There was a time in my life when it seemed as if everything was falling apart. In the space of just a few years, I experienced the loss of multiple people (including my mother, godmother, grandmother, and a close friend); I made the difficult decision to end a marriage that was mentally and emotionally abusive; and I endured a toxic divorce process where my former spouse threatened to take everything. It was a dark season of my life, and I wondered when I would get a break from it all.
I can confidently say that I have healed from these experiences, and they have propelled me into the purpose that God has designed for me. I share my story because I want you to know that no matter what you are facing, you can bounce back! How did I do it?
I prayed. As a person of faith, I recognized that I needed help from a greater Source to navigate this difficult season. As I prayed more and more, I received the wisdom and guidance I needed to take steps toward my healing.
I trusted God. The more I prayed, the more my trust in God grew. I would encourage myself by remembering how God had answered prayers for me in the past. Certainly if He helped me before, He could do it again!
I forgave myself and others. This one was huge for me! Regarding my failed marriage, I’d partially blamed myself for not seeing and acknowledging the signs of mental and emotional abuse. One of the ways I forgave myself was to realize that I’d made the decision to marry based on a certain set of information. If I had known more, I would have made a different decision. I also had to forgive those who had wronged me; I decided to release them (yes, forgiveness is a decision) and allow God to handle the consequences of their actions.
I sought wise counsel. This counsel included a therapist and a grief support group. They helped me talk through what I was feeling, see where I’d incorrectly placed blame on myself, and begin to imagine what my life could look like in a new chapter. Wise counsel offered me hope!
I stayed connected with my tribe. I refused to isolate myself from those who cared about me. Whether they realized it or not, I needed the companionship, love, and support of the women who loved me unconditionally. While the rest of my life was in upheaval, they were the stabilizing force that was necessary in a difficult season.
I found the lessons in my challenges. As the fog of emotions began to slowly lift, I asked God to show me the lessons I could glean from this season. How can I be better after this? How can these lessons help someone else? One of my important lessons was understanding that sharing my story could help me release the shame associated with it. When we share, we are empowered to control the narrative of our lives and tell our truth. And once we’ve shared it, no one can hold it over our heads. I’ve heard John Maxwell say this often (and it really is true): We either win or learn. When we don’t win, we can learn something important that will benefit us in the next season.
I reminded myself that God loves me! No matter what was happening, I needed to remember that God’s love for me is unconditional. The mistakes I’d made have no impact on how God feels about me. He still has a great plan for my life and wants me to fulfill it.
Can you bounce back from challenging times? Absolutely! When someone dribbles a basketball full of air, it bounces again and again. As long as it has the right amount of air, when it hits the floor, it comes right back up. The things I’ve shared helped me stay full of air, so I could, over time, bounce back from all my challenges and difficulties. When we bounce back, we are free to walk into the next season of our lives with renewed hope and purpose. And we can demonstrate for others how they can bounce back also.
You can bounce back, Sis! Fill yourself with ‘air’ and prioritize yourself and your healing, so you can be all God has called you to be.Leave a Comment