“Will I ever be free from the shame?” she asked.
I wasn't sure how to answer her. I’m not a counselor. So I took a deep breath, prayed for wisdom, and shared from my experience, not as a survivor, but as someone who has tasted pain and needed healing.
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“My experience with healing is that it cycles. I go to my place of pain, identify the lie that has been hiding behind the hurt, and I replace the lie with truth. I cheer and celebrate—one more lie I no longer believe. I live my life. Then something happens, a life experience or maybe another hurt, and I find myself back where I thought I’d healed. A new lie or perhaps an old one surfaces. So I go deeper and sometimes see an old lie from a different angle. With each cycle, more healing takes place. Will I ever be completely free from the pain? The shame? I don’t know.”
I wish I could have told her that someday she would have complete freedom from her shame, because I love a happy ever after ending. Who doesn't? And although I do believe in miracles, I also believe that my process of healing has taught me far more than a miracle ever could. The healing I've received has been worth the work. And my life is better now.
I spoke with a licensed counselor, with years of experience, after this conversation. I asked her if healing cycles. She drew her finger in the air in a series of circles and replied, “Over and over again.”