Moving Forward After Trauma: A Wife’s First Steps

A couple years ago, I suffered a tragedy worse than anything I could (at that point) have ever imagined. At the time, I was completely uncertain of how to move forward – or if moving forward was even an option. I shared a little about my experience and my conversation with God in the post called Do Not Move.

God’s words to me, His hand on my head, was a very real experience for me. While I didn’t audibly hear His words, my whole being was at peace. That kind of peace in the midst of tragedy and trauma can only come from God.

The past two years, God has given me a word for each year, and various Scriptures to go with it. I began praying about a word for 2016, even telling God that I was satisfied if He chose to work differently this year. The more I prayed through my words from the last two years, (hope and redemption), the more God continued to impress one word on my heart.

And just like last year, I fought this word, too. In fact, God’s been impressing this word on my heart for weeks now – through Scripture, song, prayer, listening to Him, blog posts that I’ve read from friends. Sometimes I think I’m one of those people waiting for the writing in the sky that says, “Hi, If you’re waiting for a sign from God, THIS IS IT!” My faith is growing, but I still struggle with stepping out in that faith. Moving forward after trauma can be difficult.

When trauma strikes in marriage, moving forward can be difficult. Here are the 3 options I faced in moving forward.

A week or so ago was a major turning point for me. I was lying in bed, but not yet asleep. In fact, I know I wasn’t yet asleep because my husband and I were discussing some things a few minutes later, and while he has the ability to fall asleep in about 2 seconds, I don’t. It takes me about 2 minutes. ūüėČ

Anyway, my eyes closed. You see, we had some good news that night, and I think I was just soaking in that goodness.

As my eyes closed, I clearly saw myself on a bridge. It wasn’t a long bridge, but it was wide and it had a very real-life feel to it. I don’t know where it was, but I feel like I would know it if ever I crossed it.

I was about one-third of the way across the bridge. I had this overwhelming sense that my life was at a turning point. Not only that, I had incredible peace.

I realized that I had a few options:

1. Turn Back Рthis choice would signify my desire not to move forward in life.

2. Jump Off (into icy waters) – this option would symbolize almost a “spiritual suicide” – telling God that I had no more desire for Him to lead my life.

3. Move Forward Рthis choice would mean an intentional decision to run head first into the life God has for me.

The bridge seemed to symbolize the point where God had placed me: a spot where I needed to wait on Him, to see what He would do in my life.

I was completely alone on the bridge, and yet my decision seemed to carry a great weight – almost an urgency.

And for some reason, I had a grappling hook in my hand. Maybe it was so that once I threw it, I’d be “hooked” onto the choice I’d make.

As I stood on the bridge, I knew it was time to choose. Should I turn back? Jump off? Or move forward?

Every option had some pros and cons, yet in the moment, I knew.

I knew just what to do.

I considered where I had come from:

Surviving Brokenness
Having Hope
Understanding Redemption

I turned, and with all my might, I tossed that grappling hook,

Because my life depended on it.

Forward. 

God has impressed one word on my heart, and He’s done it in so many ways, but each time, He’s used the words in Revelation 12: 11 to drive home the reason for the word:

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony….
Revelation 12:11a

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that while some terrible things happened, the devil also set to work to destroy – a marriage, a family, extended family, friendships. He’s had some success. But he can’t touch our lives – our days are numbered by God Himself.

It has taken time. It has taken a lot of time, and consistent, focused prayer.

{And can I be honest about that consistent, focused prayer for just a minute? Just as a word of testimony?
My prayers have not been extensive, they haven’t had lots of lofty words.
They have been simple, probably what some would call child-like.
Most of my prayers have been just prayers of gratitude for what God has done,
what He is doing.
And then I have asked for mercy and grace.

I write that to say – please don’t think your prayers have to be anything special
for God to listen to you.
Talk to Him like He’s your friend,
someone with whom you can have an easy,
effortless conversation – because that’s what He wants.}

As I threw that grappling hook forward, to signify my willingness to run forward into the life God has for me, it was so evident to me that God does, indeed, know what He’s doing when He impresses something on our hearts.

For 2016, my word for the year, based on Revelation 12:11a, is

OVERCOME.

 

I have a lot to overcome. There truly has been so much loss.

But the process of overcoming started more than 2 years ago, when I decided that I would not move, but that I would be perfectly still until God clearly made it abundantly clear that it was time to move.

That time has come.

To be perfectly honest, I’m a little hesitant.

But faith has to tie up its shoelaces and take a step at some point, right?

And, if I’m being completely honest, I’m a little excited! God has proven Himself faithful through some of the darkest days of my life. It is a little easier to trust, while moving forward, with years of God’s faithfulness stored deeply in my heart!

I know the year isn’t completely over, but my schedule is hectic, and I wanted to share these thoughts while I have some time, and while they are still vivid in my mind.

2016…Overcome!¬†

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click this link to fill out the short form for the Facebook group.

 

Comments

  1. Oh Becky, this makes me so happy! It is a huge answer to prayer, and I am excited about what God has for you. Your heart for obedience is a beautiful testimony to me. Overcome….yes, you shall and you are. I am still praying about my 2016 word. I think I know what it is, and I’m not very excited about it!! I’ve never balked on a word before, but this one will require something significant of me, if indeed it is the one that God is giving me. I’m asking for Him to confirm it before I step into it. Merry Christmas, Becky!
    Leah Adams recently posted…The Loft Link-Up ~ ChristmasMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    It’s amazing what God asks of us, but then what He gives us in return. His blessings are full, His rewards for faithfulness are immeasurable!
    Thank you for your continued support on this journey. Praying that God continues to guide your way!

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  2. Your word for 2016 is a testimony to what God has already done in your life as well as a beautiful example of trust in your Savior for the future! I love how you showed the process Jesus took you through too. I’m excited for you!
    Wendy Munsell recently posted…Banishing FearMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you, Wendy! It’s been quite a journey with the Lord these last few years. I’m grateful to know that His healing is not done, that the next step is as important as the first step. Blessings!

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  3. Oh Rebekah, how God shows up. Physical presence. I have felt His hand caress my broken heart. Literally.

    Your words resonate deeply with me. Let’s connect. I want to support your journey. Hugs from my heart to yours. Susan
    Susan B Mead recently posted…Just Show Up ~ LinkupMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you, Susan – I’m so blessed by your kindness and thoughtfulness. It means so much to me. Blessings, sweet friend!

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  4. OVERCOME!!! I don’t think it could be any more perfect!! I am so excited for you! I can’t explain it. The joy in my heart is so full – like my heart is dancing – for you! Because I KNOW God is going to do amazing things in you and through you! Yes, it is scary to step out, but He is beckoning you, isn’t He? With this BIG grin – I know He is excited, too, for you. He is so excited to set you free, to heal deeper, to see you…dance…when I think of this, I ‘see’ a beautiful spring day, sunshine warming your face, butterflies flittering about, flowers everywhere. You are radiant. So free. Rested. Smiling. Peace. Victory. Oh, yeah, I can’t wait to hear more!!
    Aimee Imbeau recently posted…What I Found At His FeetMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Moved to tears! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I have read and reread your words numerous times over the past few days. They were just the encouragement that I need. Thank you for cheering on my life, my walk with the Lord, the telling of my story. May God bless you and your family, your ministry. Thank you for being a part of my life! Merry Christmas!

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  5. What an inspiring testimony! Thank you for sharing your word for 2016.
    Michele Morin recently posted…Every Story Whispers His NameMy Profile

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  6. Overcome is such a faith-filled word of hope, to me, Rebekah. I have to be honest, I haven’t prayed hard about my word for 2016 because He has put it on my heart for sometime w/o me even asking. I tend to wrestle with the words He gives me to hold on to. They are faith journeys for me and somehow, I know I am holding back because I just want to have a little respite from the contending. Yet, if I were honest, He is the one contending in faithfulness for me and all I need to do is be still and know Him, right? May He continue to show you His faithfulness and opportunity to share it with others here.
    Blessings,
    Dawn
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  7. After reading your post, I feel really great. The options are the thing stay in my mind now. Thanks for your message.
    Willa@ My Record Players recently posted…Simple Cleaning of a Record PlayerMy Profile

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  8. Go, Becky, Go! I’m so excited to see and to hear where God will take you next.
    I think “Overcome” is a wonderful word.
    Praying that God will fill your heart with courage as you move forward!
    Blessings,
    Melanie
    Melanie Redd recently posted…What an Outpouring of Love!My Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Courage, yes! That’s definitely what’s needed every moment of every day. I’m so thankful for a faithful God, for steps directed by Him. Blessings!

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  9. I was really touched by this post! I am a Christian writer & I have a blog, as well as a Christian-based Instagram account (if you use Instagram, my username is @My_Savior_Moves_Mountains ). Anyway, I was inspired by my mother to do a word of the year like you are doing, & I’ve recently been doing a series on overcoming! God has revealed a lot to me in it, & I was getting ready to write another post when I came across this post on Pinterest. God works in neat ways!

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