Kickstart Your Healing with a Healing Plan
Updated: Sep 19, 2019
One of the biggest events I have had to plan was my wedding day. The number of details was overwhelming. Small items, such as the color of my garter, held as much significance as large items, like where the reception would be held. At one point, the process became too much. I needed help and a lot of it.
Reflecting on this time, I know the success of the day can be traced to the amount of planning invested. I wanted the day to be beautiful and successful. If we had not planned towards that outcome the day may have been something totally different.
When we talk about healing from childhood trauma, we may not think about planning our healing, but we should. What happened to us as a child can have long-term impacts. Healing does not happen overnight or with a snap of the fingers. Most of us cannot go to bed one night and wake up the next morning in a healed state.
I believe healing requires planning and creating a healing plan is a good place to start. Think about any event you planned. It could have been a small get together or a massive concert. But it required a plan. If we need to plan for these events in our lives, then we need to plan for the greatest event—that of personal healing.
My own healing, which is still in progress, is ripe with mistakes. The sum of these has shown me the value of creating a healing plan.
What is a healing plan?
I define a healing plan as a written document which outlines the main steps you need to initiate or kickstart your healing. Notice I did not say “to be healed”. This is about taking steps towards your healing or moving in the direction of healing.
7 Steps to Building a Healing Plan
The following steps are from my approach for my own healing. Therefore, they are not backed by any institution or person of authority. They represent a sharing of my heart to yours and my desire to see you begin to overcome the life impacts of childhood abuse – sexual, mental, physical, and spiritual.
Let’s start with a prayer over what you’re about to read:
Lord God, this is not easy so as the reader goes through this list, let your presence be with them, and if only for a moment, remove anything which may block them from being able to clearly understand and embrace these seven steps. And Lord God, help them as they prepare their healing plan.
The 7 steps are:
1. Recognize that you are broken
Broken means your childhood abuse causes you to live in a way that is physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually unhealthy. Ask yourself if you are broken and identify what broken looks like to you. You cannot think about healing if you do not believe you are broken.
2. Decide that you want to be healed
You are the superstar of your healing. It will not be successful if you do not agree you need to be healed and you want to be healed.
3. Identify what you want the outcome to be
I knew what I wanted my wedding day to look and be. In the same way, identify what the healed you looks like. What behaviors do you want to see change? What do you want your thought life to be? What attitudes does the healed version of you possess?
4 Tell your story
How and when you tell your story is up to you. No one can do this for you, and no one can dictate the parameters for you. You drive this. You can share you story publicly in a tool like Facebook or privately, to a close and trusted friend. The benefits of each depends on how you believe it will benefit you. Each has a level of risk. But telling your story is an important validation that something happened to you.
5. List your areas of victory
In what ways have you already started healing? Seeing victories of any size can be inspiration to go for more of them.
6. List your areas of challenge
What will get in the way of your healing? Besides your own level of effort, outside influences can have a profound impact on your healing. You may need to re-evaluate a relationship because it enables the opposite of healing in you. You may need to re-evaluate your environment, places you visit or live. Certain forms of entertainment may need to be put under your microscope. Knowing the challenges, identifies them as red flag areas in your healing.
7. Acknowledge you cannot do this alone
Being strategic in your plan means getting support. Seek professional help in the form of spiritual or secular counseling. I cannot direct you to a specific professional, but I do believe in the value of getting someone to help you work your healing. The success of this relationship will depend on how much you committed to steps 1 through 6.
A crucial point
Pray about your plan asking God for strength to put the plan into action.
Proverbs 16:3 (NJKV) reads as “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.”
I love the way the amplified Bible expands this for us. It says, “Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to him]; and your plans will succeed [if you respond do His will and guidance.]”
When you seek him with all your heart, he is waiting and ready to walk with you through the healing process. This was the gift of Jesus.
Now that you have these seven steps, are you ready to create a healing plan?