It’s a big buzz word these days – Self-Care. Especially in the world of Betrayal Trauma Recovery. Unfortunately, it’s an idea that’s always kinda rubbed me the wrong way. The concept feels contrary to the self-sacrificing life I’ve always believed I’m called to lead as a follower of Christ.
When the proverbial uh-hum… dookey?… hit the fan, though, I was forced to re-evaluate my beliefs in just about every area of my life. I had to take a magnifying glass to my heart and allow the Word of God to divide out the things that didn’t line up. As I started down the long road to recovery, the idea of self-care seemed to bombard me at every turn. Everyone seemed to be suggesting that I couldn’t heal unless I learned to prioritize self-care. I wasn’t buying it, but finally, I surrendered to God and asked Him to help me find truth.
Upon the recommendation of our therapist, I started to read The Anxiety Cure, by Dr. Archibald Hart. It is the most helpful, informative, yet Biblically sound resource on this topic I’ve ever found. Reading it changed so much about how I think about Anxiety and Depression because it helped me to actually understand the physiological aspects. If you suspect that you or someone you know may suffer from Depression or an Anxiety Disorder, this book is for you!
Do I want to heal? It seems like the answer would be obvious doesn’t it? Of course, we all want to heal! But sadly, the hard truth is, it’s often easier to stay the victim forever than it is to own our part of the problem and choose our own healing. Let’s look at how Jesus dealt with a man stuck in “victim mentality” for guidance and answers.
I love thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday. I look forward to our Thanksgiving family traditions more than any of the habits and rituals surrounding the other special family celebrations. But sometimes the holidays are hard, and when families are fractured by sin and addiction we don’t always feel like spending a day giving thanks. The thing is, these are often the most important times for us to make the choice to adjust our attitudes and cultivate a spirit of gratitude, not just in ourselves, but in our families!
So we’ve put together some fun ideas for thanksgiving family traditions that can be special anytime, but become even more important in the hard times.
Last week we started a series called Facing Fear. It is a Bible study on fear and faith, (click for whole series) and this week we’re learning about an interesting aspect of a right relationship with fear – the Fear of the Lord. We want to know, what IS the fear of the Lord, why is it important to fear God, and what does walking in the fear of the Lord look like?
FEAR. We all have the capacity to make it our constant companion. Chronic fear can paralyze us, keeping us stuck in misery and brokenness. This is never more true than in the aftermath of a shattered heart! When the world turns upside down, it can be difficult to figure out how to reconcile fear and faith.
There is nothing I have experienced quite so dark as the consuming sadness that follows an intimate betrayal. If you have experienced this trauma, I am so sorry. There is nothing I’m going to be able to tell you that will erase that pain. But if you find yourself searching for answers about how to heal from betrayal trauma, I do believe I can offer some solid advice.
When we come to a place in which we realize letting go of control and fear has become a necessity, I doubt there are many of us who naturally think of good boundaries as the way to do it! Quite the opposite. Most people have such a distorted view of them that they can’t see the signs of unhealthy boundaries, and therefore throw all boundaries out thinking of them as an ineffective way to grasp at control in a relationship.
Fortunately, God has given us a wonderful picture of what good boundaries look like through His Word. As we learn how to use these parameters to protect ourselves rather than to make attempts at manipulating situations that are simply not in our control, we’ll find freedom and peace.
Sometimes life gets foggy. For one reason or another stress piles up and it becomes difficult to navigate or even find the path forward. When that stress is a result of deep betrayal, especially when it has been repeated again and again, the fog is likely to gather all around our perceptions of ourselves. Insecurity is almost inevitable. It can become so very difficult to find truth when our thoughts are clouded by questions about our identity and worth. This is when it is so important that we find our answers in the TRUTH of the Word of God!
Often, when lies have defined a relationship for many years, we’re left wondering, will I ever stop waiting for the other shoe to drop? Even after years of solid recovery, many of us find ourselves struggling to believe we’re not still being lied to. How can we ever know for sure; we wonder? What if we’re being naïve or foolish? What if He got a whole lot better at hiding it? Why didn’t God reveal the truth sooner the first time? How can I be sure He’ll reveal it this time? What if… How could he… Why did He… How will I… The questions are endless and maddening! So how can we put a stop to them before we lose our minds, and bankrupt our faith?
People far wiser than myself have named three stages to the process of healing from Betrayal Trauma, and as a survivor, I can definitely find pieces of my own story in each of those stages. But I’m here to tell you, the journey to healing is not linear. We won’t move through them in one direction or in a straight line. Instead, we’ll circle in and out and in between the three in no predictable manner, and with no assurance that we won’t go back again later. There have been days when I really believed myself much further down the path to healing than I have found myself on the next. If you’re healing from Betrayal Trauma, you’ll likely experience the same, and I want you to know, it’s okay! Not only is it okay, it’s expected, normal, and really even healthy!
Here you are, you’ve found yourself in that terrible place which has become a reality for countless wives across the world. You’ve discovered your husband has a pornography problem. Maybe you’ve known for a while that he looked here and there, or that he “struggled,” but you’ve finally come to recognize that this is no small issue. You’re hurt and confused, and not sure what in the world you should do next. You need answers, but where do you look? Who can you trust?
Are you a betrayed wife who is fiercely committed to seeking and following God as you heal? Are you looking for a community of like-minded women also recovering from betrayal trauma? Would you like to join our secret Facebook support group? Connect with Cherith on Facebook, and send me a private message to request to be added.
Or, contact me via email if you just need someone to talk to who understands and is committed to gently pointing you toward Jesus.