Who Is Responsible For My Wounds?

We live in an unjust world. We live in a world where people, for whatever reason, can do us wrong, wreak havoc in our lives on many layers, and simply walk away without ever taking any responsibility at all, never making any attempt to make amends or right the wrong(s).

I believe, a very difficult truth to stomach, is that our wounds are our responsibility. Recovery from any wounds is never easy, although some wounds are easier to recover from than others, but if we wait around for the offender(s) to make things right for us we may very well wait until we die, all while we sit, feeling justified and angry or pretending our wounds don’t exist.

Some of us actually allow ourselves to get comfortable in our pain, preferring the position of victimization, taking it on as an identity of sorts, nursing and in some cases, deepening our own wounds without any further help from the original offender(s). We can make things worse for ourselves and be completely deceived all the while.

I believe this isn’t necessary. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. It was for freedom that he has made us free but we have a choice in the matter. At every turn, we have free will. We can decide to just stay enraged, hurt and grow more and more bitter, or we can take him at his word, move into experiencing all he paid for on the cross, and actually be healed.

The path to healing is not linear, easy or fun, but it is far better than remaining stagnant, steeped in anger, fear, frustration, and confusion, all while trying to make someone else take responsibility and make things right for us.

I am not saying we should be an open door, allowing any and everything to come our way without us seeking to protect ourselves. That should be common sense. Most of us, when we come home for the day or before going to bed at night, lock our doors. Boundaries are necessary. We must guard our hearts in the same way or we will slowly allow what the enemy has sent our way, to utterly destroy us.

I don’t say any of this from any sort of rosy position. I say this as one with experiences, many times over, where I have been mistreated without any sort of recompense.

I say this as the 14 year old girl, whose mother decided to leave her and her 9 year old cousin home alone overnight while she went to on a trip to a casino and rape occurred when we allowed neighborhood friends over that evening after school.

I say this as the one whose rapist told many that “He had her”, never making any sort of amends ever, even up until he died.

I say this as the girl whose mother, when she learned of the rape, said, “I thought about whether I may be responsible for that happening to you, but I decided I’m not. I deserved to get away.”

I say it as the Black woman who has been the token in several workplaces, knew it, and has personally experienced racism and discrimination.

I say this as the woman who, with God’s leading has decided to stand up and say, “No more!” to years of abuse, betrayal and more from the very person who should have protected me, loved me and cared for me, all while my character is being tarnished to all who will listen behind my back because I have stepped out of my “proper” place.

Of the few who dared approach me upfront, only one has asked me why I backed away. The others who approached me came to try and convince me to fix what I did not break. I feel they came to me because they know I am the safer one to speak to in such a manner. Others just talk about me behind my back, believing whatever is being said about me.

There is no responsibility being taken. There are no apologies, no changed behavior. Nothing. So who will fix this? Who will fix me? Should I go around enraged, unloading my anger on any and every one who hits one of my many raw nerve endings I possess and sometimes nurse as dear friends? Should I wait for the day they will see their errors and seek repentance? Would that fix me? Would it make me brand new if they did? Who will fix it all for me? Who will take responsibility for me?

I won’t go to my offenders for help in repairing my wounds. It doesn’t work. They are massively wounded themselves to even have the self-awareness necessary to even glance my way, and I know this like I know my name. I choose to take responsibility for my own wounds, face what is, and go to The Great Physician. I won’t go to people to do for me what I know, only God can do for me. I take full responsibility for my wounds. My position, my confession, and my declaration over my life is that with God’s help and by Jesus’ stripes, I AM HEALED.

The Jesus Bandaid

Giving credit where it’s due, the concept of the Jesus bandaid came to me from someone very dear, an amazingly strong woman named Athena Moberg of the CPTSD Foundation.

The Jesus Bandaid is basically what some Christians like to quickly apply to problems that arise in other Christian’s lives. Here’s what it looks like, you come with a problem, they reach into their handy dandy sack O’ quotes and Scriptures, slap it on the situation and bam! Problem solved! Feel better? Won’t He do it! All you needed, was for them to come with the Jesus bandaid, then it would all be better.

Now of course, I have nothing against bandaids and certainly not Jesus- we are tight- but let’s sort through this in a simple and practical way…

If a person has a physical wound of any sort, we don’t just reach for a bandaid and slap it on, considering it a job well done. That would be stupid and could be dangerous as well. We look at the wound first, don’t we? We inspect it, see what we are dealing with. We look at the state of the person with the wound in order to determine the first course of action. Do we need to go to the hospital? Can we take care of this right where we are, or do we need additional, expert assistance? In no instance, would we slap on a bandaid and leave feeling we’ve done something great, yet people do this to others with emotional wounds too much of the time.

One thing I have learned with this healing journey I’m on, is the clear line of where I and my responsibilities begin and end with regards to others. There’s so much freedom in just that. I don’t have to look at others as having problems I need to try (and fail) to fix.

I can see someone hurting and sit with them there. I can actually do what Romans 12:15 says and rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who grieve. I don’t have to pull an answer out of my hat. I don’t need to jump to that Jesus bandaid. I can just be with them, right where they are in that moment. I can accept them, love them and validate their feelings without trying to fix what’s wrong.

Let me tell you, validation goes so much farther than a bandaid. People want to feel cared for and loved. Most have the ability to say that they want help with fixing a problem if that’s what they need. If they don’t say so, it’s wise to ask first if you know you are one who loves to reach for that Jesus bandaid. Immediately jumping to that bandaid feels dismissive, rude, and in some cases, it can be traumatizing to a person who may already feel traumatized.

I like thinking things through, sometimes probably excessively. I wonder if this bandaid thing stems from a lack of empathy and/or pride. Pride might be at play and make a person feel that their quote or Scripture will fix the situation, right? Maybe… A lack of empathy might be what makes a person just want to get to the solution and leave behind all the rest. Perhaps they can’t empathize with others.

I’m not saying that if you see someone with a gaping, bleeding wound, you’d not take action. What I am saying is, you’d still quickly assess what you’re being faced with, even if the assessment took all of 5 seconds. It wouldn’t be skipped over, in favor of putting on the bandaid and leaving. There’s a process. Let’s not skip any part of it. Let’s truly love others the way we would want to be loved. Let’s validate what can be validated- not everything is valid, but that’s another blog post for another day. Let’s not skip over Roman’s 12:15. “Celebrate with those who celebrate, and weep with those who grieve (TPT).”