One time I sat on the floor in a little shop in Cambodia with a dozen survivors of trafficking. Do you know what we did together? We wrote on balloons.
That might seem like a silly exercise, but let me tell you about it.
We all carry burdens from the past, lies we believe, wounds still tender and scaring moments we relive. Somehow we must break the power of those hurts so we can move forward into healing.
What message, lie, wound or memory do you carry?
You’re too much.
You’re not enough.
You’re too fat.
You’re not wanted.
We each wrote those words on a colorful balloon. We wrote the names of who said them. We wrote out the evils. Did you know that helps break the power of darkness?
Next we did something we used to do as kids. We went outside and on the count of three we all let our balloons go and watched them gracefully soar higher and higher, far out of reach. Do you remember doing that?
We did this together because of who Jesus is. His blood invalidates the lies. If we can give the pain to Him, He can fill us with truth instead.
Healing began when we armed ourselves with truth and colorful balloons. Love and freedom in red, blue, orange, purple, and pink.
Did you know you can’t get something back once it floats away into His hands? Once your hands are free, you can fully receive His truth. Listen for who He says you are.
He says, “You’re enough.”
“You’re my greatest desire.”
“You’re my delight.”
“You are smart.”
“You are worth loving.”
Next, we wanted to show them they were clean and pure, so we washed their feet. Those who felt worthless, dirty and ashamed were washed, restored and filled. Not by us, but by Jesus.
We knelt before our sisters and added our tears to the water we bathed their feet in. We agonized with them and for ourselves. Our hearts were at stake too.
We tried to pray, but could only choke out words and phrases.
“Jesus, please heal.”
“Holy Spirit, please come.”
Incomplete sentences, but complete thoughts. Complete healing. Complete presence.
We did this exercise with survivors of trafficking and sexual abuse, but this is for anyone who has struggled with wounds and identity. Wounds and abuse often make you forget who you are and whose you are.
Here’s how I’ve moved from a place of suffocating pain, fear and stuck-ness to a place of truth, love and freedom.
1. Go Back to the Moment
Think of your most hurtful moment. The moment or the person that left you bleeding, scared, doubting and wounded. What was the moment you first started believing the lies? It’s scary to go back there, but remember you’re not alone.
2. Invite Jesus in
Picture that moment, but then picture Jesus with you. Invite him into your pain and your memory. Imagine him real, bigger and brighter than the darkness. Let Him swamp the power of the memory.
Watch as Jesus comes into that moment in all his tenderness and power. He was there when this wound happened. He was crying for you, and screaming “stop!” He was there sweet child, even though it didn’t seem like it.
Then, he comes in and with a single drop of blood coming from his ripped hand he looks into your eyes and says, “It is finished.”
His blood covers your shame and regret. His blood breaks the power of evil and darkness. His love enters in to calm your fears. His grace washes over every lie and wound. Darkness stands no chance against light.
3. Receive from Him
He takes your lies, wounds and fears – and he takes them away. He replaces them with His truth.
Hold on to this truth. This is who you are and this is who your Father is. He is kind, compassionate, loving, strong, capable and forgiving. It pleases him to heal, make whole and reveal himself to you.
He did this on the cross, but now it’s your turn to receive it.
Don’t hold on to the evidence against you, instead hold on to the hope and truth that is for you and in you. Then you can move forward without the weight of the past anchoring you down. Satan likes to keep people on a short leash. He’ll use everything he can against you.
If you’re struggling and want to find healing and freedom, I want you to know you can be free and whole.
Looking into the eyes of those dozen women in that little shop was a peek into heaven. Their eyes shown with love and were filled with light. These were women knew they were their Father’s beloved and they walked in that truth.
Why not try this exercise for yourself? You could do this on your own in a pretty or meaningful place or you could invite a close friend or family member to join you. Be brave. I believe in you.
And when I see a balloon in the sky, I’ll think of you.