Is the Best Healer a Wounded Healer?

It has been my practice for awhile to have daily devotions and prayer time first thing in the morning. I have some of Joyce Meyer’s devotional books and one by Ruth Myers, along with my Bible.

On Sundays, in addition to reading my Bible and daily devotional thoughts, I go through my devotional books and read the devotional for the same date each month (so today, I read all the devotional thoughts for the 10th of each month).

This one particularly jumped out at me, and I figure that usually means it not only speaks to me, but very likely is the one to share that may help someone else.

“The best healer is often the wounded healer, because he [she] knows what he [she] is dealing with since he [she] has suffered it himself [herself].

If you have suffered through some hard times in your life, you are going to be even more successful in ministering to those who are going through the same kind of suffering in their lives. Though you may have had a rough time in your life, God can use what you have been through for His glory–if you will allow Him to do so!

No matter where you may be today or what you may be going through, God can turn your situation around and use it to further His kingdom and bring blessings to you and to many others.”

–Joyce Meyer in “New Day New You” [Day Aug. 10]

I think there is a lot of truth to this thought. I know it isn’t wise to say that ONLY those who have suffered similar difficulties understand, because I’ve met plenty of compassionate people in my life who have not been through exactly what I have, yet have valuable words of wisdom to share.

However, more often than not, I think those who have suffered certain situations in life do have a special connection with other people in similar situations. For instance, I have lost both parents to cancer; my Dad to lymphoma in 2002 and my Mom to lung cancer in 2011.  I know what it’s like to suffer the loss of loved ones, and especially to lose them to the insidious disease of cancer in various forms. I’ve also lost my beloved canine companion, just before Christmas, 3 months ago, so I know what it’s like to lose pets who are like family members.

Memorial collage in honor of my parents.

I do think it’s usually much easier to receive words of comfort and advice from those who have been through something and/or found a solution for a problem, than those who have never encountered your particular situation.

For instance, it is difficult to accept advice about losing weight from someone who is in great shape and never struggled with excess pounds, who doesn’t understand that it’s not simply a matter of laziness or poor eating habits; sometimes overweight people have legitimate health issues or medicinal side effects that pack on the pounds and make it very difficult to lose them.

It’s equally difficult – and can be annoying, depending on the attitude – to listen to men or women who have never had children – try to offer advice about pregnancy, childbirth, and raising children.

What do you think? Is a wounded healer or someone who has been through a particular situation the best healer or best person to provide comfort and words of advice? Why or why not?

6 thoughts on “Is the Best Healer a Wounded Healer?

  1. Absolutely!! I couldn’t agree more.
    There is something so powerful about knowing that person you are learning from or being inspired by has actually been there themselves, they just have the knowledge they have the experience behind it too, so much more powerful. XX

  2. I agree with you … the older I get and more trials I live through, the more compassion I have for others. It’s so difficult to admit some of the things we’ve gone through – because they’re private and often embarrassing – but there is always a reason and a use for every lesson. Childless people giving parenting advice – the worst (even if they are licensed therapists)!
    Suzi Shumaker recently posted..I Prayed for Her to be Healed

  3. Being on the plus size, I find it difficult to listen to someone telling me the pros/cons of being obese, simply because they read the information somewhere else.

    Also, it’s disheartening when a person assumes you’re bigger than you should be based on how much food you place on your fork.

    An obese person, who eats like a bird, can still struggle with weight loss. The body can store food based on the fact that it believes you’re starving it of the nutrition it needs because you DO eat like a bird!

    I’m with you K’Lee. It’s hard to accept advice from the naysayers who haven’t lived through certain instances of life, such as fighting with weight loss or raising children.
    Bonnie Gean recently posted..Video Sunday – Episode #13

  4. I think people accept encouragement from someone who has “been there” and often seek them out. People who know my story approach me because they feel that I will understand. However, I also think that people can be sympathetic and offer support or suggestions without having the experience. It’s all in the approach.
    Heather recently posted..Winter’s End

    • Karen: I think when you are going through a tough time you can connect with others who have similar experiences.
      At the same time I feel when we are fully present to people and their story, as I hope I am as a Counsellor, healing happens too.
      I also know as a bigger person I find it easier to talk to others who have been there to walk together towards being healthy and happy.
      Xo
      Tanya recently posted..Who is on Your Acknowledgement Page?

  5. Several things came to mind:

    1. You can always turn to the One who suffered all things in the Garden. He knows.

    2. I lost one of my dogs to cancer a month ago. The people at my church came up to me and told me they were sorry for my loss. I felt understood and not treated like they thought she was just a dog.

    3. I know what you mean about being a plus size. I had a skinny doctor tell me I had to lose weight. I don’t know what trials he had to deal with, but he couldn’t even be compassionate. But even worse are the rah-rah weight loss successes. I want to shoot the TV when I see them touting their machine, diet, or whatever. I accept me. You might have seen a cartoon going around about a Mae West lady leaning on the piano who figured she has an hour glass figure with some extra minutes.

    4. There is no four. I just felt compelled to add it. 🙂
    Ann recently posted..IBM’s Smarter Cities Team Brings a Town In Home Care

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