Healing Starts With Admission

13Bury them all in the dust together;
    shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
    that your own right hand can save you.

Job 40:13-14 NIV

Job finds himself in a discourse with God about the reason why he has had to undergo such tragedy and devastation.  His logic revolves around the idea that goodness is measured by devotion and insulates against tragedy.  In his mind, he is a righteous man who doesn’t deserve the calamities that he has had to face.  God has a different view.  If Job can replicate God’s power in its entirety, then God will admit to Job’s ability to define his (Job’s) own course.

The process of admission follows the logical conclusion of an IF/THEN statement.  It is an acknowledgment of and an agreement with something factual.  Because admissions have a factual basis, they sometimes conflict with our emotional selves.  For me, one of my most difficult admissions was the physical abuse that I suffered at the hands of my mother.  She did her best with what she had, but by today’s standards (the facts that define abuse) her punishments were excessive and abusive.  Vocal admission also helped me to develop empathy for her and the pain she suffered at the hands of others.  I had to admit these facts and call it what it was, while maintaining a place of honor for her in my heart.  My admission helped me to realize that she balanced these punishments with a fierce advocacy for me that has been a key ingredient of my personal success.  Since then, I have had to admit to other hurts I have experienced and those that I have knowingly or unknowingly inflicted on others. I have also had to admit to  particular shortcomings in my tendencies, expectations, and outlooks. 

To admit is to the agree with the wrongness of my action or someone else’s.  Admission may be accompanied by shame, regret, resistance, denial, and minimization.  It is these underlying things that require air and a healthy dose of God’s light. 

What are you finding difficult to admit to yourself or others?  It could be a personal susceptibility of the destructive compulsion of a loved one or an unrealistic expectation or a personal transgression that you have sworn to keep hidden or a strained or damaged relationship or hurt at the hands of others that you have been carrying around for a while.  Whatever it is, it cannot begin to be addressed without the initial process of admission.  Find someone trustworthy who can guide you through this process lovingly and gently.  What you discover on the other side of this will be the beginning of a God empowered healing that will create more capacity and freedom for you.  As a counselor it has also been my privilege to witness that sometimes admission also eventually results in the creation of meaning around distressing past events.

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