{Lessons Learned} Healing the Broken Places

Posted on: May 16th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 3 Comments

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I didn’t want to go digging around my past, but I knew I needed to. I knew some residual effects of my dad’s murder had to still be there. As I walked through some of the most difficult times in the weeks, months, and years following the murder, I remember thinking I sure hope this doesn’t screw me up.

My dad wasn’t married at the time of his death which meant that my brother, sister, and I were legally responsible for picking up the pieces when he died. Our extended family helped quite a bit––as much as they could, really, which I am so thankful for––but there was only so much they could do. My mom, however, was the backbone that held us all together, and I will forever be grateful to her for that. She played an integral part in the process of helping us wade through all the mess. (Thank you, Mom!)

Still, there were some things that my brother, sister, and I needed to take care of. No one could do it for us.

We were the ones who needed to put together the funeral arrangements.

We were the ones who needed to take possession of my dad’s house (which was where the murder took place) once the investigation finished.

We were, quite literally, the ones who cleaned up the mess that was left behind.

We navigated my dad’s estate through the legal process of probate, helped finish the construction of the home my dad was building for himself, got both homes ready to be sold, and sold them to their prospective buyers.

All the while, we were meeting with the District Attorney who was readying her case against Anthony and endured two and a half years of preliminary hearings leading up to the murder trial. Then, there was the trial itself, during which time my family and I sat for a week, day in and day out, listening to testimony after testimony, trying to avoid seeing pictures that might deepen the wounds, and hearing the defense attorney’s distortion of truth for the sake of winning his case.

This was also the time in my life that I was finishing up college, getting engaged, planning a wedding, getting married, and beginning my career as a teacher.

Truly, it was a crazy time in my life!

But after about three years, things seemed to settle down and come to a close. Justice was served and the estate was settled. And that was it. I feel like I was suddenly thrown into chaos, but at the end of three years, it all abruptly ended, and my life began to resemble a “normal” life once again.

I tried to put it all behind me. I tried to move on. Yet, no matter how hard I tried to rid myself of the pain, it still remained. It wasn’t until I met Jesus years later that I was led to rummage through all my junk and was finally able to allow Jesus to heal what had been broken.

But it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was one of the most painful, difficult seasons in my life. When we ask Jesus to heal us, we must understand that healing can be painful.

Healing a broken heart requires that we allow God to bring us back to our most broken places, to the darkness of our soul in order to see and understand our situation anew.

But it’s painful. It’s like opening an old wound, digging into it, removing the shrapnel that was embedded years before, and closing the wound properly for the first time.

Once we heal, the scars remain. But one thing I’ve learned is that it is God’s intention to take those scars, turn them into our strengths, and use them for our good and the good of others to His glory.

He is, after all, our Redeemer. What an amazing God we serve!

{Healing a broken heart requires that we allow God to bring us to our most broken places.}

Question: In what area do you need healing? Have you experienced healing? Was your healing painful? Share in the comments.

To read more about my process of healing, read {Lessons Learned} Healing Comes With Greater Understanding.

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  • I have experienced healing in my life. The first one from a rape that occurred when I was 18 years old and the many bad decisions I made afterward to try to forget and move on. God brought me full circle. Was it painful, absolutely. Was it worth it, most definitely. Through my healing I found out how much I needed my Savior and how wrong it is to try to go it alone. I learned what a forgiving, loving, and compassionate God I served. Some parts of this healing only took about 1.5 to 2 years but another portion took almost 10. This tragedy did not only happen to me, it affected many other relationships in my life as well.
    My second experience of healing is when my dad died unexpectedly from a massive heart attack. I was not prepared. He was my best friend and I was so ticked off at my God. But through prayer and counseling I started the healing process and came closer to God.

    Pain is a part of growing and healing. It is necessary. Although we feel the pain we also can feel the comfort of our Heavenly Father if we go to him in prayer. Both times I was not yet far enough in my faith journey to automatically turn to him.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Paula! It is so comforting to hear of God’s healing. Telling our stories of redemption is so important as they show others that God does heal our unbearable wounds! I praise God for your healing and that He has brought you closer to Him through your difficult trials! Thanks again!