I am writing a series of blog posts about my journey with PTSD, in the hope that it will be an encouragement to others. I have told my story of the trauma that caused my symptoms, the dreadful months that followed, and how I began to turn a corner by the grace of God, and by focusing on seeking healing for my body, soul, and spirit. In my last post I wrote about how I endeavoured to find healing for my soul. Today I am sharing about how I pursued healing, spiritually. This will be from a Christian perspective.
I turned to God from the moment all of this began. He was my greatest comfort and help, and I don’t know how I would have navigated this trying time without him. I turned to him over and over again throughout each day (and night). As I called out to him, I would feel his presence close to me. I would feel wrapped in his love. He would speak truth to my heart and bring me comfort and peace.
As a Christian I believe that God sent his son, Jesus, to show us what God is like, by loving, healing, and setting people free. Jesus showed the greatest love possible by dying for us on the cross. He rose from the dead, having beaten the power of death, sin, and sickness. He still lives, still loves, still heals, still sets people free. The Bible says that he came that we would have life and life to the full (John 10:10).
Here are several things that helped me get through the hardest time of my life:
I believe that prayer is powerful. The Bible says that the fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Early on in this difficult season, I asked my family and a few trusted friends to pray for me daily. It brought me so much strength knowing that I could message or text them at any time, especially during some of my worst, scariest moments. They would answer back with encouraging words and scriptures. This support felt like a lifeline to me.
I sought prayer from other people as well. I went to the Healing Centre at a church nearby. I Skyped with a couple in America, who pray for people who have gone through trauma. I had prayer at my church. My mother-in-law (who is a counsellor and prayer minister) prayed with me. I listened to a trauma prayer, daily for several weeks. I also had many friends around the world praying for me.
Worshipping God, the creator of the universe, the God of infinite love, has a way of lifting you high above your circumstances and giving you a different perspective. I spent a lot of time in worship.
Reading the Bible
The Bible is a gift to us from God. It is inspired by him. It is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). It is life-giving. I have a “read the Bible in a year” Bible which has passages to read for every day of the year. I read this every morning. Every day, without fail, I read something that inspired me for the day ahead. The Bible is like food for the spirit.
Jesus is our healer. He came to earth and healed people. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He still heals people today. There are many verses in the Bible about healing. I printed several verses out and read them over myself every day.
I have a book which is filled with promises from the Bible to read over yourself daily. There are different subjects for every day of the month; e.g., Hope, Courage, Healing, Joy, etc. I read each day’s declaration aloud over myself. This gave me encouragement and strength.
Taking Authority Over the Enemy
There is a dark force at work on the earth that tries to bring all that is bleak, hopeless, and destructive to humanity. Satan is the author of all that is evil in the world. The Bible says that he came to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Jesus defeated him through his death and resurrection on the cross, but the enemy still tries to hurt humanity in whatever way possible.
We have authority as Christians (through prayer) to command him to stay away from our lives. He has to obey because we belong to Jesus.
When I began to go through this terrible trial, because of the extreme level of fear I was experiencing, my husband and I prayed and commanded anything of the enemy that might be bringing fear into my life, to leave. I also made an appointment with a ministry called Restoring the Foundations. A lovely couple prayed with me, and together we “closed all doors” to the enemy’s work in my life. After this, the fear that I had been oppressed by decreased significantly.
What Has God Said About my Future?
God is our father and our friend. We can have a close relationship with him. He loves to hear our prayers, but he also likes to speak to our hearts. The Bible says “my sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). It takes faith and practice to listen to him. He speaks to us in our present, but also into our futures, showing us the plans and purposes he has for our lives. Sometimes he speaks directly to our hearts. Sometimes when someone is praying for us, they might sense that God is showing them something to say to us to bring encouragement about what we are going through, or about our future. The Bible refers to this as prophecy.
I have several promises from God about my life and my future, printed out. I read these over myself daily. This brought me hope and faith that my circumstances would not last forever because God has good plans for my future.
Encouraging Books and Sermons
I read several inspiring books and listened to many sermons online. These bolstered my faith like nothing else. Kris Vallotton’s book, Spirit Wars was very helpful to me. In it he talks about his journey of finding freedom from a season of intense anxiety. I also enjoyed listening to several speakers including, Max Lucado (great series on anxiety), Graham Cooke, Shawn Bolz, and several others.
What is God Saying to Me About This Situation?
God not only speaks to us about our future, he also speaks right into our present. He spoke several encouraging things directly to my heart, but also through friends who were praying for me. I wrote these things out and spoke them out loud over myself several times a day. This helped so much, especially when I was at my worst.
Other People’s Testimonies
I know I wrote about this in my last post, but I think it’s worth repeating. Reminding yourself that others have been exactly where you are, and have come through to freedom, is so powerful and helpful. I did this every day. “If these people came through, so will I.”
Praying For Others
I have a lot of empathy and compassion for people who are going through a similar trial to my own. I spend time each day praying for others who are suffering like I have. I feel like there is a special power on these prayers because they are driven by so much compassion. I have a strong passion for people to walk out of their suffering and into freedom.
Listening to His Voice Often
I have talked about hearing God’s voice about the future and about any present situation that we find ourselves in. For me the best thing about hearing God is just talking to him like you would a friend, and letting him speak back as a father or a friend would. I did this several times a day. Just to hear him say “I love you”. “I’m with you”. “I’m proud of you”. “I’m healing you.” These words, from the God of unending love, have been the thing that has carried me through the worst season of my life. He truly is the kindest person that I know.
Next week I will share about my big breakthrough.
- From Fear to Freedom: Part 4
- From Fear to Freedom Part 6