Healing Takes Time

If you are in a desperate place and feel alone, please reach out to someone for help. I have included resources at the bottom of this page. No matter how dark it looks right now, it will get better, and the world needs you.


“Now this is what the Lord says—the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel— “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and the rivers will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, and the flame will not burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior.”    

Isaiah 43:1-3a

Sometimes healing is overwhelming.  To get past things that hurt us, we need to really feel them, but sometimes those feelings are too hard to face. The pain, the grief, the mourning of what we thought life would be – these are all complicated emotions that take time to process.  There are days when you feel like you’ve made so much progress and you are genuinely proud of yourself and how strong you are becoming. Then something comes along that triggers memories and emotions that you wish you could leave in the past. In these moments, you feel yourself begin to crumble. You wonder if maybe all the healing you thought you had done was nothing more than burying your emotions in the distractions of life. They say time heals all wounds, but without taking the steps to heal, time just fills the hole in your heart with numbness and isolation. If you’re healing is slow, it’s okay and even normal. You cannot expect the pain that was years in the making to be gone overnight. Just keep walking, keep moving in the direction of healing and freedom and you’ll get there eventually. It is not a race. Your healing is unique to you, and it will not look like anyone else’s path, but that’s okay. In the meantime, here are some things that may help.

You can’t expect the pain that was years in the making to be gone overnight. Just keep walking, keep moving in the direction of healing and freedom and you’ll get there eventually. Click To Tweet

Find Support

Support is an essential part of healing. If you have a friend or family member who has offered to help, take them up on it. If not, try to find a community that is supportive of you and what you have been through. This may be an in-person support group, or it may be an online community. We were created for connection and many studies demonstrate how crucial it is for our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.

Talk About It

Verbalizing events, emotions, and thoughts about our trauma can help us to process and make sense of what happened and how we feel about it. As painful as it is to rehash the things that hurt us, it is a necessary part of healing. Find a safe friend, a therapist, or even a journal, and bring your trauma into the light. It will be messy and confusing at first but eventually, you will get to a place of understanding and peace that will support your healing.

Pray

Talking to God about our pain is one of the most helpful things we can do. Tell Him what you’re feeling. Talk to Him when you are having an especially bad day. Bring the hurt, depression, anxiety, grief, sorrow, and despair all to Him and ask Him to walk with you through your healing. If you aren’t quite ready to put your pain into words, find some worship songs or Christian music that speak to your pain and sing it to Jesus. It doesn’t matter if people make you feel unworthy, you are not. You are His child, and He loves you.

Set Boundaries with Unsafe People

Unsafe people can compound your trauma and delay your healing. If there are people in your life who invalidate your feelings, gaslight you, or are otherwise unsupportive, set some boundaries. This can look like limiting your time with them, distancing yourself emotionally, hiding or unfriending on social media, or walking away from the relationship altogether. If you have been in a relationship like this, you may have to also address the ways that you are invalidating and gaslighting yourself. Your trauma is valid, and God cares about it and more importantly, He cares about you. It does not matter how many people have been through worse or what anyone else believes. You know what happened and the effects it had on you.  Speak to yourself in positive and affirming ways. Learn to recognize the toxic thought patterns that you have about yourself and replace them with positive, affirming thoughts. Treat yourself like the divine image bearer and precious child of God you are.

Your trauma is valid, and God cares about it and more importantly, He cares about you. It does not matter how many people have been through worse or what anyone else thinks. Click To Tweet

Take Care of Your Body

Trauma is devastating and we often punish our bodies in an attempt to ease the pain. Eating too much or too little, sleeping excessively or not at all, exercising too much or avoiding it completely, ignoring symptoms that might require medical treatment, neglecting personal hygiene, and becoming dependent on alcohol or other substances are all common ways that we can harm our physical and mental health while suffering through the effects of trauma. Resisting this tendency takes great effort, especially when all you want to do is lay on the floor and cry or binge Netflix for hours. Here are some things you can do.

  • Regulate your sleep schedule. If you are experiencing insomnia, speak with your doctor. When you get up in the morning, shower, get dressed, brush your teeth and hair, and do whatever makes you feel put together.
  • Practice self-care. Read a novel, listen to music, go for a drive, have coffee with a friend, take a bubble bath, or do something else that makes you feel better, even if it is temporary. If you consistently do something for yourself, eventually those positive feelings will increase.
  • Move your body. Go for a daily walk, join a gym, or find a workout video on YouTube that is motivating and fun. When you are depressed, it can be challenging to resist the urge to stay in bed, but just get started. After a few workouts, you will find that you actually look forward to it. If you tend to overexercise during difficult times, give yourself and break. Balance exercise with rest and recreation. Look at exercise as a gift to yourself, not a punishment.
  • Eat a healthy diet. If you tend toward undereating when you are depressed, stressed, or anxious, set some reminders on your phone to ensure that you are eating regular balanced meals. If you have a pattern of indulging in comfort food to stifle your pain, work towards developing a healthy relationship with food. Eat for health and hunger and find other ways to support yourself emotionally. Have a glass of water, grab a kombucha or sparkling water and a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or some celery sticks instead of a soda and a candy bar. Treat yourself occasionally and in moderation by substituting a few bites of ice cream for an entire pint.
  • If you are dependent on a substance, please get support. Drug use (including smoking and vaping) and excessive drinking are harmful to your physical, mental, and emotional health and they will stall your healing. Look for a support group, talk to your doctor, and see a therapist. Addiction is difficult to overcome, and you will need help. Stop beating yourself up about it and instead recognize that you are worth the effort it takes. You are valuable and you deserve freedom from addiction and the improved health that will come with that freedom. If you are not sure where to start, I encourage you to visit findtreatment.gov or call 800-662-HELP.

Give Yourself Permission to Do What is Best for You

Your healing journey is unique to you and there is no right way to do it. There will be things that you will need to do that people around you may not approve of. Do them anyway. As long as you are not hurting yourself or others, do whatever you need to do to help yourself heal. Find things that make you happy and give you peace. Have compassion for yourself. If you need to leave a church, a job, your hometown, or a relationship to heal, then do that. God does not want us to live in bondage and that includes staying in places or relationships that are harmful. If you have children, they need you to be at peace. It is okay to need time to yourself occasionally and being a martyr is not good for anyone.

Above all, please know that Jesus loves you and He is the opposite of everything and everyone that has hurt you. He came not just to die for you, but to be in a relationship with you, to bind your wounds, and to bring healing to every… Click To Tweet

Above all, please know that Jesus loves you and He is the opposite of everything and everyone that has hurt you. Jesus desires to bind your wounds and bring healing to every broken part of you. Isaiah had this to say about Jesus:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted … to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify him.”

Isaiah 61:1-3 (abridged)


If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, dial 988 or click this link for more options:

www.healthyplace.com/suicide/suicide-hotline-phone-numbers

This is a good place to start if you need to find a therapist or other mental health provider:

www.mentalhealth.gov

I mentioned it earlier, but this website is a wonderful resource for those struggling with addiction:

findtreatment.gov

 

 

 

 

 

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I am a writer, a mom, a follower of Christ, and an INFJ. I believe in freedom in Christ and that God's love, grace, and faithfulness are more than sufficient for anything we go through. C.S. Lewis said it best when he wrote, "The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."

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