A note from Kelly King: As a mom, Kaye Hurta’s article today reminds me that all of us can lead with open wounds, healed wounds, and wounds that leave scars. If you are leading out of a place of woundedness, I encourage you to be honest, seek help, and find others that will truly listen and give you biblical wisdom.
Before I share a word, I want you to know my daughter has given her permission for me to share some of her own story. We began our 2017 in a very scary, unfamiliar space. After enduring some difficulty at school and with self-image, my then freshman daughter told me she was having thoughts to harm herself. That weekend culminated in an ER visit, a month of group therapy at an out-patient facility, and several counseling sessions that are on-going. My girl was depressed, but the real culprit was/is social anxiety.
You can imagine how the enemy used all of that to attack me with my own version of shame and self-loathing. After several sessions with my own counselor, we were able to unpack some old wounds and triggers. I love the therapeutic process!
One might think this article is going to be about the rise of depression and anxiety in young people today. True, but no. It is also not about the dangers of bullying or damaging effects of social media. Instead, a year into her healing process, I want to pass on to you what my teenage daughter has taught me and is teaching me about ministering to hurting women. Our daughters are also, after all, hurting women, in smaller form.
Here is what my girl is teaching me:
Childhood wounds need tending to. Whether they are fresh or longstanding, wounds need tending. The enemy loves the wounded soil of our hearts. Just as the Father sows the good seed of His Word in our healthy heart soil, similarly the enemy (master counterfeiter that he is) sows seeds of lies, despair, hopelessness, and more in the soil of a heart that is wounded. The fruit of seed sown by the Father produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control all in increasing measure. Fruit sown by the enemy in our wounded soil produces shame, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, guilt, hatred, hopelessness, and more. Childhood wounds—all wounds—need tending to.
The road home—the road to good health—is long and winding (queue the Beatles, “The Long and Winding Road”). If a road is long, you wonder if it will ever end, will ever be different, or will ever get better. If a road is winding, you can’t see what’s around the corner. It could be a dangerous curve, or it could be difficult to navigate. It could go uphill and be arduous to climb, or it could go downhill and seem like a breeze. We are one year into our journey and while I would like it all to be in my rear view mirror, we have a long, long, way to go.
The process is a marathon, not a sprint. Much like our own spiritual formation, the process to wholeness or maturity cannot be accomplished in a day, a week, a month, or even a year. It is often a life-long process. If it is your desire to help a hurting woman, settle in for a long run.
God is the God of a 15-year-old girl. He has sweetly and beautifully spoken to her in her own teenage language. He has shown Himself to her in ways Mom could never explain. This has caused me to love Him all the more. Yes, God is the God of a 15-year-old girl. In fact, put your own age in there. God is the God of a ____-year-old-woman. He is.
I close with something that I didn’t necessarily learn from my girl but boy was its value underscored in a huge way.
Good resources and referrals are critical. When your girl needs help, you want it to be the best care available. Teens aren’t my area of expertise, so I had to ask and lean in to others who could direct me to the right people. Lean in to others’ expertise.
For those of us ministering to hurting women, we must have an excellent referral network. The rest of this month we will drill down on the importance of having good referrals and who should be included on that list.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.