By Violetta Reum
Many people have questioned me if the work and time I have put into my healing from my abuse and past trauma is really worth it.
Is it worth spending all this time when there is so much ministry to be done?
Is it helpful rehashing past pain?
Is it beneficial to spend all of this time healing from old abusive relationships instead of making new, healthy ones?
I have thought deeply and at length about this.
I have concluded that it is absolutely worth it. As a matter of fact, it is essential to living a full, healthy life for me.
Before I started working through my past abuse, I was simply surviving; allowing my triggers and emotions to control me. Once I started healing, I began feeling more whole and actually thriving in ministry, relationships and identity.
Here are just a few reasons for healing that I have witnessed in my own life.
I think though it might seem too difficult, too taxing and a waste of time, it is completely necessary for our work in ministry and in the Kingdom to do the inner-healing work that we are pursuing here.
How can I truly love others when I am still struggling relating to people because of the walls I have put up after my abuse?
How can I teach others that forgiveness and loving your enemy is important if I am dragging my abuser along as I hold on to rage, bitterness and judgement?
How can I walk with someone through their own pain and trauma if I have not courageously dealt with my own?
How can I preach freedom if I have not truly experienced it?
To me, it is obvious that we need to deal with our pain in order to help others to deal with theirs.
I have seen people reach a new understanding of God, His calling on their lives and what grace and compassion truly are after facing and dealing with their own trauma.
The effects of trauma will catch up to you later; when your sin is revealed or when burnout strikes.
The question is not whether we can afford the time and energy to pursue healing.
If you are in ministry, you cannot afford not to do this kind of deep work.
I have first-hand experience in seeing the type of healing that working through your trauma can bring your relationships.
I have noticed an overwhelming difference in the way I treat others and how I allow others to treat me.
Because I have looked at my story closely and processed the damage that abuse had on my life, I am able to see how I have hurt others and kept community at a distance in fear of trusting someone else that has the potential to harm me. Now, I am able to repent for the ways I have treated others and allow myself to be vulnerable with my community.
Also, because I have stepped out of denial, I am no longer finding myself in a destructive pattern of unhealthy relationships. I am able to see an unhealthy bond or a possibility for a co-dependent relationship and put up the necessary boundaries.
I now know that I am not a victim to my situation, but I am worth protecting. As I heal, I realize how truly important it is in having healthy, flourishing relationships with others.
Once I started to work through my abuse, I was shocked at how much of my life it actually permeated, even when I was in deep denial.
My story, my identity, and my past were all overshadowed by my abuse and the abuser’s role in my life.
I used to believe that I was forever marked by what happened to me and I should simply embrace my new identity. I believe that God was not good and He did not care about me.
Once I began to heal, let go and truly forgive, I was sometimes at a loss of what to do with this new freedom.
Who was I without my abuser? What was my story now? Who is God and is He really good?
As I began to ask these questions, God would reveal the answers. He showed me my true identity as His daughter, my new purpose in His Kingdom, and His goodness and grace as I began to see His leading hand throughout my life.
If nothing else good comes of my healing journey, I know it was fully worth it because now I know who I am and I have learned to trust my Father.
The good, healing work is not only beneficial to me, it has been a testament of God’s grace, mercy and provision in my life.
As I share my story with others, I can see the way it speaks to their own past trauma and pain.
I hope my story inspires and encourages them to also share their story and to pursue deeper healing in their lives.
But at the very least, as I share my story with someone, we share in a moment of worship as we are reminded of how good God is and how no one is too far gone from His redemption.
Do you believe that healing is important? Have you allowed yourself to consider taking the time to really work through your past trauma and hurts? I encourage you to take the time. The benefits will be hundred fold.
Author: Violetta Reum
Violetta has always had a passion and calling to see people pursue God with their entire lives, find their calling and identity in Jesus, and seek deep healing from past trauma and abuse. She enjoys spending time with her husband and son and discovering all of the coffee shops and hole-in-the-wall restaurants.