When it comes to healing, a lot of us like to jump, hop, skip to the next part. The part that doesn’t hurt as much, the part that doesn’t bring us shame, the part that is “pretty” so we can show ourselves as “over it”.
But going the route of instant healing will make you miss out on the beauty in the pain. That sounds like something you would not want to think about, but healing does involve pain of some kind. Whether it’s dealing with the feelings you’ve let hide deep in your soul, or pain from a loss, maybe pain from facing the mirror. Healing does bring pain.
My sister joined that Army National Guard at 18. I remember her telling us stories of her basic training and how they’d have to get up at the crack of dawn to do physical training (PT). Something I was already familiar with because we were both in JROTC. They would have to jog in cadence, they’d have constant exercises, all of which I assumed hurt or brought pain in some way (because, duh, exercise).
But, they knew that in order to get out of basic, there were certain things you had to pass, and if you didn’t, guess who would be going back home without serving? (I’m actually not sure what happens if you don’t pass in basic), but I assume 13 weeks would be a waste if that were to happen.
When we drove down to South Carolina for her graduation from basic training, we could barely recognize her. She was toned, butt was round, skin was super tan, but she was happy.
See, when you’re standing at the side of victory from healing, those that know you best can see the change in you. Some will accept it; others will try to make you feel bad about it.
She endured pain (let’s not get into the tear gas they had to endure so they could know how it felt), but she did it because she knew the outcome was greater.
Healing is just that. It doesn’t feel so good in the moment. Matter of fact, it feels like “this is it, this is where I die”. We start searching for anything to make us feel better (or to help us forget), and right in that moment is where the real test comes.
Unhealthy coping mechanisms, although feel good in the moment, actually make it worse for you. My unhealthy coping mechanism was drinking. I’d drink every night until I fell asleep. Drinking made it so that I could become numb for a while. The feelings I had when I took my first sip, pretty much dissipated by the time I was finished. When I say dissipated, I mean tucked under a layer in my soul poisoning me from the inside out.
Drinking caused me to stay silent about my issues. It caused me to hold onto whatever I was dealing with and move on with my day. Because the next day, it was like yesterday never even happened. And if I started to feel those feelings again, I’d find something to take the edge off.
There were many times when I thought I was over something, and I really wasn’t. The telltale sign is if, let’s say, a person’s name is brought up that you “forgave” and it caused some sort of negative reaction in you. You’re not done healing yet.
I was molested off and on when I was a child, but the time I was molested as a teenager, has been by far my hardest battle in healing from sexual trauma. The thought of this person’s name causes such an uproar in my soul, that I have to fight from the feelings that follow. I get cringy, like I’m still being violated. I feel shame sometimes because I feel like I was old enough to fight back but I froze in fear. Allowing him to do what he wanted because I was afraid it could turn out worse for me. But I also feel chains breaking.
There was a time when even mentioning that specific sexual trauma would cause me to tremble. Now, I am freely sharing that part of my story because… well… like me, it’s a work in progress.
But I don’t do this alone. I don’t heal alone. I don’t fight these battles alone. I bring God into every moment.
A lot of us have a hard time believing just how personable God really is. We believe that he’s up there, and I’m down here, he don’t really care about every problem. But oh contraire, my dear. He does.
Every. Single. Moment.
Hebrews 4:13 says:
There is not one person who can hide their thoughts from God, for nothing that we do or think remains a secret, and nothing created is concealed, but everything is exposed and defenseless before His eyes, to whom we must answer to. (The passion translation)
So, if God knows our thoughts, and can see everything we do, why do we act like we can hide it?
Healthy Coping Mechanisms are the way to go in this healing journey. A lot of us seek self-help or new-age techniques to heal, giving our problems to the universe and asking it to give back positive results.
I don’t know about you, but I release my burdens to the One that created the universe. Because my faith in Him precedes even that.
The universe is limited in its capabilities, but God is limitless. So, setting that boundary on him sets boundaries on you.
When I started healing, the first thing I did was invite God in to do his surgery spiritually in me. Because that’s what healing feels like. His light exposed some dark stuff within me that I hadn’t realized I still held onto. Grief that I hadn’t fully dealt with. Trust issues that still linger even today! There were so many things that I had to face, but the beauty about healing with God is that you realize you’re not doing it alone. He’s right there, guiding you and holding you.
It’s hard to explain that feeling of being hugged by God, other than the fact that you feel so much peace in the suffering (strange, huh?).
God’s peace is something you cannot find anywhere else. It’s not from your relationships, work, family, or anything else we surround ourselves with. It is found through him alone. And I realized that the more I sought God, the more I allowed him into my healing, the more I felt a release of the burden of healing.
You see things differently. You’ll forgive easier (eventually cause that takes time), you’ll feel vulnerable, but you’ll feel empowered because you’re learning who God created you to be even though the world tried to taint you.
Sometimes we put on this hard shell or coating to “protect” us from getting hurt again. We put people at an arm’s distance to prevent them from taking advantage of us. While we feel this is protection, it’s actually not. You’re still dealing with a trauma you haven’t healed from, and because of that, you’ve built your own fortitude hoping it’s strong enough to keep the things you don’t want to come in, out. Really what it does is create a wack shell.
When God is brought into your healing, sometimes he will seclude you for a time (not isolation, there’s a difference). Friends that were never REALLY your friends may start to disappear, family may start looking at you funny if they notice a difference they can’t explain, heck your interests may just change all together. But he has to get you into seclusion to focus on this journey with him so that when you come out on the other side, you’ll come out living and loving the way you are meant to.
That is the beauty in healing. It’s ups and downs, roller coasters, pain and suffering…but there’s joy on the other side.
If you find yourself crying from grief at random times, it’s okay. But suggest speaking those thoughts and feelings to God so that he can take on that burden for you. The more you speak them to him, the more he takes off the baggage you’ve been carrying. And eventually, you’ll start realizing you don’t feel as heavy anymore, and then you see that God removed all the weights that have been holding you down.
The question is, will you trust him enough to do so? It’s okay to start right now.
It’s time to pick up your crown, it’s time to stand in victory even if your current circumstances say otherwise.
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