How do you rescue the girl in you when she has been crippled by trauma? Webster’s dictionary defines trauma as “a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury.” When trauma occurs, it burrows its way deep into our heart and weighs it down. And life doesn’t wait for us to recover; it continues to move forward mercilessly, whether or not we are ready to walk through the next moment. How do you cling to hope when you lack the strength to keep walking forward? 

My guest on today’s show shared these words in April on her Instagram page: 

“Last Easter, I was healing from my second breast cancer surgery. I was so tired and worn out from the journey through hard things I celebrated as best as I could and then took a nap. I cried when no one was around. I’d been cut deep… physically and emotionally.

And I wondered when and if healing would visit me. 

There was no pity party… I didn’t have the energy for that. There was just a frustrated plodding through a really hard uphill trek. Eventually, I had to make a decision. I could drown in my sorrow of all that wasn’t. Or, I could see the possibility that a redefined life can still be good. Really good. And worth celebrating. So here’s to the gift of another year. Here’s to seeing scars as beautiful reminders we survived. And here’s to patched up hearts that just keep on beating to the rhythm of life.”

You may already know my guest, Lysa TerKeurst. She is a best-selling author and speaker. Today she joined me to share her story and how she was able to cling to hope even when she felt she was burdened beyond her strength.  As I listened to her discuss some of the traumatic events that have happened in her life — including the loss of her sister, major health issues, and her husband’s affair —  I was reminded of what different narratives we all get to tell. In telling the truth of our individual story, whatever that may be, we always also have the opportunity to share God’s faithfulness. Because no matter what happens to us, he is unchangingly faithful and good, and his love for us is constant.

Lysa does not shy away from being honest about the pain she has experienced or the long process of healing that has had to take place after the traumatic parts of her story. But in looking back on the suffering she endured, Lysa intentionally seeks to trace evidence of hope throughout her storyeven when God seemed to have removed His hand from her life.

What hardship in your life has pressed you beyond your ability to endure and tempted you to question God’s love for you? Have you been able to identify the good and life-giving parts of that hard circumstance? No matter who you are, life won’t always meet your expectations. And that will hurt. There is no denying that. However, you can choose to start tracing and trusting in God’s faithfulness rather than dwelling on past trauma and tragedies. 

How do you rescue the girl in you when she has been crippled by a trauma? You decide to start looking for hope. And today is a good day to start looking for hope. So even on the days when you’re saying to yourself, “It’s not supposed to be this way,” I challenge you to pray for the strength to muster up the words Lysa penned earlier this year: “Life can still be good. Really good. And worth celebrating.”

Highlights from Today’s Episode:

  • Filtering your reality through hope 
  • Looking for God’s faithfulness 
  • Appreciating the value of counseling and community 
  • Handling emotional triggers

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Resources From Today’s Show 

Other Stuff to Check Out

Let’s Talk!

After you’ve listened to the podcast, I’d love to continue the conversation. Be sure and leave a comment!

  1. What good has happened to you, even in the darkest periods of your life? In what ways has God shown his faithfulness to you?
  2. Do you know your emotional triggers? What is the best way for you to handle them? 
  3. Are you in a community? How has that community and/or counseling been helpful to you in your journey of recovery?

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