A Wilderness Journey

Recovering from trauma is a wilderness journey. There are ups and downs and lots of wandering. Moses went into the wilderness after he came face to face with his childhood trauma.

It was in the wilderness that Moses found validation, identity, and purpose.

Once a person receives validation for a wrong done against them, they then find themselves at a crossroads. One way leads to victim-hood and the other leads to victory. If a person chooses to accept validation as a permission slip to wallow in the pit of past wrongs, they will always find themselves with a sense of longing and will have a high propensity to blame others for their emptiness.

If, however, they choose to walk the trail of victory, they can find higher validation from fruitful actions such as mercy and forgiveness. In doing so, they will nurture a life-giving spirit. This is when a purposeful calling can emerge.

In her book Strengthening The Soul of Your Leadership, Ruth Haley Barton discusses how easy it is for us to dismiss the idea of calling in our day as a “mere concept.” But accepting, understanding, and owning our personal stories enables us to identify and stay focused on our callings.

“Our transformation is never for ourselves alone. It is always for the sake of others....the best guide for any journey is one that has made the journey him or herself - perhaps multiple times....” (Barton). This is a principle found in the 12th step of the recovery process and one Christians refer to as discipleship.

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