Why the Church Should Be a Place for Emotional Healing

Marilyn Johnson explores why more and more people are experiencing healing from hurt and trauma in the Church

The promotion of positive mental health and well-being has become an established part of modern society. With stigmas removed, people of all ages have been taught the benefits and necessities of expressing their feelings and taking care of themselves.

This same trend of taking care of oneself holistically is being experienced in greater measure within the church community. Outsiders now see the Church as a place for emotional healing and personal transformation.

Where once personal issues may have been dealt with privately, the Church is now integrating into her makeup open conversations about how to overcome hurts and traumas. Churches and ministry groups are hosting various healing-and-deliverance events that feature discussions and tackle real and present issues. Alongside this, there is also a cultural shift toward church members being more open and accountable when they need help and spiritual support, so that they can receive the required healing.

Despite what may seem like a current trend, the Church has always had a ministry to the broken. Its founder, Jesus, has always been concerned with an individual’s inward condition, and His encounters with people, both in the past and in the present, always bring about inner renewal and transformation.

Because of this, believers should be more vocal about our own experiences of inner transformation and share that inner healing does occur in our walk when we come into relationship with God. This would help others see that they do not need to solely rely on psychological methods for emotional healing. Our faith can also be a very powerful resource for attaining healing and wholeness.

I’m passionate about this type of ministry to individuals, because I have experienced life-changing results through healing in my faith community. Before this, I lived with deep internal wounds stemming from an early emotionally abusive relationship and a family breakdown. Once I came to the knowledge that I needed to seek help to overcome the emotional impact of these events, I turned to my faith community for help.

There, I could safely unpack my hurts and receive counsel, prayer support and spiritual encouragement to begin a process of healing, which included addressing each issue that arose from my past with those who were supporting me, and then giving these issues back to God so that He could work on them.

My journey of inner healing wasn’t easy, but I made this decision for myself over and over again. Through the process, I experienced many breakthroughs and eventually attained personal freedom from the effects of my past. This freedom allowed me to start a new chapter in my life, one where I walked in wholeness instead of brokenness.

My experience and testimony of healing formed the basis of At The Well, the ministry I founded to provide a place and space for women to be taught about God’s healing ministry. At The Well also seeks to be a space where women can encourage and champion each other toward wholeness. We provide online content, such as YouVersion Bible-reading plans, blogs and live conversations, while also running in-person events where women are encouraged to dig deep and explore where they may need healing.

The ministry is touching lives. Jenny, a woman who has experienced healing via At The Well, shared: “At The Well ministry has been such a blessing during a very challenging time in my walk. Not only did Marilyn pick up my spiritual position and help me identify that I needed healing, she and her team walked me through the steps of healing and provided support and encouragement along the way.

“I have participated in online prayer and in-person healing events and tuned in to interviews with inspirational women who have all encouraged me to heal. I am forever grateful to At The Well and recommend the ministry to all Christian women, as well as much needed self-care.”

I have found that when people like Jenny experience emotional healing, they become drawn into a deeper relationship with Jesus and experience wide-reaching, positive benefits.

As this arm of the Church becomes further strengthened, more people will be drawn to Jesus first — rather than anything else — to experience healing. The Church will be seen as the hospital it needs to be for the wounded and broken, and more people will experience the change that only God can bring.

Marilyn Johnson is a speaker, author, and serves alongside her husband in eldership. She is passionate about seeing women walk and live in freedom, authority and victory in Christ. Visit www.marilynjauthor.com or www.at-thewell.com

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