June 15, 2021
Take the First Step
by Paula Jauch
O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit; O restore me to health and let me live! Lo, for my own welfare I had great bitterness; it is You who has kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back. Isaiah 38:16-17 NASB
I truly believe in my heart that we all deserve to find freedom, healing, and recovery in this life, but I’ve also learned that not everyone is willing to do the hard work. I don’t want you to think I have all the answers, but what I do know through my own experience of suffering and healing is that God was able to do for me what I was not capable of figuring out for myself.
Let me explain what I mean by that… For many years I was struggling with so many issues from self-hate, an eating disorder, drinking alcohol, relationships, and financial problems all while going to church. I tried so many things to change or get free—even to the point of going to the altar every Sunday to get prayed over.
What was wrong with me? Why was God not healing me? It didn’t matter how many times I went to church or what I learned in Scripture; I still kept struggling. I was exhausted from wearing a mask and pretending I was okay.
What I eventually learned, as simple as it sounds, was that I had a lot of wounds from growing up with addiction and abuse that needed to be healed. It was going to take a lot more than getting prayed over.
I needed help. I found a trauma therapist, went to recovery programs, and spent time with God. God also brought safe people into my life to love me where I was at in my journey and support me through the healing process.
I needed to surrender all the hurt that I was hiding inside of me and give it to God who was patiently waiting for me to trust him…
I had to learn how to trust God, because with all the people who hurt me in my life, it was hard to believe that God even cared, or that He had a plan for my life.
I had to learn to feel my feelings, even the feelings of anger, and start trusting God with those feelings. It’s about knowing we are not alone anymore, and that we don’t have to walk this journey by ourselves.
I want to encourage you in your faith, to know that you will be able to trust God enough to surrender every area of your life to Him. Please remember it is a process and change won’t happen overnight.
"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). When I learned this Scripture, it gave me so much hope. For the first time in my life, someone was telling me that God didn’t want to hurt me.
This article is brought to you by the Advances Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Paula Jauch is a speaker, Selah Award finalist, AWSA Golden Scroll award-winning author, and podcaster. She is the Founder of the non-profit organization, Paula Jauch International. Her organization supports those who have been affected by trauma and addiction. She speaks from a place of brokenness and healing. Her book, Cross Addicted: Breaking Free from Family Trauma and Addiction offers a hopeful path to recovery for those who are hurting and traumatized. Her other projects include Letting Go of Family Trauma and Addiction devotions on the YouVersion Bible App, and “Exposing Family Secrets,” a chapter in She Writes for Him: Stories of Living Hope. To learn more, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @paulajauch and at www.paulajauch.com.
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