I was sitting in my senior pastor’s office one day and we were talking about issues that he had brought to my attention. Multiple times each month I sit down with him and just talk about life and ministry and anything in between. It really gives me a chance to address issues that might come up, and it gives him the chance to help me see blind spots that I might not see. This was one of those blind spot conversations.

And before I go on, let me say that you need conversations like these. You don’t know everything. I sure don’t. Sometimes we need people who we trust to speak into our lives and show us things we can’t see. Now, not just anyone gets to do this, but find someone who loves you and knows you, and loves God and knows God. Be humble enough to let them speak life into you, but be ready, because sometimes speaking life comes in the form of addressing issues. Just remember that the surgeon has to cut in order to heal. The cut hurts, but the surgery fixes the problem.

So we were having a conversation and after some time of reflection and prayer God showed me an event that happened in my life that was playing a huge role in the issue I was dealing with at that moment. I didn’t event think of it having anything to do with my life now as it was something that happened when I was a child, but the wound from that past was having an impact on my present and my future.

Maybe you know exactly what I am talking about. Maybe you are like me in that moment and you’ve recently discovered a wound that is playing a part in your life still. Maybe you’ve known there is a wound this whole time. Perhaps you have spent your entire life nursing a wound that never seems to heal.

The problem with these wounds from yesterday is that when you live in hurts from the past, you will stifle your hope for the future. You need to know that God never wanted those wounds to happen to you, but God definitely doesn’t want those wounds impacting you today and for your tomorrow. He wants to heal those wounds because the future he has for you is too incredible for you to be plagued by wounds form the past.

Two of the most amazing things about God is that, first, he is committed to your restoration. We see his commitment to our restoration in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and in the resurrection. Even while we were sinners, God showed his love for us in that he died for us. But even more than your salvation, God is committed to your total restoration because he has a plan for you, a purpose for you, and he wants you to experience the fullness found in him and that plan! I know your wounds are deep and that the hurt is not easily cast aside, but I encourage you in this moment to stop putting your trust in your wound and instead start putting your trust in God’s ability to restore and heal.

I would never minimize the hurts that you may be going through or have gone through, but friend, I am determined to see you restored and healed. God is too. And the way that happens is by placing people in your life to help you walk through the pain. When we’re sick we go to a doctor, and once you step into the office, a team of people begin swarming you, asking questions, performing tests, gathering information. Then a doctor comes in and explains what is going on and prescribes treatment. And then another team begins to walk you step by step into your healing.

You need a team like this to deal with your wound. You need a team to swarm you and begin doing the work of restoring you. Sometimes it will be talking about the thing that hurt you, and yes, that can be painful. I can remember having a surgery on my foot and the most painful part was the needle to deaden the affected area. But enduring that pain allowed the surgeon to fix the problem.

At the end of the day, you must decide what is more important: temporary pain to fix the problem, or a lifetime of hurt by not addressing it.

You may need to see a Christian counselor to talk things out. You may need to meet with your pastor once a week for a time. You may need to abandon relationships that are not healthy and embrace ones that are. You may need to come face to face with the one who wounded and forgive them. It is a path to healing, but you can do this. You can trust God to get you to the emotional healing you need. It will hurt, but the hurt will stop, and you will begin experiencing freedom that you thought you never would feel again.

This is just the first thing that is amazing. The second is just as incredible: God never lets anything go to waste. The only thing better than being set free is knowing God wants to use your story to set others free as well. God never wanted you to be hurt, but he is happy to use that hurt to help others. This is how God can take what the enemy means to harm us and turn it around for good. Just ask Joseph.

I encourage you, if you are wounded right now, if you are experiencing pain from the past that is having a drastic impact on your present and future, to get help. Start with God. Find people who know you and know God to speak life into you. Don’t be afraid to walk into God’s medical clinic. I know there is temptation to fear the unknown, but with God as your Great Physician, you can be assured that you may walk in with a wound, but you can walk out healed.

God has an incredible future for you, and he wants you to be living the life he’s calls you to now. You can experience restoration. That wound can be healed. He is willing and able and he is ready.