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  • Writer's pictureJulian S. Miles

Embrace, Unlearn, Heal

Throughout the day, I am constantly thinking of things I want to share on my blog, words that God puts on my heart, and lessons that I am learning in this season. Somehow, though, I am depleted by the time I get home, finish my homework, or clean my room, and I say, "I'll do it tomorrow." Yet, tomorrow is a new day filled with the same activities I've allowed to prevent me from writing.

Then I start thinking that the topics are so random that it must not make sense, so I start the entire cycle of putting my blog off until suddenly, it's been over two years since I have posted anything.

In my email, I shared how the past shapes who we are, and no matter how much of it we want to erase, ignore, or distance ourselves from our experiences, we must make peace with what we have experienced. In 2019, I found out news about my children, whom I hated with everything in me. I hated the people who gave them the experiences, I hated life for causing me to have to make some of the decisions that I made to get there, and I hated the fact that God gave me a heart for mothers yet allowed my children to be victimized.
One of my first thoughts was, "How am I supposed to get in front of women and inspire breakthrough when my life keeps breaking down?
Then, a year later, I met someone I thought would be good for me, and they turned out to be the biggest distraction I could have ever allowed. Then, my daughter got sick, which completely rocked my world, and I began this rapid decline back to simply surviving whatever came my way. All of this AFTER I felt that I had given my life to God and healed from my past. Talk about it being over it, I think I lost most of my desire to pray and hope. Nonetheless, the bills were due, the children needed help, I had obligations to my job, and my dreams felt like just another gut punch. In a series of gut punches, I thought I had experienced throughout my life.

So, what do we do in these moments that take our breath away and threaten every belief that we've ever held about ourselves and life?
I wish I could give you the exact steps to finding your way back or a shopping list of something you could buy that would erase your past or at least make life easier. But I can't. As I have always said, there is no way but through, and this goes for every aspect of life or situation you may be facing. I can, however, share with you some thoughts on embracing what we've been given, unlearning dysfunctional behaviors, and continuing to heal from life.

1. Embracing the experiences that hurt us the most is almost impossible. ALMOST. I have found that because I believe that God is good all of the time, in every way, I must also believe He will comfort me and redeem me for what has been lost. We all have a testimony of his goodness in our lives and have heard stories from other people who have encouraged us and given us hope. We must all believe that our stories have power and hope as well. While I will never walk into a burning building to show you that God can save me, I am willing to share what He has done and who He has been because I want to see others thrive despite the hard things they experience. By making what level of peace I can with my life, I can allow God to walk me through it, giving me peace for my suffering. While I will probably never be able to make sense of it in a way that says, "This is okay." I can learn not to allow it to drive my decisions or steal my inner peace.

2. I did not know that the coping skills that I learned were unhealthy until I began holding myself accountable for the decisions that I made that were not helping me to become better. While I did not create ALL of my experiences, I am responsible for what I do with the knowledge that comes from knowing that I must make different decisions moving forward. What this has meant for me was that I learned that I was responsible for taking a hard look at my life, identifying what was not working, and being willing to change it. Deeeeeeeep sigh! For me, this meant therapy, not eating my feelings away, not settling for subpar relationships with men, and, most importantly, not taking bits and pieces from men because I wanted someone in my life. Sadly, this meant friendships, too. Some people will never see us for who we are because they gained too much from us when we didn't know who we were.
We have to unlearn that "proving things to others" will make us better.
3. I am unsure whether healing will ever be complete on this side of the earth. Whenever I think that I have mastered something, or gotten over something, or forgiven everyone that hurt me--I am faced with another area in my life that needs reconciling within myself. Most of the time, I am minding my business, and I am triggered by something random, and all of a sudden, I am fighting a bad mood and talking myself down from the ledge of anger, anxiety, and hopelessness. Another deeeeeeeep sigh! From this, I can believe that we heal parts of our bodies and minds from the acts that hurt us, but then the work from this is actively knowing how to take care of yourself when you find yourself right back where you started.

God constantly reminds me that to walk others through healing, I must walk through it myself. This isn't something that I asked for. If I am honest, I would have asked for something a little easier that "looked good" on paper, and people didn't shy away from it.

No one wants to stand in a crowded room and say, " I think I might be broken beyond repair. Are there any pills for this?"
I haven't found the answers to many of life's issues, but I believe there is Hope in Jesus. I do believe that we can get through this. And most importantly, I do believe that we have powerful and important stories to share with the world in hopes that they will inspire someone else to find their way.
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