A few years ago, I went through an extremely difficult season, where my life was turned upside down and my life-long dreams seemed to be crashing down.
When you are in a serious accident, everyone knows to take you to the hospital, but where do they take you when emotional pain becomes unbearable?
As I sought counseling, I knew that I had a choice. I could either deny the pain, find unhealthy ways of dealing with it, or face the pain head on with God and those who love me. Little did I understand how the power God through creativity would be my greatest source of healing.
As I did research about working through the crisis I was experiencing, I realized that so many people had not recovered well from what I was going through. So, I was determined to find out God’s perspective on how to become healed through in the midst of my trauma and loss.
God has given each one of us creative outlets to process pain that heal our wounds and restore us in ways that go far beyond normal ways of healing.
Unfortunately, many people are living with the affects of adverse childhood trauma (ACE’s), as well as adult traumas characterized in disappointment, rejection, betrayal, abuse, and failures.
They are the walking wounded.
Like many of us, we may look good on the outside, but on the inside, we may still be suffering from the effects of adverse childhood trauma or may have been blindsided by those we love who have hurt us.
I have good news! God has creative ways for us to process our pain and be healed!
Here are 5 creative tools that have helped me to practically process my pain, and brought redemption into my heart.
When I write with God, I try not to hold anything back. So, when I go through difficult seasons, like two years ago, I grab the weapon of words and write my heart healed. I discover, sometimes through tears, what is buried deep within my soul.
As I pour over God’s words to me in His Word and as I share my present circumstances, there is power in letting our stories weave together.
In Psalms 13:1,2, David writes:
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
God is so faithful. It’s not long before my words become threads that begin to sew up the rips in my heart.
I have found that as I take time to pour out my heart to God in my journal, and then wait for His answers to me, that He has never failed me. Conversely, He has brought so much healing to me through the poetry and journaling I have written to express my heart and needs to God.
Anointed music can be an incredible healing salve to our wounds. Many have been healed though music, just like Saul was delivered of an evil spirit through David’s music (I Sam. 16).
During this difficult season in my life, I would search for music that spoke to the pain in my heart. I found that certain songwriter’s lyrics spoke directly to me, as though they were prophesying to my specific situation.
For example, I would listen to Steffany Gretzinger’s songs on her “Undoing” album and could feel salve being applied on my wounds as she sang.
When we need healing, music can be such a key for processing our pain, letting it out, and letting it go.
3. The Testimony Of Story
We don’t have to look far in the Bible to identify ourselves with men and women who dealt with pain and loss in a way that can inspire us in our own journey of healing.
I saw my own story through Joseph’s losses with his family and I allowed God to show me that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I saw these people not as historical figures, but as people in my own spiritual bloodline, which had faced their fears, overcome adversity, and won.
I am so thankful for the record of Jesus’ life and example because it has helped me to forgive, love again, and see how God was speaking to me, and leading me, through the storm.
I also had friends who walked with me through this difficult time, and kept encouraging with their own testimonies of how they walked through similar traumas, and made healthy decisions, and held on to hope, never letting go of the promises of redemption.
We must hold on to the testimony of others if we are ever going to allow the process of healing to take root, and bring redemption to the places of trauma.
During this painful process, painting became an effective cathartic way to release my pain. As I painted, I let go of the pain of my loss, and then began painting from God’s perspective.
I soon found freedom to dip by brush in colors that represented my journey, and then began to paint out of a place of discovery, asking God questions about His nature, and how His faithfulness was greater than any disappointment or loss.
These paintings became important milestones in my healing process, and in my family’s lives. I painted images that represented the brokenness and then the healing that God was going to do in bringing the different pieces of our lives back together.
Amazingly, these art pieces of hope and redemption became prophetic promises that actually came about in due time.
Dance can also be a powerful therapy in healing trauma. Body movements can express and purge trauma from our lives in ways that speech and writing cannot touch. Dance enables us to prophetically let go of pain and receive healing.
Dance reflects the emotions residing in our hearts, whether it is pain or freedom.
There were so many times when I just danced with Jesus and let go of pain or insecurity. And then, it wasn’t long before I danced myself into breakthrough.
When David danced before the ark when he was bringing it into Jerusalem, he brought joy into all of Jerusalem, which reflected the celebration of the full recovery of God’s Presence back into our lives.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you may want to try this in the privacy of your own room, with the door shut! And remember, it’s not about the performance, but the process of creative expression that heals us.
If it can happen to me, it can happen to you!
I can honestly say that what happened two years ago has taught me more about God’s love than anything else in my life. Some of my best writings, paintings, and creative ideas have come out of my darkest season.
I want to encourage you to let God in to your pain and let Him speak creatively to you through what others create and how you can create.
These days, my family is stronger than ever, while believing that the best is yet to come
Redemption and restoration is a promise you can creatively declare today for whatever traumas you are facing today or in the future, knowing that my testimony can be your testimony, no matter how dark your season is presently.
Remember, you are Born to Create!