What happens when your wound becomes your identity?
I have a real enjoyment for English football (soccer).The passion, training, and management are just a few of the areas that invigorate. This has often translated into application in coaching of High School soccer. After coaching for the last seven years, they have learned and utilized many life lessons. One area that stands out is a players heart intensity or lack of it. Over the years I have had the privilege of coaching some really great technical players. Though their technical skills did not always translate into game winning performances. This is especially true when the opportunities to win emerge, but something was missing in their performance. This missing element took time to discover, but once you see it, it stands out.
This really became clear when two top professional teams in the world met up for a match a while back and one suffered a severe loss. After the match, others interviewed the losing team’s manager. His comments were filled with praise towards the winning team and the intensity they had played. He than made an interesting comment that reflected on his years of experience and many championship trophies, “our team has some of the best technical players in the world, but many of them had been hurt (physically) this season and last. The ramifications is that they withhold themselves in the areas they had been injured before. They try to play around their injury. This causes them to limit what they can do on the field.”
This seems like such a true statement that can be portrayed in many areas of our life. These injured players are compensating in other areas to avoid the direct pain again. They are avoiding the pain and fear that includes risk. The risk of a lost career and ability to play in the future. They interpreted the injury as a direct assault on their identity as they were not able to deliver the skill set that brought them to the team in the first place. Their reluctant response only went on to fortify their weakness. This only makes the conditions far worse than the injury itself inflicted. The result is this wounded individuals world begins to shift from what they have to offer others to how can I protect myself.
Our wounds and injuries affect our soul and our identity. We often create barriers that begin to define our place in this world and the habits to navigate around the wounded areas. These habits become sub-conscious beliefs that shape our view and perspective of the world around us. This is why one of the main purposes of Jesus was to heal the broken or wounded heart as found in Luke 4. Also, Psalms 23 reveals the Father as the good shepherd restoring our soul. When we allow His healing, value and love overwhelm our wound or injury, that area becomes stronger and can further expand. Rather than shrinking back in the future due to the memory of the pain, we can move forward with a solid confidence of overcoming.