Hi Everyone. Welcome to my blog. Since I openly disclosed the development of becoming disabled on instagram yesterday, I decided that I’d return to blogging to keep kinda like a chronicle of my journey in hopes that if even one person is touched, encouraged, or can better understand the struggle I and millions of others face, it’s worthwhile.
Thanks so much for signing up to receive my blog. Sorry, it’s taken me so long to post a new blog. Truth is that this was a draft from January and I ended up so frustrated with the process of drafting it (perfectionism, ADD, OCD tendencies clearly challenged along with my pAtIEnce) it’s sat in my drafts (along with others) all this time. Timing is everything and I don’t believe in coincidences so I’m trusting NOW is the time for this to made public. I’ve definitely been hinting over the past 5-6 years about my situation, but because I didn’t want to accept it, was fighting it so hard to improve, and I feared the criticism and judgement that I’d likely receive, I didn’t want to be totally transparent. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. It’s humbling, even humiliating to have to admit I’ve battled and still battle with this stuff, to the point I am now recognized as disabled.
I’m getting super transparent on this post. (This makes me laugh because now that I’ve finally disclosed about the disabilities … NOW, it’s super transparent … anyhow, I decided to leave that sentence in, especially since the topic is relevant now with Covid-19.) This post is coming from my heart and first hand experience with the topic, not just as a therapist, but also as a client. I hope you are inspired and challenged to #embracethejourney to healing, wholeness and #beautyfromashes.
I’ve found that verses such as these have been & are 🗝🔑 to me overcoming ptsd, anxiety, fear, panicking & depression.*
“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”
Philippians 4:6-8 AMP
points to ponder
- Avoiding prayer is a sure prescription for anxiety, a way to avoid peace.
- Prayerless lives are powerless lives, while prayerful lives are powerful lives.
- Certain blessings of God come through prayer alone (Ephesians 1:17-20).
- Prayer is communication to your Creator, Heavenly Father, the all powerful King of Kings & the one who will never leave or forsake you (Heb. 13:5)+ He has good plans for you to prosper (Jer. 29:11). Plans that are exceedingly, abundantly, above & beyond what you could ever dream it or ask for (Eph. 3:20)!
- The better we know God, the more we will trust Him. The more we trust Him, the more we will sense His peace when wintry winds blow against us.
- Only through prayer are we washed in peace.
- When staying close to God through constant communication, we receive a continual supply of strength to walk victoriously & in peace even as we walk through a war zone.
- God allows satan to stir up what He, the Faithful Refiner is wants to skim off.
- It’s critical to walk with Christ step-by-step for the sake of protection, power, provision & a resulting I patterned passion in our lives.
- The Spirit of God released through our prayers & the prayers of others turn cowards into conquerors, chaos into calm, cries into comfort.
- Our feet are fitted for battle by resting snugly in the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:10-18).
- If Christ sought to have the divine life strengthened in Him through solitary times of intimacy with His Father, how much more should we?
- Prayerful lives are powerful lives.
- The Bible is a book of prayer.
- What we focus on we will become like.
"Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD, To be His servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it And holds fast to My covenant [by conscientious obedience]; All these I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” Isaiah 56:6-7 AMP
*After suffering multiple traumas, including a broken neck and head injury (from an assault) and losses (job, dogs, family, friends, etc.), in addition to heart crushing betrayals, over the past 3-5 years, I found myself battling severe chronic pain, which is from spinal pain connected to the neck break, 9 years of repeated neck trauma from high jumping, a crushed tailbone (physical assault from the man who trafficked me) & scoliosis.
I also believe the physical pain is from emotional pain that accumulated over a lifetime. Those lies and hurts, when unresolved, may lay dormant, but they will undoubtedly resurface again, as they are toxic in our bodies, mind and spirit. Over time, if not processed, they worsen. The more recent traumas and losses caused the old scripts of embedded lies to resurface, which I believe the Lord allowed to happen in order to heal me much deeper.
My recovery has required me to be proactive in being transparent and authentic, acquiring a healthy support system. But I confess that I’m still resistant to getting a new counselor, even though mine (LCSW) for over 15 years now, retired. I tried going to a new counselor and it caused so much anxiety. Then, after I shared the brief summary of my complex trauma, she referred me to someone else. Yeah. True story. I rescheduled a few times then the Covid thing hit and I’ve not followed up at all. I try to convince myself that I’m fine, but truth is that there are times I’m not. Those days I resort to my safe place, cuddled up in blankets to my service dog, a miniature dachshund.
In my case, this support system includes a professional medical treatment team that provides psychiatric care with prescriptions, that helped to stabilize my wounded mind, heart, and body, in order for me to take the focus off the pain and lies, and to get it onto the Truth that sets us free emotionally, mentally, spiritually & physically.
It’s been a long and what seems like a slow process, but I have a chosen to embrace it at times, then fight it with everything in me at other times. The entire thing has served as a catalyst to get me to prioritize my relationship with God as numero uno. What that looks like is spending time with Him in the Word everyday, at the beginning of the day. Reading, studying, meditating, and listening to Him. However on the closet days (or bed, which can last between hours up to 10+ days depending on my state of mind and what the trigger(s) were), it’s simply listening to the dramatized Bible and/or Christian audio books. Eventually, I start taking captive my thoughts, the power of the Word kicks in and I’m able to get up and try life again.
Because of the hope I have in the Word of God and my Heavenly Father, as I have had current situations trigger past traumas and hurts, God has allowed these lies to surface and shown me how in my weakness, He is strong and He is glorified by the change people see in me.
I can testify though, that recovery process wasn’t possible with just meds and I knew that from being a mental health counselor. An entire support system had to be acquired. James 5:16 tells us “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” It was and is humbling and very humiliating. However, God wanted me to come out of isolation and call upon my faithful sisters in Christ, friends and family He ordained for my life, for such a time as this. Don’t misunderstand to think there were a lot of people, only a few. Over half of them I don’t hear from anymore, but there’s a couple that still get the texts when I’m really battling something. They have helped to hold me accountable, encouraged and prayed for me and even cleaned our home and cooked for us, when I couldn’t. True friends are rare I’ve learned.
I’ve also been blessed with a man of God, who is my best friend, and has supported me for over 16 years now. Miraculously, and by the Lord’s grace and mercy the process has led to us being closer than ever.
Why am I sharing all this? Because I believe that God wants me to be completely transparent in what I’ve went through and am facing. I know He’ll get glorified because He promises us that all things work together for the good to those called according to His purpose. It’s through the thorn in my side, my weakness, that He is seen as strong. He makes me stronger because of who He is and who I am as His daughter. Additionally, I don’t want anyone to think you can take a pill(s) and you’re gonna be miraculously healed, emotionally and mentally. That’s not how it works. It takes work, hard work and dedication to #embracetheprocess & to #embracethejourney.
It took 50+ years of traumas (including ones my mind hid) and lies planted and growing in my mind and heart. It’ll take a while to work through the old mind scripts, lies, curses, soul ties, generational sins and allowing the medication to level me out so that I can focus on the the Word that heals me.
Another powerful tool God has given us to work through trauma is creativity. I have found my artwork to be a tremendous release for toxic emotions, a therapeutic, calming activity and an amazing testimony to the infinite love, creativity and goodness of our dear Father God. Although, I’d be lying if I led you to think I do it when I’m struggling. It’s then that I know that I should, but more often than not, don’t do it.
I hate the inconsistency. I long to be so disciplined that I do artwork every day not matter what. Not. there. yet.
Regardless of my lack of consistency in some areas, I’m not letting go of the hope that healing is possible, with God. He’s my Anchor, Hope, Defender, Shield, Provider, Protector, my Heavenly Father that I have learned to trust more and more through the seasons. It’s been His Word that identifies the lies contrary to who and what He says I am, that is doing the healing. However, As it says in James 1:22-23, don’t just listen to God’s Word. You have to put it into practice by obeying what He says, then He can use it to bring healing to your mind, emotions and even your physical body. He’ll even use the situation, what was meant for evil, for our good and His glory.
I believe that healing is a lifetime process, although the Lord has the power to heal us immediately, He chooses to take most of us through the process, which can be extremely painful, gut wrenching, and humiliating, but worth it.
Cleaning out deeply infected wounds is painful, but after the toxins, poisons and infection has finally been removed, the wound(s) can heal from the inside out. So much so that we are protected from like situations in the future.
It’s a process and takes time, but it is possible, with God.
What about you, do you know anyone that is battling chronic illness and/or their mental health? What approaches have been tried? I’d love to hear from you (or them).
Love and praying for you,
~ Julie ~
(Content was inspired by Beth Moore’s Breaking Free Updated Version.)