Interior Healing

Working in the diocese of Keewatin-Le Pas, I’ve been so blessed to receive so much more than I feel I’ve given. Every one to two weeks, we travel to a new community and work with the Indigenous people there. We do many different things, but something we love doing wherever we go is an evening of Eucharistic Adoration and healing.

There was one such night in a community in northern Manitoba called Wasagamack that really stood out to me. We had only been there about a week, but throughout our time there we had gotten to know a family very well. During the night of Adoration, almost the entire family came and my teammate Mike and I had the opportunity to pray with each of them. Both the mother and father asked for healing, one of arthritis and the other of chest pain. Afterwards, when we asked them how they were, they both told us how they no longer felt any pain!

This is one of many instances where people have asked for prayers of healing. I often find that people ask for healing of interior pain more than physical pain. Among these times of praying for others to receive healing, I never imagined I’d find interior healing for myself as well!

Prior to my second year of NET I, unfortunately, found out someone who I considered a good friend had betrayed me in a deep way. Since this friend had been really close to me, I grew distrustful of those around me and really drew into myself.

I didn’t open up a lot to people about what happened, but the few people who I did tell always asked me at one point or another if I was angry. The only honest answer I could give them was no. Although I was hurt and I was upset, I couldn’t find it in me to be angry. This really shocked some of them and whenever they asked why, I could never give them a substantial answer. The truth was, I had honestly no idea.

During training this year, there was a day where I had the opportunity to receive spiritual direction, which turned out to be an incredibly eye-opening experience. I talked about what happened and how it was affecting my relationship with God. When I failed to mention that I was angry, she inquired about it. Unlike the others, she didn’t accept my ready-made answer and continued to press me. Without really thinking about what I was saying, I just blurted out, “Well, there’s just not much to me”.

In the moment, I wasn’t sure where the words came from, but instantly I felt they were what I believed to be true. Looking back I see that it was the Holy Spirit that prompted those words to come out. Over the next hour, she helped me unpack these words and I began to recognize how deeply I believed this lie about myself. Somehow I believed I wasn’t as interesting or as noteworthy as other people, and because of that, I didn’t deserve the dignity and respect other people did. When my time of spiritual direction ended, I was left with a lot to think about. Logically I understood that I was worthy of dignity and respect, but I struggled to believe it in my heart. In many ways, I found it unsurprising that someone would treat me so poorly, and until that moment I didn’t understand why I believed that lie.

Once my team officially started our ministry in Keewatin-Le Pas, right away I noticed the theme of our ministry was healing. It is what people were looking for everywhere we went! I couldn’t help but see the irony that I was in need of so much healing, while I was helping others find it as well.

There have been so many occasions this year where I told people that they are worthy of God’s love, that they have dignity as a child of God, and that they can find healing in His eternal love for them. As I’ve proclaimed this message over and over again, I’ve had to face this reality for myself and seek to believe the truth in my own heart. As I’ve opened myself to this, I’ve noticed a change in myself that I can’t explain as anything but supernatural.

I started this second year of NET feeling broken and bitter, finding it difficult to invest and open up to others. I carried the hurt I was feeling, and it came across in how I treated and perceived others. Most of all, I saw in myself a lot of unforgiveness that I had been unwilling to let go of.

As I’ve opened myself to the truth of being God’s beloved daughter, He’s given me more healing and restoration than I ever expected. As I minister to the people here, I’ve learned to see the best in those around me and to trust in their goodness. The most profound change for me is being able to say I’ve moved unimaginable distance in my journey of forgiveness. I feel remade and restored in many ways. I’ve received such a renewal of joy and peace that I know could only come from God. I still have to remind myself there is a lot to me, and God didn’t make me less than anyone else, I truly feel that this year God has begun to erase that lie in my heart.

This is a journey God wants to take each of us on. He wants us to be whole and healed, and doesn’t desire us to be alone in our suffering. We all hold lies that we believe about ourselves, and God wants us to see us through His eyes. If there is anything, physical or interior, that you are struggling with and wish to be healed from, I encourage you to give it to God and fully trust that He will work miracles. I guarantee, when you give God the opportunity, He will transform your life!

Felicia Joosten, Team 4