Does Healing Hurt?

“He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction,” Psalm 107:20 (ESV).image

Several years ago, my daughter and son were playing in my mother’s yard. All seemed right with the world except for one little thing. My son had a rather huge stick and was swinging it. My mother kept telling him to stop swinging the stick when he was close to people because he would hurt someone. He did not listen and as a result, he accidentally hit my daughter right above her upper lip leaving a huge, deep gash.

My mother called me and told me what had happened. I rushed to her house to get my daughter and then sped to our local ER. Of course, stitches were inevitable. It was amazing to me how physically strong my daughter became as the stitches were being sown to close her wound. She had been put in a jacket before the procedure began, but she was still fighting the process. Why would she fight what was best for her? She did not understand that what was painful for the moment was going to bring healing to her wound.


I have heard people say (and I have said it myself), “God will heal me when He is ready or when the timing is right.” This is absolutely true and it is right to say this; however, we must be careful that we are not using these words as an excuse to delay the painful part of the healing.

What?! Can healing be painful? While the ultimate goal of healing is to restore something, the process can be painful. If a wound is deep enough, it needs serious attention. I am not saying that healing has to be excruciating, but there are parts of the process that are going to become uncomfortable.image

It is uncomfortable to face truth because we have to face what put us in a wounded position to begin with. God is not trying to devastate you when He causes you to face truth. His purpose is complete restoration.

My struggle has always been emotional eating. I have been blessed with many helpful resources such as Thin Within and Barb Raveling’s book Freedom From Emotional Eating. These resources have been used by God to help me face the source of my problem. Yes, bad habits have to be broken, but the source of those bad habits needs to be addressed at some point, or I will fall back into my bad habits. I have received a number of wounds from other people. While I am not excusing the behavior of those who wound, I am not helping myself by holding on to the wound and refusing to allow the Lord to bind it. Part of Isaiah 61:1 says, “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.” Binding can bring pain but it can also be soothing.image

If you are an emotional eater, you have to allow God to bring some emotional healing, or else you will go on in this manner. Emotional pain can come from a variety of different wounds inflicted, and while it is great to admit we are in need of healing, it is awesome to go on to the next step of allowing God to begin the process as uncomfortable as parts of it might be.

The scripture at the beginning says that He sent His word to heal us. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” If He sends His word to heal us then part of the healing can hurt just has my daughter felt discomfort as the doctor stitched her wound.

As my daughter tried to rebel against a painful part of her healing process, I do the same as far as my emotional pain is concerned. Often that pain is the fault of someone else just as my daughter’s wound was inflicted by my son. No matter the source of our emotional wounds, we must allow the Great Physician to stitch and seal these wounds with His love and His word. When that happens, we will be whole and be able to rise above emotional eating.

So….what about you? Can you relate to Allison’s pain of being healed from emotional eating? Do you want healing enough to trust God? What is He speaking to your heart about healing you? Is there something you need His healing touch for? Will you ask Him today?

Allison and her husband, Lanny, live in Hanover, West Virginia.image They have two children, Aaron and Amber, and they are the pastors of The Haven of Rest, a church in their community. Allison is a recent graduate of Bluefield State College and loves teaching, writing, and reading.

14 Responses to Does Healing Hurt?

  1. Christina June 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    This is beautiful, Allison! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I loved what you said: “No matter the source of our emotional wounds, we must allow the Great Physician to stitch and seal these wounds with His love and His word. When that happens, we will be whole and be able to rise above emotional eating.” Christ is healing me on a daily basis! 🙂

    • Allison Mitchell June 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Thank you!

  2. Christina Smith June 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    I like that quote Christina mentioned as well. What a great visual of what the Lord’s healing looks like. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Allison Mitchell June 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. LynnT. July 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    This message was a real eye opener for me.. OUCH! I had buried my pain and failure [again] and didn’t even know it.. time to bring my eyes out of the food I had buried my heart in [to avoid fresh new hurt] .. and set my eyes on the Lord to receive healing [again]. (I know this probably doesn’t make sense but, THANK YOU for opening my [our] eyes!)

    • Allison Mitchell July 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      Makes perfect sense! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Brenda Wolf September 7, 2016 at 9:10 am #

    We lost our daughter in 2009 and are raising her sons 12 and 8. We love our boys but struggle with missing our daughter every day. Their father is in prison due to drug abuse. I am an emotional eater and struggle with this problem at night. I want help and yes, I am a Christian.

    • Allison Mitchell September 7, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

      Brenda, thank you for your reply. You are surely in my prayers. Are you on Facebook? I would like to put you in contact with my mother. We lost my sister 12 years ago. She would love to talk to you.

      • Brenda Wolf September 8, 2016 at 5:49 am #

        No facebook but would she e-mail?

        • Allison Mitchell September 8, 2016 at 7:19 am #

          Her email is What is your email address? I will pass it on to her.

          • Brenda Wolf September 8, 2016 at 8:19 am #

            To Merry –

          • Allison Mitchell September 8, 2016 at 9:55 am #

            Thank you! Praying for you, and I will do anything I can to help you. I know my mother will too.

    • Karen Foster September 7, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

      Brenda, you have your hands full as you raise your grandsons. And a heavy heart as you miss your daughter. I understand why eating would feel like an escape. But as you know, the food can’t fix the problems or relieve stress. Only God can fill that heartache and void. I’d love to hear from you….my email is

    • Allison Mitchell September 8, 2016 at 5:36 am #

      Brenda, I forgot to add that my email is, and my mother’s name is Merry. Her email is We would love to hear from you!

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