"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."
"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God."
It is spring in the northern hemisphere, but inside you may still feel a sense of "winter". What you feel inside may not match with the outside world. You may feel pressure to be joyful or energetic, but inside you may be mourning or feeling fearful. Being able to name your emotions and what you are feeling is a great first step. A good second step is affirming what you feel, even in the face of pressure to feel otherwise.
Let yourself be with your emotions - they are God's gift to you to help you know what needs healing. This month, invite God to help you name your emotions and stick with them, not to push them aside. As the quote above from Philippians says, "make your requests known to God." God will help you pay attention to your emotions and work through them. Consider also sharing what you're feeling with a friend, spiritual director, or counselor. By naming what you feel out loud, it helps to process the emotions internally.
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If you need extra support, consider calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network, or other resources that can be found here.