Healing Our Wounds – Healing 2023


Although we each desire healing from our wounds, you may experience resistance, fear, or setbacks in the process. Debbie Herback offers hope and encouragement as she shares her powerful personal testimony of the healing power of God and the ways in which He uses suffering for our own good. 

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Reflective Study Guide Questions

In my deepest wound I saw your glory, and it dazzled me.

Saint Augustine

1. Do you believe that the Lord’s deepest desire is that we live in intimacy, union, and wholeness with Him in heaven? Do you truly believe He desires your healing?

2. While listening to this talk, what part of Debbie’s story resonated most with you? Why do you think this stood out? What might the Lord be speaking to you through her experience?

3. What has been holding you back from true healing? Shame? Fear? How might God be inviting you to step out in trust?

4. Debbie shared that her love for the Lord and her love for the people in her life, particularly her children, motivated her to seek healing. Who or what is motivating you to find healing?

Text: Healing Our Wounds

Hi, my name is Debbie Herbeck, and the title of this talk is “Healing Our Wounds.” Let’s Pray. Lord Jesus, we come before you today humbled by our own brokenness, our own neediness. Lord, we come before you today seeking deeper healing, knowing that you are the Great Physician and the Healer. 

Opening Prayer

Lord, we bring before you our wounds, our fears, our anxieties, particularly about this area, and we ask in your tenderness and your gentleness you would be here today with us, leading us and guiding us. Amen. 

The Lord’s Deepest Desire For Us

Well, the talk today is going to be a little bit shorter and definitely more personal, and I want to tell you that this is holy ground. As we begin to talk about healing our wounds, it’s so deeply personal to each one of us. And in my own life, I’ve had resistance, I’ve had fear, I’ve had setbacks in this whole area, and so I’m going to just bring to you kind of my own personal sharing in a lot of this as a source of maybe hope and encouragement. 

But this is a individual and a personal journey that each one of us shares, that each one of us walks, certainly not alone, but it is very individual. So, I just want to honor where every person is at today who will be listening to this talk. I think it’s good to remember that the healing that the Lord desires for us really comes first and foremost from a desire for wholeness because He loves us, not because He wants to fix us, not because He sees us as broken, but His deepest desire is that we live in deep intimacy and union and wholeness with Him in heaven. 

Allowing Jesus to Enter Our Wounded Places

And so, healing is about getting to heaven. It’s about receiving deeper healing and wholeness so that we can really stand before the Lord one day, the one who is perfect love. So today is about searching our own hearts and asking the Lord, Lord, how do you want to heal me? And will you give me the courage to begin to walk this path? So, what it means is, I think first of all, is allowing Jesus to enter into those wounded places. And for many of us, those wounded places really are places from our family of origin or places from our childhood, to bring restorative and deep healing so that we’re really better able to receive and better able to grow in love. 

Now, this doesn’t mean we go digging for it. It doesn’t mean we go looking for trauma and healing around every single corner, every single memory, every single incident or relationship. But it also means that we don’t ignore it, that we don’t try and stuff things down, that we don’t try and mask things that we’re experiencing, that we don’t blame others, but we really take a step out and begin to walk in freedom. And this takes courage, it takes humility, and help from the Lord in order to do this. 

My Personal Story

So, what I’d like to do is share some of my own story of this road of personal healing. I think the way I would describe how the Lord began to work at me is I think I have had this wound for many, many years without going into a lot of deep family history of shame, a wound of unworthiness that has resulted in a lot of self-reliance and a lot of self-protection from things that were done to me, and also things that I did that were not pleasing to the Lord. 

So, I want to share a story about how he began this road or this journey to more deeper and intentional healing in my own life. I had been married for quite a while, raised my own children, and I think was really able to, in many ways, serve the Lord and my family very faithfully. But I think underlying it in certain ways things that popped up at different times were this deep sense of self-reliance, a sense of loneliness, of being on my own, and a deep sense of shame that would come up at different times. 

And I remember about 2016 I think it was because I think it was during the Year of Mercy, I had been asked to help out at a high school retreat and I had been doing ministry with high school students for many, many years and a lot of the seniors on this retreat were young women that I had mentored and discipled and knew me quite well. And as I prepared to give a talk on God’s faithful love to these young people, I felt like the Lord said to me, “I want you to share this particular area of your life that’s been a source of shame for you.” 

And this is what I would call my secret sin, something that I hadn’t shared, I certainly had brought to confession, my husband certainly knew about it, but I had not shared it in a public setting before. And as you can imagine, I really just did not want to do it. I was afraid of what other people would think. I was afraid it would disqualify me as a leader. I was afraid I would fall apart. All the fears, but as I prayed about it and I felt the Lord pressing in on me to do this, the motivation was love for these young people because I felt like what the Lord wanted to communicate to them and to me through me was that no matter what we do, He will always love us. 

And so, I began my talk, and at a certain point in my talk I began to share with them the shame that I had over the sin of an abortion that I had done my freshman year of college. And as I was sharing this, my voice shaking and in great fear and trepidation, I was looking around at the different young women around the room who knew me well. And I was looking at the surprise in their eyes. I was looking at the astonishment. I was looking at a few girls that were tearing up. And I continued, I persevered through it, and I shared just how the Lord, that I believe now that the Lord had forgiven that sin. And as I spoke that belief out loud, I actually realized that I don’t know if I had believed that before but somehow being able to publicly acknowledge it and to proclaim God’s mercy on the second to last day of the Year of Mercy, I was free. 

And as I finished that talk, every single young person in that room stood up and began to clap and began to cheer. And it was as if God was affirming me, saying, “Now we’ve begun. Now has begun your time of healing.” And after they stopped clapping, everybody got up in a line and they just walked up to me one by one and gave me a hug. At the very end of the line was a particular young woman that I was close to who was, you know, one of these big Catholic families, very pro-life, and a very lovely young woman. And she just wrapped her arms around me, and she said, “Debbie, I couldn’t love you more than I do right now.” And it was as if the Lord in His mercy was receiving me. And I want to tell you, after that, that night of being with those young people, I did feel like the Lord released me and began to set me on this journey of healing, of deep healing of shame, of self-reliance, of a sense of unworthiness. 

And I began to receive God’s love and I began to have this sense that I needed to let God into every room of my life, so to speak, that there were things that I had piled away in this closet, things that I didn’t want other people to see or to know about me. And the Lord is inviting me in a prudent way to share those things and to find deeper healing in those areas. 

A Time For Healing

And so, I decided a number of months later to go on a personal retreat to receive more healing and to really take time away from life, take time to meditate, to reflect, to seek the Lord, and to ask the Lord to begin to bring healing into different parts of my life. And I remember I prayed this prayer. I said, “God, I want to allow your light of truth to shine into every dark place in my soul so there is no area of my life that is untouched by your love and by your healing power, so there’s no area that is not transformed and redeemed by you.” 

And as I prayed and took time before the Lord and the blessed sacrament, the Lord actually led me in this beautiful prayer reflection where He took me in a visual prayer to my home, to my house of origin and He actually walked me through each room in the house, holding my hand, to places where I had experienced shame and hurt, where I had done things or things were done to me that offended the Lord. And in that home with the Lord holding my hand, I was able to meet again that little girl who has been so filled with shame and to embrace that girl and to forgive that girl and to receive forgiveness as a little girl. And again, the Lord is walking with me down this path of healing, this path of receptivity and restoration. 

Healing rarely happens overnight, and I don’t want to make it sound like that happened on one retreat or one night or one Year of Mercy. It’s been a long journey of healing since that initial time of deciding and choosing that I wanted and needed to be healed. And one of the things that’s motivated me greatly in my healing is my love for the Lord and my love for the people in my own life, for my children, for my grandchildren, for wanting a legacy where they are free, where they’re not bringing into their own lives the sins and the problems and the shame of me or even of their father. And so motivated to really have a legacy of love and a legacy of love and freedom and my own children has been a great thing that’s helped me pursue deeper healing in my own life. 

The Lord is Tender and Patient

And so, I am rewriting the story, the narrative from my own family of origin, from the places where I was hurt and the places where I did not live according to God’s ways and the places where I received an identity of shame instead of an identity of a beloved daughter of God. And learning how to do that with God’s help, learning how to stay with the Lord as he offers me healing. 

And I just want to say that the Lord is so tender and so patient and so gentle and so kind that He will never force this upon us. but He eagerly and longingly waits. He stands at the door and knocks and waits for us to allow Him to enter in so that He can begin to work in our lives to bring deeper healing. 

A Challenge to Take

I challenge you to ask the Lord, Lord, what is the next right step for me? How do you want to bring deeper healing into my life? What are those areas that I’m afraid to look at, that I am full of shame, that I’m hiding from the Lord or from others? And ask the Lord to begin to show you and to give you the courage to pursue the full healing that he has for you. 

Closing Prayer

Let’s pray. Lord, we thank you for your promise of restoration, your promise to make us new creations, for new life in you. Lord, I pray for the courage to begin and to begin again and again, to stay on this path of healing and to journey with you. I pray for humility to receive what you are showing me, and I pray for each person who is listening today that you would speak to their hearts in a gentle and tender way and show them your love and your mercy and your compassion. Lord, we know this process is not easy and it’s often painful, but we put our trust in you knowing that you desire to make us whole so that we can one day stand before you and be fully united to you in love. Amen.

About Debbie Herbeck

Debbie Herbeck has shared with many her personal journey of faith from Judaism to Christianity and subsequent entrance into the Catholic Church. For the past forty years, Debbie Herbeck has worked extensively in youth and women’s ministry, speaking, leading mission trips,and mentoring high school and college age women. She is the founder and Executive Director Pine Hills Girls’ Camp. Debbie is the founder and Leader of the Be Love Revolution, a ministry that exists to help young women encounter Christ and be His love to all they meet. Debbie has written four books, and is a frequent author and speaker for Blessed is She and contributing writer for Undone: Freeing your Feminine Heart from the Knots of Fear and Shame.

Debbie and her husband Peter recently wrote a book together entitled: Lessons from the School of Love—Creating a Christ-Centered Marriage. They live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and have 4 young adult children and 11 small grandchildren.