After you’ve endured a season of challenges in your relationships or circumstances, it’s common to feel weighed down, emptied out, or frazzled without the ability to think straight anymore.
For some of us, these seasons seem to stack up relentlessly.
You may wonder, “Will, this ever stop?!” Or cry out, “Give me a break!”
The stress you’ve endured is EXHAUSTING. Your mind, body, and emotions have been used up more than you know because you’re navigating what to do, what not to do, and how to survive.
Choose Growth After Seasons of Stress and Trauma
Whether you’ve just been through one stressful season or a series of them, chances are you’ll want to find some way to alleviate the stress and distract yourself. This is a critical time where you can choose to move toward healthy recovery. What’s been depleted needs to be restored.
Yet, when we feel weary and depleted, we lack the internal resources to do the things we want to do the way we want to do them. Seemingly small events can feel monumental. Then we react to those events with thoughts, words, and actions out of line with how we want to show up in the world.
We need support in the form of caring others who give us space to navigate our choices. We need structure in place to remind us we’re moving towards a goal we want, and to help us take one step after another toward that goal.
If you know what it’s like to keep taking steps forward and feel like you’ve messed up repeatedly, I hear you. Honestly, I’d be surprised if you didn’t make mistakes along the way.
Growth is a process and this process needs grace to cover us while we stand up, fall down, and stand again.
For the one you seeks growth and healing, and for the one ready to give up, I want you to know this as deeply as possible.
There’s more grace available to us in our messed up, mixed up, hurting states than we could ever know.
Why You Struggle to Receive Grace for Growth
We miss out on receiving and experiencing God’s grace for several reasons.
Here are just a few:
Fight, flight, or freeze mode kick in making it difficult to respond well.
Basically, this means that our brain is designed to keep us safe and when we’ve been under stress or we’ve experienced a traumatic event, this is where our brain goes. Survival mode.
Previous experiences create internal blocks.
An example of previous experiences creating blocks include times when our feelings and thoughts have been invalidated. This causes us to feel more alone and makes it challenging to believe and receive good things from God and others.
Growth feels uncomfortable at first.
When we’ve become accustomed to things going wrong, or feeling bad, it’s hard to feel OK with feeling good. When we’ve held patterns of reacting to our situations by retreating or fighting against them, it feels uncomfortable at first to simply stand in confidence.
May You Receive the Grace Offered to You Today
Even though your brain may fight against the good things offered to you, there is hope. Being in process means it isn’t always easy and it doesn’t always go right.
At the same time, you can choose to notice when it’s difficult to receive God’s goodness. Perhaps it’s hard to see beauty around you, or take in the good words and experiences offered by other people. Notice that.
Notice by bringing your attention to what’s happening. Get curious about it. Notice what’s happening in your mind (your thoughts & beliefs), in your body (uncomfortable sensation or tightened muscles), and in your emotions.
Get curious. Bring your curiosity to God and safe people. Both of these steps bring intentionality to the process. They aren’t easy to do.
There’s grace for that.
You can receive this grace and lean into a process of growth after stress and trauma.
BTW – I’m cheering you on as you lean into your next steps.
TIP: Dive deeper into what’s happening so you can explore with God and process through it, Unleash: Heart & Soul Care Sheets are a great resource for this. Use them any time you notice yourself blocking good things or when you feel challenged by the process of growth.