“Your pain may not have been your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.” ~ Pastor Kim Pothier
What does moving forward in life after traumatic events look like to you? For many, moving forward is suppressing the hurt, pain and possibly even shame, presenting the illusion that everything is okay while slowly dying inside.
Many others began to act out with anger, violence, and other detrimental behaviors from the shame, hurt and pain.
At 9 yrs. old I was molested, throughout adolescence I experienced being bullied, at 19 I was raped, 20 I left college due to academic probation and not being able to afford tuition, 21 I was disowned by my family for being pregnant and not married. 22-23 I was homeless, 25 my fiance married another woman to help her get a green card and my younger step-brother died less than a month later, an abortion, depression, suicidal thoughts, unhealthy emotional behaviors, a broken family relationship, not to mention numerous dysfunctional relationships I participated in over the past 36 years of my life.
Now in the midst of it all I graduated high school in the top percentile of my class, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in business management, my daughter is a beautiful, intelligent and loving being, I have written a book, co-authored another book, created a 501(c)(3) nonprofit along with other business ventures on the horizon.
In spite of all that I just shared I still felt that I was going through the motions because I was carrying all the pain and hurt, I had experienced and was experiencing; I was just suppressing it and never dealing with it. Although my story may not look like your story.
We all have experienced some type of trauma. Two questions for you my beautiful and wonderfully made sisters in Christ: Have you forgiven those who caused you pain? Have you forgiven yourself for the responsibility that you felt you held in the situation?
Matthew 6:15(NLT) states But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
These two questions began to create a major shift in my life when I applied them. One came easier than the other for me though. Some may be the exact opposite while others struggle with both above questions. Having the gift of mercy helped me to forgive others but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I truly began to forgive myself. I began writing letters to my younger self at the time of each traumatic space in life telling her the things she needed to hear at that moment. Forgiveness towards others and you are essential in truly moving forward. I began to write down my traumas and meditate on them asking God to show me how to heal so that my past could stop disrupting my present and hindering my future.
I begin to go to counseling on this journey because I was crying out to God, help me and He reminded me that all I needed to do was simply look around because He had already positioned the resources around me. Philippians 3:13-14 states “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
I began to journal my thoughts and feelings; I began to analyze/observe myself. Knowing myself in a way that I never had before, nurturing what I loved and changing what I didn’t about myself. I am intentional about moving forward in the healthiest way; my thoughts, my words, my actions/reactions, my emotions, my love and even my pain.
I will be completely honest with you; this journey is not easy but the choice to make this journey is life changing. God never left me, but I had to do the work. Know that you are never alone and if you need help ask for it. Simply ask God to reveal it to you. I can promise you He will. The strongholds that my past traumas had on me are beginning to cease. There are some that I am still working on, but I have the blueprint on how to lose the remaining ones and bind them so that they won’t return.
Know that you are in my prayers. I believe in you and know that what you experienced and/or experiencing whether by choices you’ve made or/and simply by life’s occurrence that You will Win!! I pray your strength, courage, wisdom, peace, steadfastness and self-trust as you move forward appreciating and making peace with your past for the lessons learned.