How To Heal From Hidden Hurts: Half the Battle Book Review {& Giveaway!}

Have you ever faced a battle in your life and wondered ‘why me?’ or ‘when will this ever end?’  Well today you are in the right place.  I’m excited to share with you a book written by Dr. Jon Chasteen, Half the Battle:  Healing From Hidden Hurts.  A lot of us go through life discrediting the hidden hurts and trauma of our past, stuffing it down to hidden areas where it can’t hurt us anymore.  We tell ourselves lies, ‘they don’t matter,’ or ‘I’m fine, that was the past,’ when in reality we keep those hurts hidden away, not healed from them, just put in a different area of our hearts.

Funny thing how the body works.  It wants to heal.  Although this method of suppression will serve you well for probably many years, it never lasts.  God has a way of surfacing those hidden areas we’ve managed to keep ‘safe,’ by nudging us into areas of His eternal healing.  It’s our choice whether we want to be healed or keep sitting on our mats like the paralyzed man.

“Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb.  It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”  Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time thee will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”  Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”  John 11:38-40 ESV.

In biblical times, the dead weren’t necessarily buried but put in caves with large stones to seal them (cave burials were for the wealthy).  They did this so there wouldn’t be the horrific odor from the dead that was buried there.  The odor was kept hidden by the stone.  Dr. Chasteen calls this the ‘stench behind the stone.’  He uses this example as a parallel of our undealt with pain.

'Jesus is not okay with permanently sealed tombs.' #quote Dr. Jon Chasteen #HalftheBattle #healingClick To Tweet

How To Heal From Hidden Hurts

What’s so amazing about the story of Lazarus is, everyone had started the mourning process, there was no possibility of a miracle, their loved one was dead, end of story–Jesus entered the scene and changed everything.  So why allow Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha, and all his loved ones go through all that pain in the first place?  To show us what it looks like to invite Jesus into our pain.  Dr. Chasteen, uses the story of Lazarus to paint the picture of what we do with our pain.  How we try to bury our pain and seal it off in a grave without truly healing from it.  He wants us to see what happens when we invite Jesus into our pain, how miracles and healing happen when we do.

Jesus can resurrect any pain and bring it back to life Click To Tweet

Our pain is Jesus’ pain.  You’re pain matters to him.  “Jesus knows where you’ve hidden your pain” (quote, Chasteen).  He wants us to take Him to that exact place where we stopped believing and gave up hope.  Healing isn’t healing if it’s done half-way.  Jesus knows the way to heal because He is our Healer.

Maybe your pain stems from the pain of rejection.  Or from the pain of being abandoned or forgotten.  Maybe you’ve been the victim of abuse or racism.

Whatever the root of our pain, 'God can take whatever pain, whatever rejection, and whatever shame you carry and use it for His glory and for your good' #quote Chasteen #halfthebattleClick To Tweet

The enemy will always use our pain for his evil plan.  He’ll whisper lies it’s better to keep our pain hidden, attach shame to it, not allow Jesus in to help us, and to carry this burden on our own.  We can’t change the pain of our pasts.  We can’t pretend our past didn’t happen.  We can only take steps towards allowing Jesus to have access to all areas of our hearts so He can heal the forgotten hidden areas of our heart.  What the enemy uses for evil God will use for good (Genesis 50:20).

I will never forget when God did this for me in my life.  I knew there were areas of pain and hurt I was holding onto.   I knew God was nudging me to deal with them and allow Him to lead Him to the root.  I kept saying, ‘no,’ until one day I couldn’t say, ‘no,’ anymore.  He had brought me to the very place our son died in the hospital, when our daughter had broken the tip of her finger.  God asked me in this moment, ‘Do you want to heal?’  I finally said, ‘yes.’  He then nudged me to walk into the place that caused so much of my pain, the room where our son died.  The moment I stepped into the room, God gave me an overwhelming sense of peace, letting me know, you don’t have to hold onto your pain anymore, I have your son, I’m taking care of Him, you will see him again one day.

The key to healing is our willingness to heal.

Healing is hard but so worth it.  Half the battle is being willing.  Our willingness allows for places of honesty and vulnerability places where Jesus will do His amazing work in us, when we allow Him.  We don’t always have to know how only trust that God knows a better way.  We will never find healing and restoration in shame and pride.  Everlasting peace and freedom will only happen when we partner with Jesus and let Him in, not when we try to carry our burdens on our own.  We were created and made to have a holy dependence in God not a holy independence (kind of never works out when we do).

God doesn’t always provide the front door approach to our pain, because He knows many of us won’t walk through it!  Sometimes He uses the back door approach, allows us to go through the battles, pain, and struggles so we can draw closer to Him and invite Him in.  If you struggle with allowing God to have your pain, Half the Battle will help lead you to those place where hidden hurts reside.  Dr. Chasteen will help you roll the stone away so you can deal with those hidden hurts that don’t allow one to heal.

Do you invite Jesus into your hidden hurts?

Where do you keep hidden hurts?

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38 replies
  1. Collene
    Collene says:

    I had never heard of the “stench behind the tomb” and I love that analogy. It is best to let Jesus in so He can heal us and get rid of the stench! Great post!

  2. Rose
    Rose says:

    “God has a way of surfacing those hidden areas we’ve managed to keep ‘safe,’ by nudging us into areas of His eternal healing.” I love these words! So very true…Beautiful post.

  3. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    Heather. Thank you for this wonderful post about healing hidden wounds. I have read and love the book, Half the Battle. What a challenge to ask the Lord to reveal to us the stench behind the stone for the purpose of removing it once and for all as he heals and restores us.

  4. Sacha
    Sacha says:

    I love when you said that Jesus can resurrect any pain and bring it back to life. Our pain is His pain. He wants us to talk to Him and seek His help!

  5. Shannan Cloud
    Shannan Cloud says:

    I love the reminder about God using for good what the evil one wants for pain. There is so much spiritual warfare that goes on and sometimes we just fail to recognize it! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Yvonne Morgan
    Yvonne Morgan says:

    Great post. Hidden hurts will damage us and our relationship with God and others. It is so freeing to let go of hurts. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Carla Gasser
    Carla Gasser says:

    What a great book review and thoughtful insights on hidden hurts. I have never made the connection between Lazarus in the tomb and our “undealt with pain.” Such an encouragement to know that Jesus enters into our pain and wants to deliver us from it!

  8. Pam Morrison
    Pam Morrison says:

    I loved this line: “The enemy will always use our pain for his evil plan. He’ll whisper lies it’s better to keep our pain hidden, attach shame to it, not allow Jesus in to help us, and to carry this burden on our own.” Such a great analysis. That is SO how the enemy tries to paralyze us with our own pain. Thank you for this great review, Heather.

  9. Sandra Black
    Sandra Black says:

    “The enemy will always use our pain for his evil plan” – this is so true but so thankful that Jesus’ reaction is so different. Jesus cares about our pain, the devil never cares about us or our pain.

  10. Christine
    Christine says:

    I love this! Jesus wants us to be fully healed, not limp through life barely getting by. He died so we could have abundant life! Thrive, not just survive. This looks like a wonderful resource for those seeking deeper healing.

  11. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    Great review! First, I am so sorry for your loss! And so thankful that God wants to heal us and carry our burdens. Freedom only comes when we let Him. Loved how you pointed out that trying to bury our pain and brave it on our own just delays the inevitable. Blessings! 💗

  12. Summer
    Summer says:

    Funny how we embrace our pain and are reluctant to release it when healing is waiting in the wings. Chasteen’s book sounds like it would help the reader find a way forward in the healing process.

  13. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    So powerful, Heather! Being honest with God is so important and a big first step to healing, I think. Thinking about the “stench behind the stone” brings it to a new level of thought, considering how well we think we’ve done hiding our hurts. It’s unfortunate that so many Jesus followers think this is what God wants from us – to cover up and pretend it’s all okay. Thanks for this reminder that God wants to see us healed and holistically transformed in him!

    • Heather Gillis
      Heather Gillis says:

      Thanks for your response Rachel. I honestly think many don’t know how to be honest, because the state of hiddenness has become so normal and ok. I don’t think many know they are in this state until they sit before God and he reveals those hidden undealt with areas. So thankful God is in the transformation business!

  14. Mary Rooney Armand
    Mary Rooney Armand says:

    Heather, sounds like a great book. I love how you said that we have to want to heal before healing can begin. I think sometimes it is tempting to nurse and hold onto hurts too long. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Sheryl Mendoza
    Sheryl Mendoza says:

    Hi, Heather! Love this post! Thank you so much for the reminder that God heals our wounds and He will use it for our good and His glory. In Jesus’ name, amen. What a timely reminder! God bless!


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