Pray for peace. Realize that the worry, guilt, and shame associated with your pain are all useless unless they motivate you to do something that draws you closer to God. So if you’re struggling with any of those hard feelings, confess your struggles to God and ask Him to help you overcome emotional blocks to healing and experience true and lasting peace, which only comes from God.

Let go of excuses that hinder your healing. Don’t let negative past experiences define the kind of person you are right now. Resist labeling yourself negatively or letting other people’s negative labels for you affect the way you view yourself. Instead, ask God to help you see yourself as He sees you: as someone who is deeply and unconditionally loved. Overcome excuses that are standing in the way of your growth. Realize that nothing – from negative criticism to a shortage of time or energy – can block your recovery process without your permission. Be determined to heal, because you can count on God to give you the strength you need throughout the healing process.

Adjust your thinking. God has given you the power to control your thoughts, so choose to stop focusing on negative thoughts and start focusing on positive thoughts. Follow the Bible’s advice to think about what’s true, noble, beautiful, and praiseworthy.

Dream big dreams. Look toward your future with hope, since God has good plans for you to keep stretching your soul through new experiences and growing into a stronger person in the process. Keep in mind that everyone ends up somewhere in life, even by default. So decide to live purposefully so you can end up where God wants you to be. Even if that place is in the midst of painful circumstances, you can still find fulfillment and joy when you’re aware of God’s presence with you there.

Adapted from When Will My Life Not Suck? Authentic Hope for the Disillusioned, copyright 2011 by Raymon Presson. Published by New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC,
Ramon Presson, M.S.,a clinically certified marriage and family therapist for more than 20 years, is the founder of LifeChange Counseling and the Marriage Center of Franklin, TN and also served as a pastor with a special focus in ministry to single and single-again adults for 20 years. He is the author of 11 books, including Beyond the Shadows: Discover Hope for Overcoming Depression, Intentional Choices: Discovering Contentment in Stressful Times, and Love Talks for Couples with Dr. Gary Chapman. He is also an award-winning poet and a newspaper columnist. Presson lives with his wife and two sons in Thompson Station, TN.

Whitney Hopler is a full-time freelance writer and editor. You can visit her website at: