26 September 2017

The Wounded Healer (and why that is each of us)

I was in college when I first heard of Henri Nouwen. It wasn't until the beginning of graduate school that I actually began to read some his writings. 

His Life of the the Beloved is one my favorite spiritual books during this season of life.

As I started working in ministry, a friend had suggested I read Nouwen's The Wounded Healer. He said he thought this was required reading folks working in ministry. Years later as I reflect on my life so far, I see how right he was.

The premise of the book is that in our own woundedness, we can become a source of life and healing for other people. When we acknowledge and work through our brokenness and wounds, we become more compassionate, empathetic ministers.

I find myself re-reading the book and drawing on certain themes as I am taking a class on Theophostic Prayer Ministry and eventually working towards certification

TPM is an inner healing ministry that seeks to deal with inner emotional pain. It is a type of prayer designed to help people identify the lies they are holding onto that are causing them emotional pain and disrupting their walk with Christ.

People are asked to identify an emotion from a painful memory and expose the lie-based thinking that is causing them emotional pain. Then you hold up the exposed lie to Jesus to receive truth from His perspective.

We all have some lie-based thinking we are carrying around, some of which we may not even be aware of. But when we expose lies to the light of Jesus then truth can undo the power of lies we previously believed.

When I was married, my husband and I had several individual prayer sessions and I found it helpful. Since the experience, I knew I wanted to learn more and experience it for myself so maybe someday I could help other people too.

While there is much more wholeness and freedom in my life, there is always more that God desires to give.

The more we face our lie-based thinking and wounds from life, the more we experience greater freedom.

I think that is what makes a wounded healer.

A willingness and courage to face the inner pain in our heart and mind. The difficult things we experience in life will do one of two things: they will either break us or make us stronger.

I will never have it all together. I still need more healing in my own life, even though I am more whole than I've ever been in my life.

After the experience of marriage/divorce/annulment, I saw really clearly things that kept me trapped emotionally and spiritually. And as I experience deeper freedom, I just desire to learn more so I can help other people.

The principles of things like TPM or Unbound are gifts to the Church and the world today.

Each of us has wounds from this life. 

But these wounds (once processed and worked through) can be a way Jesus desires us to bring His healing and restoration to His people. 

Each of us is a wounded healer.

As I begin this class, I am so grateful for the healing I have experienced in my life so far. But it also brings to awareness healing is a life-time journey...we need to constantly be open and receptive for the MORE that God wants to give us.

The places God calls you to bring hope and healing will probably be different than mine. 

But right in your own relationships, family, job, and community there is a need only you can fill.

Be open. 

Listen to the Holy Spirit (and your heart).

Ask the Lord where has He put you to bring His healing light.

And then step out in faith and take a risk.

P.S. Check out a copy of The Wounded Healer
I promise you will not be disappointed. 

post signature


  1. Oh wow, I need to read that book!! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on it, Patty!

  2. I'm almost done reading The Wounded Healer. Such a great book, and so comforting. The enemy wants us to think that God only calls the qualified, that our wounds make us unworthy, but His grace is made perfect in our weakness. Thank you for sharing Patty. I just know you will be a vessel of His grace to those you minister to with your praying.


09 10