"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."
"and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us."
Have you begun to give up hope? Are there days in which you struggle to keep going? Remember that God gives us the power of hope to get us through. When you begin to despair, take a moment to name three things for which you are grateful or consider finding a date far in the future that you are looking forward to enjoying. Still feeling like all is lost? Consider reaching out to a friend or family member, speaking with a staff member at your parish (even if by phone!), or calling a counselor. God is like a loving parent who wants you to thrive and has given us one another to help each other along the way.
If you need some extra support, try calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network, or other resources that can be found here.