Authored by Autumn Zwakenberg, XA Student President
When you think back over your life, you can probably think of some unpleasant memory. It is no secret that life is not always perfect or fun. In fact, life can be painful. It can hurt. You can feel wounded or broken. An estimated 70% of adults in the world have suffered some form of trauma. More than likely, that percentage includes Christians. But the good news is that we do not have to stay wounded or broken. We can find healing in Jesus. Also, to those of you who have not experienced trauma or brokenness, I would encourage you to keep reading because more than likely there is someone around you who has experienced what I will talk about and you may be a vessel God uses to speak into their life.
Recently, I realized that we are more than the sum of our brokenness. I feel like to explain this in full, I need to share some of my personal history. Like those reading this post, my life has not always been easy. I have dealt with numerous unpleasant things such as abuse, suicide, anxiety, and self-esteem issues from a very young age. And for too long, under the guise of needing healing, I have allowed myself to be defined by what happened to me. I have allowed opportunities to slip past me because I would say, “I am not ready for that because I am still wounded from [insert event here].” What I did not realize until recently is that God had healed me from that trauma or wound some time ago, but I had not accepted it. Unconsciously this became my identity and who would I be without it?
Before I continue, I want to clarify something. If you are seeking the Lord for healing from something, I do not want to belittle that. The Bible clearly tells us to cry out to Him. However, once He has answered your prayer and healed you, you are expected to stand up and walk in wholeness. You are not expected to continue to define yourself by what happened to you. You are not expected to have a victim mindset.
I believe that as the body of Christ, so much of our focus is on the healing but not what happens next. Again, allow me to clarify. Healing is an amazing work of God that He should be given honor and praise for. But we have not focused much on what comes after being healed. And I believe the reason for that is because it is the unknown. We love the known, even if what we know is not the best for us. We sometimes would rather be broken because we know what that is like than being healed because that is a foreign concept to us.
I know this blog post has probably stepped on a few toes and for that, I apologize. The intent of this post is to encourage you to seek healing and to step out in freedom from brokenness. You are not broken. You are not any trauma you have experienced. It does not define you. I encourage you, reader, to seek the Lord for next steps. The questions and scriptures below are an excellent starting point for meditation and prayer.
- In what ways have you allowed yourself to be identified by trauma or brokenness?
- What can you do to begin changing out of a victim mindset?
- What do you think you would be defined by if it was not by brokenness or trauma?
John 16:33 And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and eliminate death entirely. No one will mourn or weep any longer. The pain of wounds will no longer exist, for the old order has ceased.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the wounds of every shattered heart.
Romans 8:28 So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.
Moving on from the basics of healing and brokenness, I want to give you some practical ways of walking out of brokenness and into healing. I have outlined three steps for you below.
- Do not empower past trauma or failures
2 Corinthians 5:17 Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.
In order to heal from wounds, you must begin to stop empowering them. They are your past, but they most certainly are not your future. It is important to acknowledge that they happened, but it is even more important to keep from going from acknowledgment to empowerment. Stopping empowerment begins with your thoughts.
- Take control of your thought patterns and mindset
Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Colossians 3:2 Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.
It is very easy to fall into the victim mindset with thoughts like, “I can’t do this because of what happened to me,” “I’m not qualified for this job because of what I have experienced,” or “I am not as good as other people because of this trauma.” The reality is that you are no worse or better than those around you. The Lord created you for a purpose and He has good plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). I highly encourage you to begin changing your thought patterns by meditating on the Word of God and what the Lord says about you instead of what the trauma says you are. When those thoughts come into your mind, counter them with the Word of God. “I can do this because I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). “I am qualified for this job because Jesus has made me qualified, not through anything I have or have not done” (John 15:16). “I am as good as those around me because God has made all of us in His image” (Genesis 1:27).
- Begin to push yourself
Isaiah 43:18-19 “But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?”
This last step can sound kind of daunting. But this is very important because you have to step out in faith that you are healed. Practical examples of this include applying for that job you have dreamed about but never thought you could have, meeting new people in a new place, or even sharing your testimony. Faith is spelled R-I-S-K.
Lord Jesus, I pray that your people would begin to walk out of brokenness and walk into your healing. I pray that victim mindsets would be replaced with minds that are focused on You and heavenly things. I speak healing and wholeness to broken hearts. I pray they would define themselves by who You say they are and not by who the trauma says they are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This post first appeared here.