There are all kinds of cycles; bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles, life cycles, and even menstrual cycles. Don’t tell my wife I brought those up. She will be sure to inform me on how I know nothing about them or the extreme discomfort and pain that comes with them. She will likely also mention how she doesn’t understand why she needs to continue to have them when we are done having kids. But, I digress. Cycles are life processes that sustain our world.
They can also be processes of pain and healing. Which cycle are you in? Can you even tell?
Sarah and I have done a couple of speaking engagements this past month. We were in Syracuse, NY and in Travelers Rest, SC. When you travel, you have the chance to see how different and yet how alike people are. One thing we see for sure is that people everywhere get stuck in cycles. They are stuck on the proverbial hamster wheel.
In past few years Sarah and I have been able to step off our own hamster wheel. We were stuck in the cycle of pain where we could not trust that God had good things for us. It started with the death of Jack. Then it seemed like every time things were getting better there was a crisis. This reinforced our assumption that God wasn’t there for us.
Keep in mind we had children during this period of life, I began working with Shiloh Place, and there were actually some fun times. This shows you how subtle these cycles can be.
My sin was not allowing God into unhealed parts of my heart, the part that was holding onto the idea that He wouldn’t be there. I was ministering and even growing in my faith but all the while this cycle was continuing. It was like computer malware that runs in the background unnoticed until it infiltrates every part of your computer and crashes it. Eventually, my system was going to shut down if the cycle wasn’t halted.
I am always amazed at the things people struggle with and the life they are able to maintain. We see this all the time. People come to a Shiloh Place school a mess but back home they have a good job, a circle of friends and are an active part of their church community. Thankfully, they’ve heard Father’s invitation to begin the cycle of healing before system shut down!
Wounds are inevitable. They will happen to everyone. How we deal with them determines the difference in a healthy or unhealthy life and relationships.
The hard part is receiving comfort. We may think we can’t find it. We ministered to a young woman recently who was facing legitimate struggles and felt alone. However, she was in the middle of a community of caring and nurturing people. She had isolated herself. She was stuck in the pain cycle. We think God may have gotten her on the right cycle while we were there. We prayed for her and allowed her bottled up pain to come out. Then we encouraged her to lean on those around her that were there and willing. She is entering a new cycle of healing.
In more extreme situations the process may be messy for everyone involved. There might be a need for good boundaries and communication but there will definitely be a need for prayer and love.
Are you in a cycle? Is it operating in the background? If so you can begin by acknowledging that it exists and begin a looking for the root.
If you would like help breaking cycles or would like to get a deeper understanding of cycles, you can register for our Unbound School January 29- February 3rd 2018. Registration will be open soon at shilohplaceschools.com.
Some of us have had everything imaginable thrown at us. For some, healing can be a longer and more difficult process. For you, personal healing might also involve a counselor at your church, a friend or even personal ministry with Shiloh Place Ministries.
There is no shame in your pain or your attempts to heal. Most of the world is rooting for you, not to mention all of heaven.
*The Cycle of Healing chart was developed by our friends Dave and Kris Toyne, Shiloh Place teachers and pastors of Agape Christian Family Church in Clear Lake, IA. They hold a school there every August. The next one is coming up Aug. 8-11, 2018.