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Faith and Therapy Pt. 2: A Miracle or the Journey?

I think it is safe to say that many people would love to wake up one day and be completely healed of any depression, anxiety, pain, and all other struggles. We hope and pray for miracles. We see numerous examples in the Bible of God’s miraculous physical and mental healing. The Red Sea parts, allowing the Israelites to escape to freedom. A blind man’s sight is restored. A “sinful” woman is redeemed and freed from a demon’s possession. We often plead with God to take away burdens in an instant. But what if more blessings can be found for us in the journey?

I’d like to introduce you to my dad. Many would describe him as introverted, independent, and head-strong. He only really allowed a select few into his world. I am glad I was one of them. My dad isolated himself from many relationships in an attempt to avoid a heap of shame he carried from his past. The only love he let in was from myself, my sister, and a handful of friends.

God began to heal my dad’s heart when he was saved at the end of 2018, but there was still a lot of shame he couldn’t get rid of. At the beginning of 2020, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 malignant melanoma with tumors throughout his body. He didn’t want to be a burden on others, and he certainly did not want others to take care of him. I begged God for a miracle, and I know my dad did too. We didn’t get that, but we did get a beautiful journey.

For a little while, my dad could barely stay awake for 4-6 hours a day and struggled to make it to the bathroom in time. As a single man with his children out of the home and going through chemotherapy as COVID is just beginning, he was forced to allow us to take care of him. But to his surprise, our whole community stepped in to support him. People went grocery shopping, washed all the groceries to avoid spreading viruses, mailed him encouraging letters, prayed for him, brought him to appointments, and cooked him meals. He spent his waking hours reading loving stories from the Bible and addressing his past in prayer.

“This was the hardest thing I have had to go through; sometimes I wished death would come. But this is also the best thing to happen to me because I got to learn that I am loved unconditionally. I never knew that before.” - my dad.

We did not get the miracle we prayed for, but my dad gained abundantly more from the painful, beautiful journey.

I praise God that he designed our minds in a way that pursues mental and emotional healing. When we are riddled with negative thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and ways of connecting with others, we have the ability to heal from these adaptations that have resulted from our experiences and epigenetics. Our minds are creatively crafted to be able to reprocess through these experiences, allowing us to view the world, ourselves, and our relationship to the world more adaptively. EMDR Therapy uses this beautiful design to target information that wasn’t properly processed originally due to the lack of time, information, energy, or resources. With the support of an attuned and non-judgmental therapist, our mind can reprocess these maladaptively stored memories and have more propensity to use its intended makeup to pursue healing. By embracing this journey, we may be able to gain more than just the absence of the burden, but rather, the addition of an even more abundant life.

Interested in learning more about how EMDR can help you? Schedule a free 15 min consult to learn more! With offices in Gilbert & Phoenix Arizona, our therapists are ready to help you achieve your limitless potential.

Gilbert Location: 2563 S. Val Vista Dr. Ste 108. Gilbert, AZ 85295

Phoenix Location: 1440 E. Missouri Ave. C270. Phoenix, AZ 85014

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