Updated: Jul 2, 2022
New days to let the old ones fade, not to disappear but not to invade; a hope for tomorrow, enough for today, the Holy Spirit to guide, to create a new way.
As I was going through old boxes recently, I stumbled upon one of my old journals. It is always interesting to see how I processed life in previous seasons. What is quoted above is something I wrote in the journal I found- and I honestly believe the discovery was from the Lord. I am in a very different season now and was surprised at how much the words apply to my current season- and my prayer is that they resonate with you as well.
Trauma is real. Pain is real. Over the past almost five years I have seen more doctors than I can count. I have been tried on dozens of medications, been in and out of treatment centers, given multiple [psychiatric] diagnoses, and ultimately was diagnosed with Lyme disease and other environmental toxicities, which made sense of my symptoms. I completely lost myself and was filled with terror for much of the time as I searched for answers as to why my brain and body broke. I praise the Lord for the healing I am experiencing… and at the same time I’ve come face to face with trauma and traumatic memories, which at times feels like wrestling the enemy in the dark.
Letting Go of Painful Memories
Memories are powerful. We tend to remember what is attached to strong emotions- be it joy or fear or sadness. With trauma, there is an element of dissociation that happens as our brains attempt to protect us from the reality of what is happening to us at the time. These memories have a tendency to pop up when we least expect it and disrupt our lives… but I declare to anyone battling traumatic memories: THEY WILL NOT GET THE BEST OF US.
God is so powerful and loving. He knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He gave us GOOD brains. We live in a fallen world, however, and the painful experiences we have can really mess with how we perceive ourselves, others, and the world.
The enemy would love nothing more than to cause us to believe that overcoming trauma and traumatic memories is insurmountable. But God tells me over and over again that what the enemy says is a lie. God holds the authority. And He desires to engage us in an intimate healing process so that we can experience NEW LIFE on the other side of trauma. Our brains are malleable and can be rewired and changed in the most incredible ways! We may not forget what has happened to us, but as we heal with Jesus, the memories fade, so as “not to invade”.
I have been doing somatic work to heal my nervous system and brain “exercises” to help the scared part of my brain heal. God is very much a part of this process with me. I am engaged in Christian counseling and rebuke the enemy in the name of Jesus often. And slowly but surely, trauma and its memories are losing strength. And guess what is showing up in their place: HOPE!
New days are coming, friends- I choose to believe it for myself and for you. The Holy Spirit is guiding us out of bondage and paving a new way. He is “making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).
I am absolutely still in process. But I want to encourage anyone reading this: our pain is not without purpose. God can and does redeem out hurt into a message of hope to share with others. Healed and Restored was born out of such a story.
Healing and hoping with you!
~ Joanne Jemsek
About the Author
Joanne Jemsek is a native of Charlotte, NC, and now resides in Charleston, SC- close to the beach, which she very much enjoys. Joanne worked for almost a decade in youth ministry at a church in Charlotte, during which time she felt a calling to pursue a degree in counseling to be better equipped to help people going through various trials. She holds a Master on Arts in Christian Counseling from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in SC and a National Certified Counselor. Joanne took a break from her career in counseling in 2017 due to the onset of significant health issues. Her healing journey has tested her perseverance and hope, yet she has held onto her faith in Christ and the vision God will use her story to help others- especially women- find hope amid suffering. Joanne believes in and is grateful to play a role in supporting the mission of Healed and Restored.