part 4 - instilling the truth

Instilling The Truth

A Still Small Voice

My heart is heavy. My vision blurred.

My body feels like a cement block.

My breathing is labored.

The darkness of despair presses in on me.

I no longer see the light.

I’m dying.

I’m dying physically. I’m dying emotionally. I’m dying spiritually.

I’m numb. I feel nothing. I close my eyes. I wait. I have a strange peace knowing I will not see morning, and I’m glad.

Out of the darkness, I hear a whisper in my ear. “Mother, it’s me, your daughter. I love you. I understand you cannot bear this pain. It’s OK to go if you must. I will be OK. I will trust God with my life. You do not have to worry. I know. I understand. It’s OK.”

I felt a sweet kiss on my cheek, and something slipped under my pillow. The silence comes again. I pull this from under my pillow and read it.

Isaiah 41: 28 - 31

“Hast though not known that the everlasting God, the Lord, fainteth not, neither is weary?  He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no strength. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”

At this moment… my world would be changed forever.

I realized I hadn’t lost EVERYTHING.

I realized what I still had and its MASSIVE VALUE.

I couldn’t deny the unselfish, unconditional love bestowed on me by my dear daughter.

It would become my life’s greatest lesson.

 

I BEGAN TO PRAY…

Dear God,

Please forgive me for not cherishing what remains. Take my heart and make with it what you may. If you take me tonight, give me peace and assurance and take care of my family. If you let me live, I will serve you and be the best mother you can make me. I will live and love as if I’d never been broken. I will never look back. I’m honestly yours forever.

Then I closed my eyes and feel into a deep sleep.

A New Day Dawns Healing Religious Trauma

A New Day Dawns

The sun shone through the blinds right into my eyes and woke me.

I looked around and realized it was morning, and I was still here.

My thoughts began to race. I’m going to live. But how?

  • How will I support myself alone? 
  • How will I ever recover my health and strength?
  • What will my life look like now?

And then I heard a voice. A “still small voice” behind me, saying

BE INSPIRED.

STAND STRONG.

PASS IT ON.

I didn’t know for sure what those words meant, but I did see the grief that consumed me wasn’t going to take my life.

I knew I would live and go down a path I’d never known.

A path full of promises of

👉 inspiration, 👉 strength,  and 👉 service.

A clear and purposeful path uniquely designed for me, my daughter, my entire family, and those I was destined to serve. These words were all I needed to begin my journey.

Summoning every ounce of courage, I crawled out of bed, arose from the floor, and went to the bathroom to wash my face. Despite my weak, trembling, and shaky body, I showered, dressed, and started my new life.

Inspiration

An Inspired Journey

I believe that all true healing and transformation begins with INSPIRATION.

Inspiration directly from God to us individually. It’s what FINALLY gave me true motivation and got me out of bed that day. It’s something to shout about when this happens after a lifetime of the wrong kinds of motivation surrounding my behaviors and relationships.

Direct inspiration and sincere motivation broke the chains of my past, liberating me and setting me free. With these transformative pieces in place, a clear path emerged, revealing correct principles, a plan of salvation that resonated, and a God whose character, methods, and love touched my heart in ways I’d never known.

My experiences and connections became genuine, leading to undeniable changes in my life. These things then gave me a new and meaningful mission and purpose.

As a Life Coach, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to guide others through the same life-changing process I once experienced. Together, we celebrate each milestone, unravel past traumas, instill new truths, and create a new empowering narrative for their lives. This is the power of life coaching, and I’m honored to walk alongside my clients on this journey.

While on this path, I discovered the importance of aligning with the TRUE SOURCE of Love, Light, and Power. This Source, of course, is God, whose presence surrounded me as He revealed Himself to me personally. His truth and principles have guided and changed my life.

In contrast, I learned to unplug from the FALSE SOURCE of deception, falsehoods, and misrepresentations, which had led me astray for so long.

Finally, the innermost parts of my being harmonized with my actual life and experiences, bringing a longed-awaited sense of peace and contentment.

This is the outcome of true transformation.

No longer did I feel like an imposter inside.

This process gave me the freedom I had always envisioned for my life. I was now truly free.

Free indeed!

Debra Shafer

Becoming A True Student

"When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Life is truly our “Education Book,” and every aspect of our lives serves as a teacher. As I started my healing journey, I transformed into a “true student” as God revealed the many teachers He had placed around me, already providing for my growth and healing.

The “Life Experiences” and the “Divine Appointments” came in quick succession, in various shapes and forms.

Now, a decade into my healing journey, I expect it.

I am looking for it.

I expect people to show up in my life right on time.

I expect circumstances to arise right on time.

I expect the “lesson of trials” to appear right on time.

I expect God’s tender care to emerge right on time.

God has used many people and circumstances to teach me, help me grow, and heal.

And He’ll do it for you too!

When we go through life with “Our Eyes Wide Open,” we will see ALL He has ordained for us. We will indeed be filled with “His Abundance”– the love, joy, peace, wisdom, and all the blessings He has in store for us in every way. We will personally understand “that great mystery” of His Merciful Lovingkindness for us.

 “All trials that are received as educators will produce joy.”  E.G. White

STEPS TO RECOVERY Healing Religious Trauma

The Healing Process

The path to healing from religious trauma is unique to each individual and can vary greatly. It's important to understand that there isn't a single approach that suits all. We are all unique beings with distinct experiences and needs. I'm sharing my own path, a journey that has been successfully traveled by many. To make it accessible and beneficial, I've organized it into different encounters, events, and adventures, all under the title "HEALING RELIGIOUS TRAUMA: AN EXPERIENCE PATH TO A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD."

This healing path looks like this:

THERE ARE THREE DEFINITE & VISIBLE PILLARS

A thorough healing experience addresses all THREE PILLARS.

1. UNRAVEL THE TRAUMA

This is where we start. We must unravel the false concepts and ideas with grace, love, & mercy for all. In this part of the journey, we are not just seen, heard, and understood; we are also deeply supported. Our motivation, crystal clear and inspired, propels us forward. We become aware of our trauma patterns and their purpose in our survival, and we discover the basis and foundation of true freedom.

2. INSTILL THE TRUTH

Next, we enter into a deeply personal journey of discovery. Can we truly understand who God is and, perhaps more importantly, who He isn’t? This understanding forms the foundation of our individual spiritual journey, leading us to an ancient lost language that will help us process our unique sacred sorrows and guide us to God’s Unconditional Love. As we delve into these mysteries, we establish a direct, tangible, and active connection with God. We also uncover the principles that uniquely govern our lives and the methods and techniques Jesus used with individuals.

3. CREATE A NEW STORY

This part of the path to healing is a direct result and the next natural step of unraveling the trauma and instilling the truth. As we cultivate and co-create a pure transformation in partnership with God, our experiences become more genuine and our connections more authentic. Then, as we heal and show up in the world more aligned, we gain access to our natural gifts, talents, and skills, changing the course of history and our story, making it not just possible but inevitable to answer our life calling and mission.

THERE ARE 12 MARKED & EASILY DISTINGUISHABLE MILESTONES

THESE MILESTONES ARE ORGANIZED UNDER THE THREE PILLARS:

1. UNRAVEL THE TRAUMA – The Milestones of True Compassion

  • individual inspiration
  • true motivation
  • eyes wide open
  • standing free

2. INSTILL THE TRUTH – The Milestones of True Knowledge

  • in the depths of sacred sorrows
  • guided by honor and truth
  • the heavenly algorithm
  • restoring the sacred parts of my soul

3. CREATE A NEW STORY – The Milestones of True Connection

  • the fearless journey
  • connected souls & divine bonds
  • my heart’s unveiling
  • my soul’s calling

While it appears to be a straight and organized healing path, it’s never that simple. The 12 MILESTONES below are visited over and over again, and not always in this specific order.

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO ZOOM OUT

So, you see, healing from religious trauma is a journey.

As you progress on this journey, you’ll discover the PILLARS, the foundational principles you’ll rely on; MILESTONES, significant achievements that mark your progress; and TRAIL MARKERS, signs that guide you on the right path. It’s not an easy journey but a thrilling one worth every step.

In this small book, there isn’t room to go into depth on the healing process I experienced and teach to others. That’s not the purpose of this book. But if you’re interested in walking this path using the method I outlined here, you’ll find the information you need, and most importantly, a supportive community of others on the same path, at the end of these online book episodes.

The healing experiences I’ve created, which involve self-reflection, re-framing beliefs, and participating in a supportive community, will help you compassionately unravel your religious trauma story, instill the truth by showing you who God truly is and isn’t, and fearlessly create a new story for your life.

Now, as promised, I’d like to conclude by sharing a story that may resonate with YOU right now or YOU in the future, a story that mirrors the journey of many.

It’s called “THE TALE OF TWO BELIEVERS,” an allegory that sums up the entire process of true transformation. It’s designed to inspire and guide you on your healing journey.

This is how it looks from the (👉 beginning to the end 👈), including everything in the “messy middle.”

It’s the tale of my journey, distilled and condensed.

From then (👉 “insecure victim” to “brave warrior” 👈).

It’s about moving from a place of fear and vulnerability to one of strength and courage.

It begins with the story of Martha, “The Action Taker,” and Mary, “The Contemplator,” two very different sisters who represent different approaches to life. Then it converges into “two archetypes,” Martha Lynn and Mary Jo (names changed to protect the innocent), who define the beginning and the end of the journey of “healing from religious trauma.”

Martha Lynn represents the initial stage of the journey, where action is needed to disrupt the trauma patterns, while Mary Jo represents the final stage, where contemplation and acceptance lead to complete healing.

This story will bring together everything you’ve read so far. It reveals the entire process I went through and is intended to give courage to those just stepping onto the path of true transformation for themselves.

If that’s you, I invite you to the next chapter. Enjoy!

KEY CHAPTER TAKEAWAY #1

When we experience “the dark night of the soul,” God inspires us directly. He sees us, hears us, understands us, and supports us.

KEY CHAPTER TAKEAWAY #2

True healing and transformation begins with INSPIRATION!

KEY CHAPTER TAKEAWAY #3

The right motivation naturally follows direct inspiration from God.

KEY CHAPTER TAKEAWAY #4

Awareness and understanding of the defense mechanisms (trauma patterns) we use to survive sets us free!

KEY CHAPTER TAKEAWAY #5

As we participate in a real transformation, our experiences and connections become more authentic.

KEY CHAPTER TAKEAWAY #6

As we heal and show up in the world more authentically, we gain complete access to our natural gifts, talents, and skills, making it possible to answer our life call and mission.

KEY CHAPTER TAKEAWAY #7

A thorough healing experience involves addressing all three areas: Unraveling The Trauma, Instilling The Truth, and Creating A New Story.

1. Light In The Darkness

Reflect on a time that felt like a “dark night of the soul,” where you were overwhelmed by pain and despair. Describe your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations during this period. How did you cope with the darkness? What signs or events helped you believe in a brighter tomorrow? How has this experience strengthened you and shaped your vision for the future? How can you use these lessons to support others facing similar struggles?

2. Inspired Transformation

Think about a moment in your life when you experienced a deep sense of inspiration that changed you and led to healing. Describe this moment: What was the source of your inspiration? How did it break the chains of your past and liberate you? How did it change your relationships, behaviors, and perspective on life? As you write, consider how this inspiration aligned you with your true purpose and brought a sense of peace and contentment. How has this experience shaped your current path, and how can you continue to draw from this source of inspiration in your daily life?

3. The Teacher Appears

Think about the “teachers” in your life—people, experiences, or circumstances that have contributed to your development. Describe a significant moment when you realized you were learning an important lesson. How did this teacher show up in your life, and how did it impact you? Consider how your perspective on life has changed as you’ve learned to expect and embrace life’s lessons.

4. Healing Religious Trauma

Consider the three pillars: Unravel the Trauma, Instill the Truth, and Create a New Story. Describe a significant moment in each part of this journey. How did you start to unravel the false concepts and ideas that caused you pain? What truths did you discover about yourself and your relationship with God? How did these truths help you create a new story for your life?

5. The Healing Journey

Take a look at the outline of the twelve marked milestones. Imagine yourself traveling this path: What thoughts and emotions come to mind? How do you feel about exploring these milestones? Consider the challenges and rewards of starting on such a journey. What support do you think you would need along the way? How might this path help you compassionately heal from religious trauma and create a new narrative for your life?