It was one of the first really warm days of Spring. Having the house mostly to myself, I planned to get all of my work done early and spend the afternoon relaxing in the sunshine. The only thing I HAD to do was let some bug guy in so he could spray for some “fly-like” creatures around my front door. After that, it was going to be a relaxing, peaceful day.
At least that was my plan.
Then the exterminator delivered the awful news that my “fly-like” pests were actually TERMITES.
And that was the end of my quiet, peaceful day.
In the next 24 hours, we found out that the destructive little devils had invaded my house for a while. Thankfully, we caught them before they damaged the foundation. (Seriously, I’m so thankful). However, we still had to pay for them to kill all the bugs and set up a maintenance system around my house. Over the summer, I’ll probably have to replace the front door they feasted on. (Yuck!!).
One of the things the exterminators try to do while they are “exterminating” is to get to the source of the problem. Apparently, my problem came from an old stump in my front yard. Unfortunately, I know the stump well.
I was there when they cut down the tree.
I was also there when my parents decided to save money and not have the tree stump removed. Instead, we covered it with decorative rocks and planted some pretty bushes around it. For years, that little garden has looked beautiful in our front yard.
Yet, the whole time, the stump was rotting and attracting termites which eventually attacked the house.
Let me tell you, getting rid of termites cost a lot more than digging out a stump! Even though it looked like we’d solved the problem by burying it, we created a larger one.
As we were going through this predicament, I thought about how this situation resembles our spiritual lives.
We’ve all been there.
We experience a trauma, someone hurts our feelings, or we fall into sin.
Then, rather than dealing with the problem head-on, we decide to cover it up.
We pretend it wasn’t a big deal. It didn’t affect us.
We plaster on a smile and act like everything is a-OK for a while.
And for a while, maybe it is. We go on ignoring the problem, repressing it in the back of our minds, and faking it until we make it.
Then one day, we can’t fake it anymore.
The issue or sin that we buried resurfaces, causing problems in other areas of our lives.
That hidden hurt or pain becomes anger, and we lash out at the most inappropriate times.
Our secret is revealed and how we have to pay the consequence of getting caught.
The consequences of our sin come due.
Whatever the situation, the thing we hid resurfaces, and it can’t be ignored any longer.
Now, what do we do?
Well, let me first say that it’s probably a better idea not to bury things in the first place. Instead, keep short accounts with God and deal with heartaches as they come up. Through open, honest communication with God and by heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit, we don’t have to bury things in our lives. We can deal with things at the time and then move past them. This is the best choice.
But what if you made a different choice?
Well, you’re going to have to change your mind.
You see, just like that hidden stump was rotting away and causing termite problems, so when we hide our heartaches or our sins, they rot away inside of us, causing damage to our relationship with God and our relationships with others.
The only way to solve the problem is to stop hiding the issue and deal with it.
You have to face it and admit that it is there.
One of the easiest people to fool is yourself. If you want to overcome an issue in your life, you have to start by admitting it’s a problem.
This might mean remembering things you don’t want to remember or owning up to something you’d rather hide. In either situation, you have to start by admitting to yourself that the problem exists, and it’s time to look at it and get it out of your heart and mind.
Then you have to admit it to God.
Whether it be a hurt, a trauma, or a sin, the best thing to do is to go to God and say, “I need Your help. Please forgive me for hiding this for so long. Forgive me for lying to myself, to others, and even trying to lie to You and say it didn’t matter. It mattered a lot. It didn’t go away, and now it is causing problems. Please forgive me for ignoring it, hiding it, and trying to avoid it. Now please help me deal with the problem."
That’s the next step: After you’ve acknowledged it and confessed it, now it’s time to overcome it.
Metaphorically, it’s time to dig out the stump.
For some, this will mean having a conversation or writing a letter.
Others will have to use the Biblical steps of healing to forgive someone.
Some will have to face their debt and start finding a way to pay it off.
Maybe you’ll need counseling or a support group.
Perhaps it will require lifestyle changes.
Whatever “overcoming” looks like for you, it’s time to create a plan and start putting that plan into action.
Why? Because if you don’t, it will destroy you.
Just like those termites will destroy my house if I don’t pay the price to get rid of them if we don’t do whatever it takes to deal with the issues in our hearts and minds, those issues will destroy us.
One tool I can offer to help you get started is the Finding Healing Curriculum. This book tells the story of the years when the Holy Spirit made me and my family stop hiding from the issues we needed to deal with in our lives and start overcoming them.
The first half tells the story of how we overcame secrets, lies, abuse, shame, and so much more, but the second half is the best part. It tells HOW we did it. By giving step-by-step Biblical truths, this book walks you through the Biblical principles to find healing in your life.
To help you even more, you can get the workbook or take advantage of the FREE video curriculum. For sure, these resources were developed to help people overcome the issues in their lives and walk in freedom and healing.
That’s my prayer for all of you.
It’s also my testimony because I know that no one has to let their buried issues destroy them. Instead, through the power of Jesus and obeying Biblical principles, we can experience hope, healing, and a new life.
Today is the day to start facing it and forgetting it—to begin moving on so you can put it behind you.
Don’t let buried issues ruin your life—instead, exterminate them through the Biblical principles for finding healing.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.