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“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16 (NIV)

The Pepto-Bismol colored blanket draped my shoulders, my legs crisscrossed over the sterile hospital bed. My body racked with sobs of uncontrolled grief. Snot and tears ran down my face.

"Well, this is it. My ministry is over. No one will ever respect me as a leader again," I cried.

Depression got the best of me and threatened to take my life. Disappointment in who I’d become was suffocating. Pastor’s wives aren’t supposed to go through this. In fact, Christians aren’t. We’re supposed to have the joy of the Lord, I naively told myself.

I’d hidden my pain and played my part: supportive spouse, nurturing mother, happy volunteer. My closest friends and my husband knew, but their encouragement and advice didn’t help; it hurt. Well-meaning words and Scriptures made me feel worse. Only God could fix me, but where was He? I wondered.

“Doing time” in the mental hospital was humiliating. My pastor’s wife image was shattered, and I felt officially “crazy.” I spent the next two weeks alongside drug addicts, schizophrenics and alcoholics. We were failures and outcasts by society’s standards: weak, broken and ashamed.

No hiding here. Hospital patients can’t pretend they’re well. As each person shared their story of deep pain and brokenness, I watched the others come alongside with comfort and empathy, offering kind words, a touch, or silent acceptance of you’re not alone and me too. No one gave advice. No one judged or critiqued wounds and bad decisions.

Through our confessions, our differences melted away, and our commonalities brought acceptance and healing. Of all places for God to show up, I thought. Among the weak and broken. The outcasts and sinners. The same place Jesus shows up in the New Testament.

I blurted out in group: “You guys! This is what the church is supposed to look like!” Many were not Christians, yet this was not an odd thing to hear from the resident pastor’s wife. “If only Christians could feel accepted enough to confess their hurts, their sin; if only other Christians could BE accepting enough to embrace those who confess. But in the church, we’re afraid to admit we’re broken. We think we’re supposed to have it all together. But until we’re willing to get real, we can’t heal.”

What I saw as the end of my ministry was actually the beginning. And I realized we were living out the meaning of today’s key verse, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:16a).

I left the hospital full of hope and unexpected strength, returning to my church with new resolve. While it wouldn’t be easy, it would be necessary. I would confess my brokenness to my community. It might be embarrassing. I might be rejected.

It was definitely a risk, but somebody had to go first. And in going first, I prayed for others to find the freedom to go next, confident that healing would follow. What the enemy meant for evil, God used and continues to use for good.

Father God, thank You that we can indeed find healing when we begin to get real with each other. Help me continue to admit my brokenness and encourage others around me to find freedom, too. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 103:2-3, “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” (NIV)

Isaiah 53:5, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (NIV)

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Write a prayer of confession to God, and thank Him for His forgiveness in your life.

What are some ways God has used a community to help in your healing in the past? Let us know how God has encouraged you to pursue healing when you began to share your brokenness with others.

© 2019 by Jodi H. All rights reserved.

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Psalm 34:18 ESV  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Lord heal the central core of my very being. Lord, your logos says, “He heals the brokenhearted (anguish, grief, distress, collapse, crushed, fractured, hurt, injured, shattered, tore down heart) and binds up their wounds Psalm 147:3).” Only you Oh God can heal the pain in my Soul, my Mind from the loss of my loved ones…

I believe God has used others to help my healing process by the person or persons just being present, and lending an ear. Not so much as saying anything but to know that someone is there and is welling to listen, means more to me than anything else. 

Lord of Host; We (Host) give you praise, and we acknowledge you as our Lord, thank you for forgiving us from all that we have said and done or didn’t say nor do, that we walk away several times, didn’t trust you for our life. Thank you for accepting us back with open arms, letting us know that you didn’t leave us. When left to take care of myself with two kids, how God open doors for us to be in a home, where we didn’t have to pay for rent, nor deposit for 2 months. We had time to save, and pull things together, and we begin to heal, trust God the more. We haven’t really shared our brokenness with others, tried that and it didn’t work, haven’t went that far again. We simply talk to God; a serious relationship develop.

YAH, we thank you for never Judging me and accepting me where I was when I came to you.  Thank You for Blessing me to be the Leadershifter to your people and to teach them on how to get real with you so that they can be healed and set free in you.  It’s your de-sire that we are set free in you YAH!!!  I thank you for Blessing me with true people in the Ministry I can confide in as a Leadershifter, Because as a Senior Leadershifter, you cannot talk to everyone the same way.  YAH, thank you for being non-judgmental, for welcoming me with open arms and allowing me to be real with myself according to Psalms 139 and real with you!!!

Lord I thank you for your healing and contiue healing in my life. For being accepted and able to smile without pain always secrectly behind it. In Jesus ne'eman. God has used me to confess to the community hurt and how he brought me out. Past relationahips and later God had me at a church on a sonday morning people were standing for prayer of brokeness and depression and many other things they were naming to come get prayer and release for and i alwyas was aashame to get in line for prayer but i felt God calling me to come and it was the best choice i made. He will meet you where you are. Frfr. I felt truly glad i did for the first time to show everyone that i too was ome of the ones that was broken and depress. Ne'eman.

Dear Lord God, Help me to forgive my self for allowing a man to come between our relationship. I know I am your Prophetess and I am suppose to be way further along then I am. I supposed to be getting ready to flow in the spirit at all times. How I  had gotten healed by  talking to my leader and my little sister about forgiving others who had hurt me. That's the first step to forgive myself and to forgive others to be healed.

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