Brave Enough to Heal

March 1, 2018


Do you know anyone who attends a twelve-step program like AA or Celebrate Recovery to address an addiction? These people have learned that healing is not easy peasy. They’ve taken faltering steps to enter the basement of a church or community building to admit they need God’s help to move forward into freedom. But the first night they told a room full of strangers about their brokenness probably came with a racing heart and sweaty palms.

Finding healing from a broken past requires bravery—even inviting God into the process requires courage. Beginning to confront pain often means reliving the wound for a second time. And this is why many people remain in unstable, unhealthy, or even abusive situations.

Struggling with an addiction is one form of brokenness, but anyone who has been the victim of neglect, a difficult past, or abuse carries wounds in need of healing before they can meet their full potential in God. Unfortunately, giving up an ingrained coping mechanism often leaves a vacuum at first. Healing can feel insurmountable when you first experience the emptiness of choosing to abstain from food or drink, or when you begin to replace familiar unhealthy relationships with new, positive ones.

Francine Rivers’s latest work, The Masterpiece, addresses this issue of facing a haunting, debilitating past. In this gripping novel, we meet two people unable to break free from their backgrounds, but for different reasons. Roman Velasco, aka Bobby Ray Dean, grew up in the ghetto with no father and a promiscuous mother, joining a gang and tagging buildings. Eventually he physically left the troubled neighborhood, but the troubled neighborhood never left him. He continues to carry the wounds and shame with him into his adulthood—even though he’s achieved great success as an artist.

Roman constructs walls between himself and others to avoid anyone discovering the truth about Bobby Ray Dean. When he hires a young woman, Grace Moore, to work for him, she brings shame from the bad decisions of her own past. Both Roman and Grace struggle to let people into their lives and to embrace love. According to Susan Masterson, who runs a camp where Roman landed as a child, he will fail to reach his full potential, despite his success, unless he lets go of his past. Grace knows the same applies to her.

And the same applies to us all. Until we are brave enough to face the experiences that have shaped and wounded us, we will remain stuck in the past or running from the past. Turning to God provides the courage we need to walk through the mess of our histories. In Joshua 1:9, we are told, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We hope reading The Masterpiece will shed light on this complicated topic and encourage you to confront your brokenness and inhabit the life God has prepared for you. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t forget your past. Healing means moving ahead in freedom without feeling trapped by unhealthy patterns of behavior, but it doesn’t mean forgetting.

Allowing God to heal us and redeem our past wounds—and sharing these stories of redemption—can encourage others to know they aren’t alone. What are some ways you’ve torn down protective walls and moved into a fuller life with more freedom? Please let us know in the comments below.

To continue the conversation about facing difficult pasts with bravery, we’re offering these titles as e-book deals this month:

Amy K. Sorrells Lead Me Home

Courtney WalshChange of Heart

Heidi ChiavaroliFreedom’s Ring

Karen KingsburyThe Firstborn Collection

Visit E-Book Extra {} for more great deals available this month!