Healing a bitter heart

As God has blessed me with a ministry to heal, build and equip the body of Christ, I find that the majority of that calling is the healing aspect. God wants his body completely healed and whole, operating without spot wrinkle or blemish. Before we can build and equip, we must first heal.
If we leave the healing out, then we are operating from a broken place and that can be very damaging to the body of Christ and to those who are receiving ministering from someone who is broken. You cannot give what you don’t have. If you don’t have healing, you can’t minister healing.
Before you can re-build a house that has been broken and damaged you must first tear down the damaged parts of the home, fix the foundation, and then you can start building, equipping the house to do its job, to house people adequately. If you don’t tear down the damaged areas of the house and fix the foundation but instead build over the damage, then in the future the house will collapse taking down everything and everyone in it.
When I speak of healing the body of Christ I am not just simply talking about physical healing. While physical healing is certainly included in healing the body of Christ, I find that most of the healing that is needed in the body of Christ is internal, emotional, spiritual. Many of our physical infirmities originate from an inward wound in the first place.
Bitterness and stress play major key roles in causing stress and sickness on the body. And so the only way to heal many physical infirmities is by healing it at the root, to heal the bitterness, etc.
A couple years ago I was working with a close friend of mine. While working with this friend I noticed that the closer I got to her, the more she would pull away. Better yet, the closer I got to her, the more she pushed me away. I was aware of some of the issues going on in her life and knew she was suffering from bitterness. That bitterness was implanted in my friend through several circumstances in her life and was causing her to push those away who cared about her and was causing physical sickness in her body.
I don’t believe she related her physical illnesses to the bitter root and she was certainly not in a place to where I could point out the bitter root to her. Many times, people will throw dirt on that bitter root in an attempt to hide it, not getting or allowing healing for it. Digging up roots hurt too bad and if that person is not ready for the sometimes-painful uprooting they will run from it.
Knowing how and when to pull up a root is important. If you pull up a root too early or in the wrong way you may break the root off without getting it all and it will simply begin to grow again. This takes discernment and really listening to the Lord to know when to pull on the root. Some roots you can just yank out, but some you have to pull out slowly, little by little and easily, to ensure you don’t snap the root in half and dirt falls back into the hole.
First, we must dig and uncover the root making it visible. Once the root is visible, we can then begin the process of uprooting it and healing the wound. The root of bitterness is a nasty root, growing deep, hiding in the dark, forgotten about by the landowner being buried for years, manifesting in an array of unwanted fruit.
A root of bitterness is sometimes hidden for so long that later on it is hard to distinguish where the unwanted fruit is coming from. Every time I would get close to this friend and think I could talk to her, she would push me away by lashing out at me or she would just simply begin talking to me in a rough and unloving manner pushing me away.
I began to become angry with her not realizing what was going on beneath the surface. I continued praying for her, even though I was mad. Through prayer I discovered that she was dealing with bitterness. It was revealed to me that this bitterness had a mind of its own and was trying everything in its power to hang on.
There was a window of time where my friend struggled with a lot of physical sickness and so I prayed for her fervently. It became evident that this sickness along with many others was being caused by that bitter root. Discovering this caused my heart to bleed for my friend and to dig in to get to the bottom of this ridiculous cycle.
That bitterness would cause my friend to push away all those who loved her, but why? The only cure for a bitter root is forgiveness and love, love being the greatest tool we have. Any time you try to love someone with a bitter root they will only let you so close before pushing you away, lashing out at you, or simply quit talking to you. That bitter root doesn’t want anything to do with love because it knows that love is the only thing that can uproot it. Love can break down any stronghold and uproot any weed.
Once I received this revelation I was able to look back at my own life and see how the Lord healed me from some bitter roots. In one instance he used my son. I had been bitter in my twelve years of addiction and had pushed my children away. The bitterness set up because my life had gone so wrong that I had given up on life.
I set up protective barriers so that I could not feel any emotion, it hurt too bad. I had hurt everyone around me so much in my addiction and had lost so many people in my life that I didn’t want to have to go through it anymore, so I simply blocked everyone who meant anything to me from getting into my heart. It even got to the point to where I couldn’t hold my children in my arms too long because it hurt too bad. The love coming from them would begin to melt the ice around my heart and it hurt, so I pushed them away.
I had come home for a visit from rehab and had picked up my then fourteen-year-old son. He had lived with his dad since he was eight due to my addiction and frequent trips in and out of jail. Before going back to rehab we took my son to drop him off at his dads.
I had begun some healing already while in rehab and was only beginning to get in touch with my feelings. When I saw my son walking up the sidewalk towards his dads house I knew it would be a while before I seen him again. A tug in my heart to go to him became so persistent I couldn’t shake it.
Before I knew what I was doing I jumped out of the car and hollered at my son. My son turned around and came running towards me. It was apparent that he felt that same tug. As soon as he ran up to me he threw his arms around me and I embraced him in a way I never had before. I didn’t want to let him go.
The old familiar pain began to well up inside me and my heart ached so bad. The ice around my heart was melting from the warmth of love between mother and child. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I felt everything, every stronghold between me and him come crashing down all at once as I hiccupped and cried a hard, ugly cry.
My son apparently felt it too as he was crying just as hard as I was. After the pain subsided a freedom set in that I had not known, and I was filled with love in such a way I had not experienced. I cried for days after that receiving healing from the Holy Spirit, letting him repair the wound where that bitter root had been pulled out.
Because the root had been uprooted I was able to start fresh with my children and was free to begin a new relationship with them leaving the old in the past. That event changed so much in my life and even changed who I was. After that, loving others came easier to me.
Several months later I came home from rehab and was reunited with my children to start a new life. After only being home for about a month all of my children were living with me again, even my son who had not lived with me since he was eight. Don’t get me wrong, we did still have to work through some things as my kids were watching me closely to be sure I had changed. They were afraid of being hurt again I’m sure. But the work the Lord had done in me was so undeniable that it did not take all that long for my children to begin trusting me again. My youngest son and I still have battles and he is still learning to trust, letting go of bitterness of his own, but we are getting there quickly. It gets better and easier every day.
Love is medicine, the best medicine, and love covers a multitude of sin. The love of my son broke so many barriers that day and set me free to the point it changed me forever. Bitterness does not stand a chance against love. So whatever you do today,,,,love your neighbor. It could be a matter of life and death for them. Bitter roots in people will push away that love but one day that barrier will weaken to the point it cannot stand