I believe healing comes in stages. And you heal differently at different points in your life.

When I first left my abuser I felt an immense amount of relief. I remember telling my counselor, “I’m good!”. As if I didn’t just endure six years of pain, I felt ready to start a new life not truly understanding the pain that I had tucked away and locked up with a key. In my eyes I was healed. Just by simply letting go and leaving him, I was healed.

Fast forward a year later I was “healing” by being involved with men that God never intended me to be with. When you end such a heavy period in your life, specifically a relationship, your way of forgetting isn’t always the neatest or prettiest. You still feel broken and used. Icky. That I only deserved what’s damaged and tattered. That’s how I lived my life. At some point the Lord stopped me and asked me why. Why was I living that way? Why was I treating myself that way? He reminded me that I was a daughter of a mighty King, and that I needed to treat myself as such. He reminded me that my past is forgotten. I don’t have to be defined by that anymore. When I accepted Him my pain was let go. My mistakes were forgiven, and my old life was in the past. I now have a new life.

Even after reconnecting with the Lord and healing from that point in my life, I found myself at another low point. These low points come and go. It took me maturing a bit and letting time pass to really start to fully understand my past and what I went through. Getting familiar with the bible and understanding the kind of love that God wants us to have, and what a relationship blessed by Him looks like is when I began to realize more and more of what I experienced. More and more I understood that my experiences were not ok. I finally could see the seriousness in it all. Because of this I began feeling the pain all over again. I was angry and hurt. The flashbacks from the past became more frequent. I remember so many times crying myself to sleep at night. I had never before felt so strongly these emotions of the abuse. This was three years after leaving him, and yet I was just then going through the grieving process.

One Sunday morning at church we had the opportunity to approach the alter for a specific need in our life. I will never forget how my dear friend prayed for me and my pain. I could feel the peace fill my body. My burden was off my shoulders. Ever since that moment I have felt this enormous amount of peace that I have never felt before about the abuse. I haven’t cried myself to sleep since. Yes the thoughts are all still there, but I am no longer plagued by fear and hurt. I am free.

I know that I will go through another stage in my life where I will need to heal all over again. These are all stages. It is never fully over. Every day is a struggle, and as you mature and grow and change, you will need to readjust your thinking from your past. There will be another battle that you may have not had to come across yet.

Today I pray for your healing. That the Lord mends your broken heart. That you first seek comfort in Him and not other worldly things. Please know that nothing else in the world could ever take away your pain like Jesus can. He is the one true healer!

Take these lyrics from “Raised to Life” by Elevation Worship: “Sin is strong, but Jesus is stronger. Our shame was great, but Jesus You’re greater!”

No matter our past, our God is greater than anything you’ve ever been through. Keep fighting.