Unhealed Wounds.

2018 is a year that changed me. I was wrapping up my last semester of seminary along with my last semester of serving with a ministry that I loved. It was a stressful time of school and it was a trying time emotionally as I navigated finding closure with a season of ministry that had been equal parts good and hard. All of that was compiled with the weight of anxiety as to what was next for us – a longing to serve in college ministry without any leads while also being in a tight place financially. Let’s say the 30ish lbs I gained in 5 months was nothing compared to the emotional weight on my chest.

And then came an opportunity for Micah to take a new job in a new city – which was equal parts exciting, scary and confusing.

And then came a friendship breakup that came out of no where and crushed me like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

And then came an unplanned pregnancy.

And then came a miscarriage days later.

I was a mess in every sense of the word.

I needed help.

After months of praying with Micah about the help I needed, we agreed that 2019 would be the year when I started going to counseling.

While I am thankful that I began my mental health journey on the back end of a very heavy year of my life, the truth is that I should have started it years prior. The writing had been on the wall in a variety of fonts and colors – a 5 month season of panic attacks in my church parking lot before service every Sunday in late 2012/2013, crippling social anxiety that led to uncontrollable tears in situations like important job interviews or during the “greeting” time at a new church, fears of abandonment that impacted my marriage in early years based solely on childhood trauma and literally nothing my husband did or said could take it away – all of this and more brought on layers and layers of shame because as a Christ follower navigating a call to ministry, “I should be stronger than this.”

That’s the thing about unhealed wounds – they fester and linger no matter how many bandaids you use to hide them away.

We can’t just seek a temporary fix if we want to move forward – we have to seek healing and that takes hard work.

After a little break, my girl Kate and I have picked things up again meeting every other week. The work we did in 2019 made a world of difference and gave me tools I needed to navigate grief related anxiety but there are wounds I bandaged up decades ago and tucked away that need to be healed if I really want to move forward.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because I know that someone reading this has been slapping bandaids on old wounds for a long time and I want you to know that sometimes the strongest faith we can muster is in the work of gifted therapists. Don’t mistake my words as saying that faith is God is not sufficient – that is not at all what I’m saying. What I know is true is that God has gifted people with the ability to sit with us in our pain and to walk with us through the healing work He provides through therapy. Just as we were created for community with one another, we were never meant to walk through the pain that life has thrown our way all by ourselves.

If we really want to move forward and experience the fullness of God’s good gifts in this life, we have to do the hard work of seeking help in addressing unhealed wounds.

This is the good and the hard truth.