You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending… C.S. Lewis
But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you?As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil, for he brought me to this high position I have today so that I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:19-20 (Living Bible)
Context is important in understanding mental health difficulties. We are not condemned to live out past trauma as our ending fate. Many of my clients have suffered from very difficult, even traumatic developmental circumstances, yet they are very often overcomers. I find it important to remind these clients that they are not just survivors of trauma, they are “thrivers” because of it. If our mindset is that we are not defined by pain and abuse, then we can translate personal pain into someone else’s gain and thereby redeem that pain or evil from the past.
So many clients find it gratifying that someone can see their growth, and remind them that their identity is as an overcomer, indeed, a “thriver”.
We often do not always know where people have come from and what they have suffered. We can affirm to them that they have a future as an overcomer and a thriver, and that they are not defined by a hurtful past.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for your grace to overcome pain and loss and redeem it for your glory, Amen.