"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and God saved them from their distress."
Prayer can be a grace-filled aid on your healing journey. It helps you to center when you are feeling overwhelmed by memories of abuse or by the stress of everyday triggers. It allows your body to relax so that your physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds may heal. Perhaps most importantly, it is a reminder that you are not on this journey alone. God is with you.
Here is a helpful prayer practice for anytime of day:
If you have just a few moments, bring your attention to your body. Feel your feet on the ground. Notice your breath. In and out. Breathe from your belly. In...and out. Take time to breathe, knowing you don't have to rush. In...and out. Choose a prayer phrase that brings you comfort or affirms your healing such as "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want." or "God is with me. I feel safe." Say this prayer phrase ten times as you breath. Pray the first line as you breathe in. Pray the second line as you breathe out. When you are done, take notice of any gentle shifts in your body. Do you feel a little more relaxed, focused, or peaceful? Thank God for being with you and close your prayer with an "Amen" or "Blessed be."
In the heat of the moment, in the midst of a trigger, it can be difficult to keep hope. Will things ever change? Will I always feel "stuck," "hurt," etc.? If you are feeling this way, take a deep breath. Then another. Feel the floor beneath your feet. Perhaps say aloud five items you see around you. Reach out to a family member or friend and ask for help, or even just start a conversation about how you are feeling to help you feel present. Moreover, ask God to help you remember a time when you have not felt this way; when you have felt rested, safe, or belonging. Indeed, Isaiah reminds us that eventually this moment of pain will cease; "sorrow and mourning will flee." It is God's promise to you.
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Along the healing journey, consider talking with a trusted friend, family member, minister, or counselor. You are not alone. In moments of despair, remember to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800.273.8255 or go to your nearest emergency room.
If you need other support, consider calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network, or other resources that can be found here.