"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."
"'The future does have a name...and its name is Hope.'"
It can be hard to have hope for the future sometimes after experiencing abuse, but Pope Francis reminds us to hold on to hope. This month if you find yourself losing hope, of feeling like you want to give up, then turn to your friends, co-workers, or faith community members...and turn to God. Don't be afraid to share your heart with those around you and be honest about how you are feeling. Let God and those around you share their concern for you. And consider calling the national suicide hotline if you feel extra down one day: 1-800-273-8255. There are people ready to stand with you. You are not alone. There is a tomorrow. You have a future. There is hope!