What injury or trauma has your identity received? If you have one that comes to mind lets use an analogy and say that "that" particular trauma was your shot in the leg. Something in your emotional life that has injured you but didn't kill you. Are you with me?
So what was your initial trauma? It could have been physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse. You may have been neglected or rejected by someone. Maybe it was a divorce or death of a loved one. Or it could have been negative reinforcement "you're ugly", "you're stupid", "you're weird", "you're fat", "you're a loser". Ringing any bells? This is the initial attack of the enemy on your life...usual at a young age.
So now now you are lying on the floor, shot in the leg. You are still alive but bleeding fast. Now since the devil can't kill you he uses the freewill of other humans to inflict trauma. To bleed you to death over time. So when no one comes to your aid or you don't get up and try to find help...you just sit there and bleed. This is where the anger, shame, low self esteem and unforgiveness set in. More time passes, more blood loss. You start to self destruct. You self medicate with pills, drugs and alcohol. You may start cutting yourself, starving yourself. Anything to speed up the march to death. You may even try just that...suicide. You don't secede. You are still just bleeding out.
Now anger is turning to bitterness, shame has become self loathing, unforgivness gives way to hatred. No one comes to save you, and you don't try to find help. You begin hating God. You begin hating everyone. Everyone has let you down. You may even become the abuser at this stage. Hurt others the way you were hurt. You try to take control of the perpetrator by becoming one. You tell yourself "I am in control now. No one can hurt me...I hurt YOU." All the while you are near death due to your blood loss, laying in your own puddle of blood.
The wound is now infected with anger, bitterness, shame, and self hatred. You don't have much life left in you. You have grown cold towards others, and your heart has hardened. No one has come to help you. Even if they did you would push them away. You have refused to ask for help...until now. One last chance...now or never...you are left with only two choices. Cry out to God and LIVE or succumb and DIE. So, you cry out.
Instantly God applies a tourniquet of forgiveness. This bandage stops the bleeding and pulls you back from the clutches of death. You see this breaks the bonds of the enemy. When Jesus died on the cross He took the keys of death back from Satan. Now Jesus bleeds in your place. That is part of the message of the cross. Jesus taking our wounds upon Himself that we may be healed and have everlasting life! Awesome!
So in that instant bleeding from your wound is halted and the healing process ensues. God medicates you with forgiveness, grace and love. You in turn accept the medicine. You decide to put yourself in situations of healing. Renew your mind, body and spirit. Keeping your eyes on Jesus you immerse yourself in active rehabilitation of your trauma. Worship, prayer and the Word. Most importantly you realize that the healing process takes time. You must be patient and make the choice each day to keep that bandage on. Surround yourself with people that support you anywhere you can find them. DON'T ISOLATE! Satan loves to sneak back in at any opportunity and rip that bandage off. So make sure to keep the bandage on for the duration of the healing process. Don't be tempted to pick at the scab in self-pity and doubt. That will only induce bleeding and prolong the healing. It also hands control back to the enemy and takes your eyes off of our Great Physician God.
So when do you you know when it is OK to remove the bandage? Well your Physician God can help you with that. I think this is different for everyone and different according to how severe the trauma was to begin with. There is no doubt there will be a scar. I could be an emotional scar or even a physical one. Jesus had all power to be brought back from the dead, but he did not allow his scars to totally disappear. His scars tell the story of his triumph over death and the grave. So your scars don't tell of your death but of your new life. I believe one of the final stages of healing is using your scars for the glory of God. This can be by ministering to others in the same situations. Telling them your story, your testimony. It could be by being a good parent or spouse. Breaking the cycle of trauma in your family. Really anything that God is glorified through the choices of your new life in Him.
Don't forget to minister to yourself! Don't take on the spirit of the abused or the abuser. You are no longer that person...you are a new creature in Christ. You have been healed. Let your life and actions reflect that healing. The enemy is always just around the corner waiting to shoot you in the leg again. So if for some reason you have a slip up or a new trauma ensues....DON'T let yourself bleed out. Ask God to get that bandage on right away. Don't give the enemy the pleasure of watching you bleed to death. Choose life!