Healing From A Woman Wound
Behind closed doors, she wept, exasperating herself with any tears that may be left. The weight on her shoulders left her feeling trapped and suffocated. The loneliness reverberated in her heart and soul and deafened her desire to feel seen, heard, and included.
Maybe you have been there?
We’ve all experienced a hurt that was too heavy to bear. And, most likely, many of us have walked through it alone, carrying the weight of the burden in silence.
Why is it that we choose isolation over unity in the hard things? When the world seems to be crashing down around us, why do we hide our pain from our family, friends, and sisters-in-Christ?
The Struggle with Sisterhood
The truth is sharing our pain is hard. When we share our pain, we become vulnerable; we feel exposed. We open ourselves up to judgment and the unsolicited opinions of others.
Vulnerability invоlvеѕ putting ourselves оut there, peeling back the layers to еxроѕe whо we аrе and being vulnerable еxроѕes оur thoughts, ideas, and true еmоtiоnѕ to reveal our imperfectly реrfесt selves. And this, my friends, can be frightening.
Shаring оur innеrmоѕt thoughts and feelings, iѕ thе foundation of all mеаningful rеlаtiоnѕhiрѕ. When we are gеnuinе аnd honest, we соnnесt with one another on a dеерer lеvеl. And while we are being honest, let me just say that friendships are complex and complicated. As women, we are naturally passionate and intuitive. We have strong emotions and tend to act on our feelings due to our passion.
On a good day, emotional availability is beautiful, and it embraces life’s celebrations and setbacks. However, on those hard days (and we all have them), when times are tough and past pain is loud and unavoidable, finding our footing can be a struggle as we tiptoe through the triggers. And unknowingly, our friends may not be aware of the consequences when standing in the line of fire.
Unfortunately, past hurt and undealt with pain affect our present and future relationships. Intentional or not, this is a reality for most women’s friendships today.
The Woman Wound
While we may have experienced a variety of challenges over our lifetimes, one thing remains a consistent culprit in the struggle to maintain healthy relationships with our sisterhood: the woman wound.
What is the woman wound? The woman wound is a deep, internal wound that is connected to the significant women in our lives.
It stems from your first childhood BFF, who, once you both started middle school, decided you were no longer cool enough to walk through the halls, much less hang out with after school.
It’s when your college roommate, who promised to keep in touch after graduation, moved onward and upward, leaving behind not only your contact information but your treasured college memories as well.
And for most of us, regrettably, these experiences from childhood follow us into adulthood and shape our female friendships.
It begins with our first female relationship. Perhaps it’s our mothers, sisters, aunts, or grandmothers, and as we mature and form our identity, that initial and very formative female relationship surfaces and influences our female friendships.
Research has shown that women may unconsciously transfer aspects of their earliest female relationships onto their relationships with female friends. This is significant to our connections and the desire to build healthy friendships. Our woman wounds are our biggest hang-ups when it comes to how we operate in our relationships.
In my research on the benefits of women mentoring women, I discovered that our relationships formed by women in the early years have a lasting effect on our relationships with women in our adult years.
In their book, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend share that negative experiences with our mothers can create a pattern of mistrust where we hide our needs and avoid anything that may lead to vulnerability.
We struggle with not asking for help for fear of seeming weak or fear of rejection. We don’t ask for prayer because we do not want to appear flawed to our sisters-in-Christ all the while, there is a cloud of insecurity, fear, and disappointment hindering our journey.
And while we may think we are protecting our hearts from further hurt and pain, in doing so, we are missing out on a genuine Kingdom connection.
Healing from the Hurt
How do we heal from our broken relationships with the women in our lives?
Ephesians 4:32, AMP says, “Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.”
We are called to forgive one another just as God has forgiven us.
I shared of the beautiful exchange when we come to Jesus with our whole hearts and surrender our deepest pain and unbearable shame in The Fragrance of Forgiveness.
The fragrance of forgiveness is the most beautiful aroma because when we surrender a problem to God, we feel the weight lift bесаuѕе it’s no longer оurѕ to bear.
When we share our authentic selves, we create opportunities for transformation and empowerment. This transformation is vital to building genuine relationships, and relationships are the essence of our being.
My friend, I know the pain you are walking through is real and has broken your heart in ways you could have never imagined. But know this, we have a good and faithful Father who restores every broken thing – we only need to call out to Him.
If you are walking through a season of pain from a woman wound, I hope the steps I share with you will encourage you to begin the process of healing. May our Heavenly Father restore your heart and fill your soul.
3 Ways to Begin Healing From a Woman Wound
1. Invite the Holy Spirit to Sit with You
Begin each day in quiet reflection inviting the Holy Spirit to fill you. Spend time in prayer, reading God’s Word. As you honor God with the first moments of your day, He will speak truth and love over your hurting heart. Seek Him, and He will reveal the truth to you – why you are pained, where it may be coming from, and what you can do to pursue healing.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13
2. Read Friendship; It’s Complicated
Author Andi Andrew crafted a beautifully honest and raw book on female friendships. In Friendship; It’s Complicated, she offers practical steps and insight into how you can embrace healing in your own life. (Be sure to grab a free study guide for a deep dive experience as you read!)
3. Journal Your Thoughts
Journaling is a valuable practice, and it’s one way to tap into our inner selves, seek God, express our gratitude, and simply find clarity.
Writing is therapy for the soul. The practice of journaling allows us to release our emotions onto paper. I encourage you to invite the Holy Spirit into this practice and allow your thoughts to flow. Ask God to reveal anything hindering you from His best. After journaling your thoughts, spend time in quiet reflection and prayerfully seek God. The Listening Prayer is a beautiful tool for reflection. The beauty of journaling is that you don’t have to share your thoughts with anyone, but you do have the delight of releasing your pain and hurt to God in surrender.
Heavenly Father, be near. In whatever stage of sorrow we may find ourselves, please comfort the hurting places of our hearts. You, Heavenly Father, are a God of restoration, and we thank you for the good work you are about to do in our souls. Give us the courage to begin this journey as we seek your will in all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’” Luke 8:48 ESV