In a previous note I talked about how vows can hold us back and keep us from stepping into all the Lord is calling us to and wants for us. My friend, Pastor Joe Johnson reminded me of the importance of understanding and healing the wounds that sometimes cause us to make vows in the first place. He teaches on vows as part of emotional and spiritual healing and points out, “We wouldn’t need vows or run to vows to protect us from pain if there wasn’t a wound.” (In all likelihood, I first learned about vows from Joe’s excellent teaching.)
We don’t just wake up one morning and vow to never again allow ourselves to be hurt emotionally (as an example). There often is some deep wounding that has happened, something so painful and traumatic that we seek to banish it forever with our vows. Very often we are no longer aware of the the circumstances that precipitated our vows in the first first place. They may simply be forgotten, or more likely, the the circumstances were so painful to us that we have buried them deeply, so deeply that we can’t even access the memories any more. The vows we made can be important clues to our past wounding. Emmanuel Prayer can be an important avenue to discovering our often hidden wounds and bringing Jesus’ healing presence to them.
If you are interested in Emmanuel Prayer (also know as the Immanuel Approach), Dr. Karl Lehman, a Christian and a psychiatrist, is a great place to start. His website provides helpful resources for those seeking emotional healing. On the topic of vows, two downloadable PDFs may be of interest: Vows: “Clutter” That Can Hinder Emotional Healing and a Sinful Vows Worksheet.
Not all vows stem from past emotional trauma, but for those that do it is important to seek healing from those wounds with caring and qualified assistance.