Women at War pic

Have you been hurt before by friends? Or even strangers? I have. Sometimes I’ve been hurt on the surface-just a scrape- and sometimes deeply hurt, in the depths of my heart.

With great wisdom and spiritual depth, Jan Greenwood provides five solid steps from her amazing book Women at War for cracking the door of your heart open, once it has been slammed shut from hurt. If you are following along in the book study-welcome to Chapter 3! If you are just now learning about Jan and the depth this book has for women, read on, you are in for a treat!

How does this happen, this closing off of our hearts?

1. “Satan constantly sets in motion opportunities for us to doubt the heart of another toward us.” GIRLS… we doubt each other at every turn, wondering if a look, comment, tone, or laugh could be directed at us. This is not of the Lord!! Truth: “When you encounter someone who swings a painful sword your way or gives off  a vibe of meanness, look past the surface and realize that something [else] is going on in her heart.”

2. “We’ve consistently wounded one another [and in turn been wounded]. We’ve experienced such horrific wounds and seen such massive damage in relationships that we suffer from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. There is a fl at, detached tone to our lives. We struggle with a number of hard-to-define consequences like depression, anxiety, fear, and restlessness. We may recover from our outer wounds, but the damage done in our souls continues to haunt us.” Truth: “If our wounds remain unhealed, we will experience a progression of pain that leaves us with an inability to receive and give love.”

Years of unforgiveness and hurt build up and over time, we lose our joy. “The problem is that if we refuse to feel pain, we will also be unable to feel joy. Our natural emotions become flat, because neither extreme is allowed. If you’ve been deeply hurt by another woman, you may find it difficult to imagine how you could ever move beyond the pain of your past. Maybe you don’t even really want to. Maybe you have no desire for healthy female relationships. But let me encourage you to allow your pain to be a catalyst for change.”

How do we change and open our hearts again? Here are 5 things you must do, if you want to crack open the door to your heart:

Step 1. Recognize that you’ve been fighting against your own sisters. Don’t let your pain keep you from being honest about where you have been violated, ignored, betrayed, or wounded by women. Forgiveness is a powerful healer. When we release those who have hurt us, we not only release them, but we release ourselves from being responsible for that person.

Step 2. Identify the lies. Recognize the irrational or unhealthy patterns of thinking that have resulted from your painful experiences, including the lies that may have opened the door for this type of wound in the first place.

Father, what lies have I believed as a result of these hurts and wounds? (Listen for His answer.) What have I believed about other women? About me? About You? I agree—I have agreed with those things. I’m so sorry! Would You forgive me? (Let Him answer. He loves to forgive us! (1 John 1:9)

Step 3. Identify the truth. We possess several weapons to help us in this war, but truth [God’s Word] is one of the most important and most powerful. God wants to tell you the truth about those things! His truth heals the broken places in our lives, setting us free. (John 8:32)

Step 4. Let the truths you’ve identified change what you believe, eventually forming new ways of thinking, feeling and responding. Be patient with yourself. Truth is like a seed. You have to nurture it, take care of it, and wait for it to produce fruit.

Step 5. Gather your courage and do something different. Break off  unhealthy relationships. Begin to repair potentially positive relationships. Establish healthy boundaries that help you determine in advance what you will and won’t put up with. ”

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3–5, NIV)

Your spiritual potential “is so powerful that it can take back desolate places and even restore entire families. If we make the choice to rejoice, even in our pain, and then stretch beyond our limitations, we will see descendants everywhere.”

Questions for Reflection {from Jan}

  • Reflect on a time when another woman wounded you. After reading this chapter and identifying Satan’s plot against us, how did your perspective on that event or season change?
  • What are some ways you can begin to do things differently with the women in your life?
  • List some relationships you know may need some work. How can you do things differently?

Please feel free to reply in the comments below {Jan will be responding!} or reflect on your own. Women at War is a great read!! Join Michelle at Intentional Me next week for Chapter 4! I am praying for you as you look to Him for your value and worth, allowing His healing and restoration to minister to your heart and soul.

*All quotes are taken from Chapter 3 of “Women at War” by Jan Greenwood.

13 thoughts on “5 Things You Must do When the Door to Your Heart is Closed

  1. Carrie,

    I have had some great spiritual growth over the last year but feel there was a block, or wall in going to the next level of my walk. I have found that I am painfully panicky around women and on constant guard. I don’t know how this happened but I cover the panic by acting goofy, funny, laughing etc but sometimes I just wanna be quiet and be me… Not perform for positive feedback. God is working on me and we are gonna heal from this. Thank you Jan for this book!!

  2. Comment author Kristi,

    Thank you for your transparency Carrie! He will heal and restore you!! Isn’t it a great book?! Jan is just amazing 🙂

  3. Crista,

    This chapter was like a healing ointment to my heart! Realizing that I am not fighting against another woman was HUGE for me on this journey. Godly perspective changes everything!! I am identifying with so much in this book and eating up every word!

  4. Jan Greenwood,

    Kristi,

    Thank you so much for hosting our discussion this week. I love your blog and I so appreciate the way you set us up for great discussion.

    In this chapter, we begin to get a little personal. Even as I re-read it for myself, I can feel the tug of war in the spirit. As we look beyond the obvious tension in our relationships with women, we begin to see underneath and behind. We begin to behold the real war.

    Understanding why and how we can get in conflict – and what to do about it – is helpful. But more than that, I think it’s important to be able to say – “I have been deeply wounded by women and those wounds have caused me a lot of pain.” When I was finally able to say it and own it – I began to be able to overcome it.

    I am remembering a very specific woman wound that happened to me not long after I moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I found myself deeply wounded by a spiritual leader I respected. That one event almost derailed me. If I had not had the counsel of another spiritual leader and the support and unity of my husband, I believe I would have been set back in great measure.

    As I worked through forgiveness and set myself free from the pain and disappointment, I was able to step over and move on into God’s plan for the next season of my life. I had to follow the steps I’m recommending in this chapter. It took awhile. I knew in my head what was right long before the emotions of my heart agreed.

    I think this is why I have such compassion on us when we both wound or are wounded by our sisters. I grieve the pain, but I believe we can overcome. You can change the way you think and act! Remember – let the Word of God transform your mind. Truth always overcomes lies.

    I’m praying for you this week as I believe the Holy Spirit wants to comfort and heal.

    Love,
    Jan

  5. Frances,

    After reading this chapter I was reminded who our real enemy is. Keeping that in perspective will make it easier for me to handle situations with other women. I feel like it’ll be easier to choose to impart grace when dealing with confrontation or bad attitudes.

  6. Kristin,

    I walked through the steps in chapter 3 and began to list woman wounds, as Jan suggested, and before I knew it my list was long and I was in tears. It’s painful to dig into those old wounds but I also felt a wave of grace as I read back over each name. I know that each of those women wounded out of their own wounding and I know that I have in turn wounded.

    I saw a reoccurring theme in the woundings and discovered a lie that the enemy was telling me. How freeing it is to have truth invade the space of a lie!

    I know that this process will take time but I am so excited to be on the journey toward healing and I so look forward to the treasure that awaits each of us who are invested in laying down our weapons, picking up forgiveness and walking forward in faith.

  7. Comment author Kristi,

    Kristin, may He bless your healing heart, cause His face to shine upon you, and give you peace!!

  8. Christina T,

    This chapter definitely touched me in so many ways. We’ve all been wounded by women, and likely done our own share of wounding. For me, when I started listing the wounds against me, I started thinking of how I had wounded others as well. It broke my heart to think that there may be a woman out there somewhere that has me on her list.

    I think the one thing that I really got out of this chapter was to be more forgiving of the woman who lashes out, knowing that there’s something else going on with her heart. Instead of being quick to assume it’s all about me, I want to shower her with prayer that whatever the issue is, she may overcome it.

    What an incredible journey this will be for all of us.

  9. Jennifer Hall,

    This chapter was hard, the wounds were there, but oh the grace. Thank God He heals, and makes us whole.

  10. Ami,

    I love all of your insights and concur with most of them. It helps me like someone mentioned to see that woman through her pain. It’s much easier to pick-up the weapons of love and forgiveness when we can empathize. It takes work because you want to sit and sulk in your hurt feelings. Instead, you have to redirect the focus from me to He. He will always show you the person through His eyes and give you the power to let go and love. Keep them conversation going, it is great encouragement!

  11. Jan Greenwood,

    Kristi – thank you so much for hosting this week.I have really enjoyed exploring your site and you are a strong leader. I’ve been touched this week by the transparency of our comments. I’m reminded that as we see by the spirit, it often renews our hope. We are becoming more sensitive to our own hearts and to the hearts, pain, and difficulties of others around us. Maybe we are becoming more Christlike. That would be so sweet.

    Blessings,
    Jan

  12. Comment author Kristi,

    Thank YOU Jan! It was an honor to participate in something so many of us need!! Healing and restoration! May He bless the work of your hands, dear sister!

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