Trihope’s 2018 “In the Wildflowers” Support Group Retreat concluded Sunday. It was a joy and privilege to walk “hand in hand” with the three survivors who took part in the retreat as they took the next steps in their healing journey. Fears were faced. Tears were shed. Difficult memories were shared. It takes tremendous courage to fight against the darkness of trauma and not allow it to overwhelm. We are so proud of these ladies for fighting for hope and the good futures God has for them.
One of the most memorable portions of the weekend was an exercise we performed as a group during one of our break times. The three facilitators and three survivors stood in a circle and took the hands of two others in the group to form a human knot. Without letting go of each other’s hands, we had to work together to untangle the knot and form a circle. The first go was a little tricky. We weren’t sure it was possible. But with teamwork and some trial and error, we succeeded. The second attempt we made better time, even though we were unable to use our voices in the process. The third time through one of our survivors was able to see and speak, but the others took part with eyes closed and lips sealed. It was scary for everyone, but again, we were triumphant.
The exercise taught the importance of teamwork and communication, especially when working through difficulties like the journey to find healing from trauma. When a survivor feels trapped and stuck, it takes friends, counselors, and spiritual guides to get untangled. Everyone’s participation is vital in discovering a solution, including the survivor’s own voice in sharing how she feels and where she is in the process. The exercise also reminded us that even though a solution may seem impossible at the beginning, victory is possible. It simply takes obedience, courage, and trust to make the next move, and then the next move after that. Step by step, healing can occur.
Towards the end of our sessions, we talked about the importance of open hands in healing. Trauma and the working of the Enemy in our lives cause us to live with a “shame filter” that makes it difficult to receive words of hope and healing from God and others. When we worship with open hands, we are physically portraying what we are saying to the Lord in our hearts—that we are open to receiving from Him whatever He has to give to us. We discussed how we need to have open hands and a heart willing to receive kindness and love from others, even when we find it difficult to believe that we are loved, beautiful, cherished daughters of God. Keeping our fists clenched and walls up feels like we are protecting ourselves. In reality, we are only keeping out healing love and trapping in the negative voices of the Evil One. Opening our hearts to truth and love can be terrifying, but in time “perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)
Take Our Hands—In Prayer
The last four days were a time of tilling ground and planting seeds. Now begins the hard work of eliminating weeds, watering with prayer and truth, and watching growth take place. We invite you to join us in covering these brave survivors in prayer as they go back to their lives armed with new tools and hope for their healing journey.