Monthly Archives: July 2016

Hoping and Healing

I do not have a victorious healing story.

I did not have a flash of light which made everything ‘okay’.

I did not wake up one day sick, and another day, well.

I have not been healed.

Yet I have hope.

For me, hope has been healing.

Choosing to hope when everything has seemed hopeless has taught me more about the God of hope that I would have dared to dream.

I’ve recently been reading Matt Bays brilliant book “Finding God in the Ruins” and in it, he says this:

“Healing has no map; every person’s experience is different. But if your journey is going to be successful, expect at some point to end up back at the scene of the crime. staring at the wreckage… And then you must tell your story without making it palatable.”

Quite often, when I tell my story, it centres around the parts which I found God. When mental illness went on a rampage but I emerged with a new calling. The darkest night in which the embryo of ThinkTwice was conceived, the times when I made the right decisions and found the light of a star in a dark night.

I’ve been challenged recently, however, about those times when I’ve surveyed the wreckage and not just found God, bit experienced something of who He is, without ‘making is palatable’.

The truth is, I do attempt to make my story palatable.

I edit my life to hide the parts of my story that I cannot face.

I do not let the light touch them.

It’s not that we need to tell our stories to everyone we meet.



But allowing those who love us to see us in the dark is a gift, not only to us, but to those who hear our stories and hear in our words that God moves even in the most unexpected of ways and in the most unexpected of places.

I have found hope and healing in telling my unpalatable story just a few times, because I think I’ve seen something of how God responds to us in compassion in the faces of my closest friends.

It’s still unpalatable for me.

But it doesn’t seem to be for others, perhaps because they see more easily a God who sits in the wreck alongside us and sheds light in the darkest places, and I have to believe that God created the darkness knowing we would find Him there.

As The Message Bible puts it:

“Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing! – came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the life was Light to live by, The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.” John 1:3-5



“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

In the wake of the events of the past week; Brexit, a resigning Prime Minister and warring political powers, it seems that never has a truer word been spoken.

Change, whether it be personal or political, universal or individual is hard.

And over the past week, we have seen a a fundamental shift in our country and  many shifts in our political parties.

When I woke up last Friday morning and saw the news, I sent my husband a text saying one thing:

“Has there been some kind of political apocalypse overnight?”

It certainly felt like it. And in the midst of a seemingly fluid political landscape a rise in reported hate crime and an unstable economy, anxiety is wrapping itself around the national consciousness.

The Guardian reported last week that there’s been an increase in talk of anxiety and despair in the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the EU in therapy sessions, with Susie Orbach writing:

 “The question of living with what is a new reality is not straightforward. Mourning what one didn’t realise one quite had, or even knowing that one did, involves a process of forgetting and then remembering.”

It seems that whichever way you voted, the uncertainty is affecting everyone; from job worries, VISA worries and I even heard of some young people very concerned about whether or not Nando’s would stay in the UK!

Change shifts our foundations, making us uncomfortable, and glib answers about the sovereignty of God don’t seem to be connecting with the fear that has erupted in the wake of change.

So how can we respond to, and cope with seismic change?

Firstly, we need to accept what it is that we can and cannot change. For example; we can’t change the result of the EU referendum, but we can commit to engaging with politics and making the best of whatever comes next.

Secondly, we can choose to trust that God moves. Even when situations feel hopeless or far from what we had imagined, God isn’t absent. It won’t always be pleasant and things won’t always go how we hoped, but God does show up and show us who He is. And who He is, is unchanging.

Thirdly, give yourself time to adjust. To grieve for what was and prepare for what’s ahead. You don’t need to make yourself “okay” with what’s happening at super speed; talk about it, have a cry, spend time with friends.

And fourthly and finally, ask for help. Whether it be finding ways to understand the change that’s happening nationally, or navigating a change in your personal life, you don’t have to do it alone.