Be patient. Encourage. Love. It is my timing and not yours. You were not ready to receive this message when the wounds were fresh.
I thought about my journey and I realized that the well-known theory of the five stages of grief applied to my healing. You have likely heard of the model introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying" known as the "Five Stages of Grief". They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I realized that I had to go through those stages to get to the point of healing. Hopefully I can shorten the time at each stage significantly as I mature in Christ and trust who He says I am. But I hope it helps those of you going through this difficult process to know you are not a failure if healing takes longer than you hoped.
How did the stages play out for me? I will give the secular example followed by the spiritual parallel.
Spiritual – “How could a Christian do something like this? How can they read the Bible, hear teaching, go to Bible studies and then act like this? I don’t understand how this is happening!”
Bargaining: Secular – "I'll do anything, can't you stretch it out a few more years?"
Depression: Secular - "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"
Acceptance – Secular – "It's going to be OK."
“The abundant life is comparing God's character, faithfulness and ability with my particular circumstances and believing that God's character trumps my circumstance.”
I am just learning to trust that truth after all of these years. Slow learner? You bet. But I am learning nonetheless.
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com
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About David Burchett
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and “Bring’em Back Alive – A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church.” Dave is available to bring his unique perspective to your conference, meeting, or broadcast. Dave and Joni, his wife of twenty-nine years, have three grown sons.
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