Jesus helps architect confess suppressed emotions
D developed a pattern of self-reliance as a result of living overseas on his own since the tender age of 10. These circumstances led him to become judgmental towards his family and God, and blame himself for his innocent childhood mistakes. The Holy Spirit led D to confess and release the suppressed emotional pain that he had stored in his heart for over twenty years and repent of his judgments, so he could experience healing and freedom. Praise God!
I went to the UK at the age of 10, to a boarding school where I was the only Asian.
It was difficult to get used to such a big change in every aspect, from weather, culture, language, food, classmates, and so on. The only means to express my thoughts was through letters to my parents and the occasional international phone call. (Calls were very expensive back then.)
A distant aunt and her daughter took care of me when I was on half-term or school holidays. During my initial year there, I would often ask them if I could go back home since I was so homesick. Obviously, I did not succeed. I ended up thinking that they were bad people because it seemed like they did not care. One time, I hid in a cupboard crying in my aunt’s home.
I felt hopeless and stuck. There was nothing I could do except to wait for the holidays where I could actually go home.
My brother also came to join me in the UK after two years. I remember telling him that our aunt was a bad person as she didn’t care for our interests. (After those initial years had passed and my understanding developed, I had put down my judgements and became quite good relatives with my aunt’s family.)
At the time, there was no one to talk to when I felt alone, no one to share my worries, no one to rely on for my academics, no one to help me with my financial worries, and so on. Having to adapt to living independently, I grew to rely on myself for various problems that I faced. Slowly, I adapted by brushing things over, thinking, “It’s just life, so just deal with it.”
Subsequently, I got accustomed to rationalising my problems and feelings to the point that my inner expressions were buried and deserted.
My immediate reaction when a problem arose would be to stay calm or tone my emotions down, then think of reasons to justify that it is okay. For example, I would tell myself:
- God allowed it so there must be a reason for it.
- Perhaps there is nothing I can do about it anyway, so I just have to suck it up.
- It happened because it’s just a natural turn of events.
- Surely someone else must have had similar experiences, or even worse than me, so I must be able to get through.
- What has happened has already happened, there is no point thinking about it.
The unfortunate thing is that I didn’t realise I had also muted my Heavenly Father from my life.
My relationship with God started to go cold and so did my relationship with my earthly parents. I judged my parents for not caring, although I didn’t express it out loud. I judged my relatives for not caring. I judged God for not caring. I also blamed myself for accepting the invitation to go to boarding school at such a young age.
Judgements and unforgiveness were draining my soul, placing me in a place of spiritual death, separating me from true freedom and God.
Now as an adult, I often put standards or targets on myself to chase or accomplish.
That put a burden on myself and my wife as well, and made life more difficult than it should be. In other words, I took over God’s control too much. I didn’t let God take over what I should be doing. Rather, I controlled a lot of outcomes. That was the self-defensive reflex I have learned over the years in the UK.
By the time I went for a renewal prayer, my heart was ready to talk to God and open to what He would show me. I was ready to let Him take me to a path of greater freedom.
We began by addressing my emotional suppression.
As I was guided to pray, the Holy Spirit brought my emotions back from the time when I was 10 years old. I was able to speak out from my heart and confess how I felt at the time – and the fear of not knowing what to do, of making the wrong decisions, and the fear to express fear.
I was a frightened, worried boy who missed hugs and the physical presence of my family. I longed to hear that things would be okay, that my problems would be taken care of by people I trust, that I had already tried my best, and that I do not need to blame myself.
Through the prayer, I released all the emotional baggage and suppressed fears of my 10-year-old self for God to take care of.
The Holy Spirit gently helped me understand that I should have given myself more grace, asked adults for help, and asked Father in Heaven for help out of difficult situations. I should not have taken the gravity of adult responsibilities on my little shoulders and the weight for making any wrong decisions.
I also saw that I made my 10-year-old self accountable for the situation. I blamed myself for the dead end that I made. I then became more resentful of myself, rejecting my presence and those around me. This negativity caused me to become more isolated, rejecting people who may have been trying to comfort me, and subsequently becoming very judgmental towards others.
It was time to forgive myself, someone I never thought needed forgiveness.
But the truth was that deep down in my soul, my self-accusations had trapped me inside a prison I had created. I needed to forgive myself and flush out the negative emotions stored in my heart, in order to receive God’s healing and make room for the Holy Spirit. God is the One who should be inside my soul, not the negativity that Satan had been enticing me into.
I felt lighter after forgiving myself. So, my heart was ready to forgive my parents too. I had previously judged them for being controlling, uncaring, and always being disapproving of the things I did. With the Holy Spirit guiding me in prayer, I released the emotions that were buried deep with my childhood pain. I confessed, “Why won’t they accept my opinions? Why do they seem close but distant? Why do they put their standards on everything I do?”
God then made me realise that my judgement of my parents had brought a curse on my family relationships.
At this point, the Holy Spirit led my prayer counsellor to ask me about my relationship with my younger brother when he came to join me in the UK.
I realised I had placed my own standards on my brother and judged him for not being more more independent or hardworking (like me). Rather than try to understand him and help him adapt to life in the UK, I became harsh on him and called him lazy and too playful. I had found him annoying.
I myself also suffered from the same thing that I judged my parents for. There was a log in my own eye all those years.
Matthew 7:1-5 ESV “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
That day, I repented to God for my judgement towards my parents and brother. I also asked God to forgive me and felt much comfort afterwards.
The Bible teaches us to honour our father and mother, and not to curse or condemn them. If we don’t forgive our parents, we will suffer spiritual death. After forgiving my parents, I felt a sense of ease and desire to have a better, more meaningful relationship with them.
I now see that Satan had enticed me and stirred up judgements in my heart, resulting in superficial conversations between us.
However, the truth is that God is our King. He has placed me in this family to be His salt and light.
Matthew 5:13-16 ESV “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
I sensed the clouds and fog that burred this truth from my eyes begin to clear as well as an uplifting hope for salvation for my family through Jesus.
God then reminded me of Psalm 139, that He has always been with me from the day He knitted me inside of my mother’s womb. He knows everything about me and I cannot escape from His presence.
Everyone is wonderfully made by God’s hands. That is why we can and must depend on God for all things and never bear the burdens of this world on ourselves or keep our inner emotions to ourselves.
We can let go and let God take care and control of all things.
Since my prayer session, I have learnt to remind myself at all times to let God be God and not to take matters into my own hands. In this way, I will be able to see the path God lays in front of me and be sure that the path I walk on is aligned with God’s will. And even if I go through any difficulties, God will always be there to be my guide.
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