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Healing Broken Hearts Permanently

I was lying on the floor during a ministry time at Toronto’s annual "Catch the Fire" conference. Dr. Grant Mullen had just taught about fear. During the ministry time, "I Love the Way You Father Me" was playing softly in the background. Suddenly God intervened and tore up a runway in my thought life that I was unaware existed. Through means of a powerful vision the Lord uprooted a host of lies implanted deeply in my subconscious mind. One by one he dispelled them with His light and truth. No human being touched me. I can’t remember what Dr. Mullen said after he prayed, "Come Holy Spirit." Yet, I am now able to say "Papa" to my Heavenly Father. What happened to me was a miraculous intervention by God to intentionally destroy a hidden stronghold in my mind left there by experiences that occurred years before. Since then I have begun to unearth both scriptural and medical evidence to describe what happened to me. Now I’m seeing the Holy Spirit do the same for others.

How Strongholds Form

Habits of thinking stem from reactions to mental impressions which began even before you were born. The first time you touched a hot stove, and alarm sounded in your brain interrupting your subconscious thought pattern and imprinting the experience into your conscious mind. In one hundredth of a millisecond your brain was forever imprinted with the idea, "Stoves are hot!" The brain God gave you is ideally equipped to form habits of thinking which become hardwired into the subconscious region of your brain forming "neural pathways."

The more negative and life-controlling a neural pathway is, the more likely that it is what scripture calls a "stronghold." Strongholds can actually be seen in the brain through modern technology known as the PET scan, positron emission technology. Resembling well-traveled trails, they are not mere thoughts to be overcome. They are not normally dismissed instantly by the born-again, Spirit-filled experience or deliverance. Rather they are actually deeply imbedded impressions formed by the chemicals released when the traumatic experiences occurred.

When you first begin to receive mental impressions, the neurological system in your brain is underdeveloped. It could be compared to starting out on a hike where no trail had been blazed. Under these conditions, the speed and efficiency of you hike would be much slower. Likewise, before your neurological trails develop, the connections are relatively inefficient. However, the repetition of what you do or think causes greater efficiency as the connectors in the brain become thicker, processing the impulse with greater speed. As you perform a task or think a thought repeatedly, the brain’s synapses strengthen forming a more efficient neural "interstate". These neural pathways continue to strengthen and become a "super pathway."

Here on this "super pathway" demons are able to find nesting places. A "lie" of the enemy becomes hardwired into the brain forming a stronghold in the mind, imprisoning you by taking away your freedom to think anything that would be contrary to what the mind dictates.

Suppose the "lie" is implanted by a parent who constantly tells you, "You’ll never amount to anything." The lie becomes a powerful, negative reality which is vigorously protected becoming emotionally paralyzing the more it is reinforced. Although during deliverance demons may be forced to leave the runway, they will return unless the runway, the neural pathway, is destroyed. No wonder God tells us to "take every thought captive in obedience to Christ."

Each one of us has been wounded, some more deeply than others, by traumatic events that have taken place in our lives. To each one of these wounds Satan has attached lies at the time of wounding. For example, a child repeatedly violated by a significant other grows up believing "it was my fault." Freedom will not be found through logic or reasoning, through "managing" your pain or by re-programming your mind because the stronghold and pain do not reside in that part of the brain. It will take "blowing up" the runway that gives access to demons.

Since the runway is built by repetition of lies attached to traumatic events, healing of memories is only possible when truth replaces the lies. The lies, not the memory, are the source of the pain.

So how can healing occur?

The Holy Spirit in the "Trauma Room"

Because the foundational source of information from which we live our lives is our memory bank, we first have to gain access to the memory that holds the lie. Being a nurse, I think of the place in your memory where lies are stored as a "trauma room." This "room" is a dark place where secrets are stored that are too painful to consciously recall. It contains all the early interpretations of traumatic events you have suffered as well as the lies attached to them. These override any truths you have stored in the "logical room" of your brain. This is why you sometimes say, "I know I should not feel this way, BUT I do!" The lie may as well be truth because believing these lies creates a life script that is lived over and over. Whenever the memory is struck, the pain, shame, guilt and fear that accompany the lie are then transferred into your present experiences, reactions and relationships. Your past then becomes the thief of your present and the future.

But the God of your past, present and future is light and "in him there is no darkness at all." He is the Truth. He was there when your wounds were created, and He will help you access them, uproot them and replace them with the truth as He did for a young girl named Joanie.

Joanie’s Healing

Joanie was a very pretty blonde, blue-eyed eleven-year-old who came to my office with her mother. Joanie’s mother explained that her otherwise "sweet" daughter was often given to fits of rage striking out at her older brother and younger sister for no reason.

As Joanie sat alone with me, she unfolded, through a flood of tears, the memory of having been sexually abused by a male relative who was supposed to be babysitting her and her siblings. I asked her how she felt and her instant reply was "Dirty." It was all my fault…."

As Joanie allowed those feelings of being "dirty" and of blame intensify, her mind recalled the terrifying memory that took place when she was six-years-old. Her little face contorted with pain as huge tears streamed down her face. I asked her if she would forgive him, and she did.

Then I asker her to concentrate on the feeling of being dirty and to look around her "trauma room" to see if Jesus was there. I prayed, "Come, Holy Spirit, and tell Joanie the truth." She began to see a revelation of Jesus telling her that she was not "dirty" and that it was not "her fault." He held His hand out to her and she followed Him to the door of the actual room in her memory where the event took place.

When she saw Jesus unlock the door, she began to cry, "It wasn’t their fault!"

"The door was locked and my brother and sister couldn’t get in. That’s why I heard them at the door, but they never came in because it was locked. They do love me. I forgot that he locked the door and I couldn’t yell because he put his hand over my mouth. Oh! Jesus is outside the open door holding His arms out to me. He caught me when I ran into them. He loves me. I am not dirty."

As Joanie opened her eyes, a smile lit up her face. "I feel all clean, Pastor," she said jumping up and throwing her arms around me. After six years of rage and pain, Joanie was healed in about twenty minutes. That was one year ago and, to date, she has never experienced anymore outbursts of rage. Jesus, the Light of the world, showed up in her dark "trauma room" and broke the power of every lie with the truth.

I no longer waste hours of counseling struggling to find the root. Since the renewal began for us, we have seen the Holy Spirit touch people like this throughout the world, bringing true freedom. We have seen Him heal people one-on-one as well as in groups. In Russia we saw the Lord heal an entire group of 58 in one ministry session.

Every person who receives the Holy Spirit’s healing touch like this, a process I’ve come to call "Pneuma-Therapy," is really being washed in the River of His love. We’re seeing permanent fruit by this River. Is "permanent" too strong a word? Not if the stronghold was in you.