She felt overwhelmed with the task, but a new determination birthed in her heart.
After several weeks passed, Janice sat across from her counselor again. Since Amy specialized with helping people with addiction issues, she suggested Janice write down incidents that triggered a need for approval. In the following sessions, she told her they’d work through them to bring understanding and healing to this stronghold.
The beginning of this journey started slowly and painfully, but the end was now in view for Janice. She rested in the fact that the Lord’s ways and timing always proved to be perfect.
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