I wrote this a few years ago, but felt led to share it again because it’s still valid. Maybe even more so as we have come another full year of everything traumatic about Covid, are looking at a humanitarian crisis from a dictator creating a war, and always uncertainty about the future.
We are not alone in any of this, and God is a constant source of help in times of trouble. Sometimes He heals through our prayers and laying on of hands, and sometimes He chooses for us to do the hard work of counseling and medications, but He walks with us (and our kids) either way...
When a child is hurt physically, emotionally, sexually, or in combinations of ways, damage is done much deeper. It doesn’t have to be someone hurting them intentionally, even the death of a parent (or other beloved family member), standing on the sidelines watching your parents fight through divorce, or witnessing a traumatic accident or event, can cause injury to their fragile brains and bodies that can exacerbate into illness over time. A lifetime of traumas can leave layers of damage.
There are combinations of therapies that can help, but it takes time to discover what works for each person. Please be patient! If one thing isn’t working, please try something else, and keep trying! You are worth every moment, every hour of therapy, every dollar of uncovered medication.
The situations that affected my childhood were not known or acknowledged as a child or a teen, and I was never given the opportunity to go to counseling to address the abuse and trauma, see a medical doctor to see if physical damage was done, or given medication to help me handle situations or circumstances. As an adult I’ve revisited professional counseling a few times, pastoral or mentor counseling occasionally, pressed in to God and lifted up in prayer by many sweet friends regularly, and of course an integrated medical care program now to not only help me cope, but to heal. It seems each time I’m confronted with similar situations, it tears off the scab and the PTSD causes me to address layers of it all over again. It has affected my health since my childhood, in so many different ways, but back then no one connected those dots between abuse, life’s traumas, and mental and/or physical health.
If you have been a victim, you need to be kind to yourself. If you have faced (or are facing) medical issues, perhaps there’s a deeper thread still damaged that needs to be addressed. Only you can make that decision, but remember this—you are worth it, and you deserve whatever treatment is needed to help you heal. Untreated, unaddressed issues from your past will affect your physical and mental health going forward in the future. You deserve to be healthy and whole and healed!
Being healed is not saying that nothing ever happened to you, it says that the things that happened to you yesterday can not control you today, and prayerfully not tomorrow either. Seeking treatment in whatever modalities work for you is not admitting weakness, but advocating for healing and encouraging the strong places in yourself to fight. It’s standing your ground and asking for help from people you love to walk with you as you sort through the past, release and forgive, reconcile and restore, what is rightfully yours.
Brokenness doesn’t mean useless. God knows the tender places within you, and He desires to walk with you on this path too. He loves you so much, and He will never leave you alone.
Psalm 139:1-18 NLT
O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave,a you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—But even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
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