When you view yourself in the mirror what do you see; a beautiful butterfly or an ugly caterpillar?

Before my life transformation, I looked in the mirror and saw a lonely, hurting, unlovable child in an adult body. My desire is to change into a person who would know, feel, and show love. But because of the many offenses in my heart from my abusive and dysfunctional past, I had unhealthy beliefs and unloving thoughts.

So what does it mean to love? To love is being patient, kind, polite, humble, fair, appreciative, compassionate, forgiving, preferring others, etc. Does your inner life match this definition?

People throw the terms abusive and dysfunction around, but what do they mean? So I will define these terms, and the term offenses according to Webster’s dictionary.

Dysfunctional is to be abnormal and/or impaired. An abnormal person is not emotionally stable, secure, or peaceful. And someone who is impaired cannot relate emotionally because of alcohol, drugs, mental illness, addiction, etc.

Abuse is the mistreatment of others that causes physical, emotional, and mental harm.  This also includes using insulting, coarse, or bad language about or to someone.

Offenses are resentments, hurt feelings, and displeasure from the pain of being unfairly treated, mistreated, disrespected, betrayed, unaccepted, and ignored. These painful memories continually generate offense, which in turn generate angry thoughts that are exposed by what we say and do to those around us. But because we live in a sinful world, not one of us can escape the pain of not being purely loved and accepted. Therefore we all need an inner life transformation from God who is love.

I had a significant life transformation at eight years old when I heard the good news about Jesus Christ and I believed. After asking Him to come into my heart, I felt His life in me and I had hope. Unfortunately, I still continued to live in a dysfunctional and abusive home. Painful memories and the related emotional stress continued to build up in my heart. Because I didn’t feel safe, I became fearful and anxious. In addition, I was lonely and discontent, which led to different escaping behaviors. Though both my parents professed to be “Christians,” yet they continued to sin because of offenses in their hearts from the painful memories of their dysfunctional pasts.

My first marriage was to a hurting “Christian” man who would be abusive because of the offenses in his heart. Therefore, I became depressed, even more insecure, angry, and controlling. I realized I needed to change for the sake of my children, myself, to please God, and to be an effective Christian.  So, I went to several psychologists; read many self-help books; and attended several bible study groups, but did not experience change in my life. These activities only exposed the depravity of my heart. And since inner life transformation did not occur, I continued to act out of my wounded sinful heart.

I asked God to show me why I reacted with so much anger instead of love, and how I could change. I was the perfect person to test what worked and did not work for transforming unloving sinful behavior into loving behavior. So God showed me how to heal the hurts and offenses in my heart using specific prayers and requests as outlined next.

  • Uncover and eliminate the painful memories that caused the hurt. And to forgive those involved.
  • Identify and eliminate the unhealthy beliefs that cause unloving thinking and replace them with the truth.
  • Identify and eliminate strongholds that protect the painful memories and unhealthy beliefs from being healed.
  • Identify and eliminate generational curses and sins that prevented transformation of dysfunctional patterns.
  • Eliminate oppressive energy or spirits associated with the painful memories which perpetuate the offenses.

Further explanations of these specific prayers are found on my website called hopeforcompletehealing.com. Because God transformed my heart and painful memories, my marriage, family relationships, and work relationships are also transformed. Now I look in the mirror and see a happy, emotionally healthy, and content woman; not a hurting, lonely, and unlovable little girl. When you view yourself in the mirror what do you see? 

Author: Joyce Holzman Hanscom

I am working with the women in the county jail to transform their painful memories and negative heart issues so they can make good decisions. I am also a Sunday School and Bible teacher, trained initially as a computer science teacher.


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