Tips for the Journey to Emotional Healing

In today’s Proverbs 31 devotion titled It Takes More Than Time To Heal A Broken Heart, I shared a story about the time I trimmed back my huge beloved gardenia bushes only to later find out it wasn’t the proper time of year to trim them. As a result, the hundreds of fragrant blooms that has blossomed every spring failed to appear.

I was so disappointed, but in late summer, one little bloom popped out. Then another. And another. There weren’t near as many as in years past, but the bushes were trying their hardest to come back to life. Here’s a couple pictures of my backyard bushes at the very beginning of spring a couple years ago before they reached full bloom:

Here’s a photo of the one little bloom that popped out after months of being sad they weren’t blooming – yes I took a photo of it and sent it to my kids with excitement 🙂

The point of the devotion was that sometimes it takes a while to recover and heal from things that break us. Whether it’s the end of a relationship or a marriage, a rebellious child, the death of a loved one, or another difficult situation, only Jesus can really bandage and heal those wounds that nobody else can see but Him.

My heart is not completely healed from the brokenheartedness I’ve experienced over the last few years, but I do know God has been with me all along the way and He always walks by our side to help us heal. Healing takes time, but it also takes the power of Jesus.

Below are a few tips on how to jumpstart your journey towards emotional healing.

Seek God with all your heart, mind and soul.

I have no idea how people get through difficult times without Jesus. And even for those of us who know Jesus, we often blame Him for our hardships instead of invite Him to draw closer during them. When we are at our weakest, He is at His strongest. We are made strong in His power, and we cannot do it in our own. If you’re going through a difficult time, make your prayer life and reading God’s Word a priority like never before.

Don’t let feelings of rejection steal your self confidence. 

Typically when we feel brokenhearted, it’s due to being rejected or betrayed by a friend, loved one, spouse, parent, child or even a co-worker. Someone else’s rejection does not determine your worth in God’s eyes or in this world. Research verses in God’s Word about who you are and Whose you are and tuck those truths into your heart. Each time thoughts and feelings from rejection pop into your mind, intentionally focus on God’s truths instead. Consider making a list of all the wonderful things that make you you and keep those close by when you’re feeling down.

Focus on loving others. 

When we feel hurt or brokenhearted, it’s easy to become consumed with how we’re feeling. Those feelings can become so overwhelming, they can control our life and keep us trapped in bondage to sadness and hurt. But if we make it a point to love on others every day and be the hands and feet of Jesus, we take the focus off of ourselves. Loving on others helps us stop obsessing about our own issues and feelings all the time and gives us the opportunity to enjoy the blessing of being a blessing.

Control your thoughts. 

Ever laid in bed in the middle of the night thinking about all your problems and by morning they’ve become bigger in your mind than they already were? Day or night, when we constantly think negative thoughts fueled with hopelessness, sorrow, resentment or anger, those thoughts will determine how we feel. How we feel determines how we will behave, our moods and how we live everyday life. Our inner thoughts become our outer actions.

As recommended in my book Unsinkable Faith: God-filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live, I give 3 tips for learning to turn your thoughts around.

1) Ask God to help you recognize your negative thoughts when they happen,

2) Reject those negative thoughts and refuse to think them anymore, and

3) Replace negative thoughts with something more true, positive or pleasing to God.

Putting this simple practice into place in your life will help you transform your heart and your mind, even if your circumstances remain the same.

For more tips on transforming your mind regardless of the hard times you might be going through. and to help you jumpstart your journey to emotional healing through Jesus, click here to purchase Unsinkable Faith. 

 

32 Comments

  1. Danna Reese on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Thank you for these words. I lost my Bruce almost three years ago. I know I will never “get over” the heartache of his death but through prayer and my faith in God I’ve learned to live life again. God bless you.



  2. Susan on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Tracie, thank you! These are wonderful tips. My marriage is healing from infidelity, and I am personally healing as well. The feelings of rejection were almost overwhelming after I learned of his affair, and focusing on who God says I am was the only thing that pulled me thru those initial dark days. I do struggle with negative thoughts so it will help to print these out and post them where I can see them.



    • Mary Jayne on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Susan;
      I am in your corner. Also healing from massive betrayal due to infidelity. So painful isn’t it.
      To know that God’s heart breaks along with mine, and that He has held me through the darkest of times brings great comfort. Everything filtered through His hands. It is enough to know, just that.
      Blessings.



      • Jenny on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 2:10 pm

        Hi Ladies,
        I am also in the same corner, and still learning to deal with such a huge hurt. And as well you said Mary Jayne, to know that God´s heart breaks with mine everytime I feel so crushed, has done a lot to my soul and my wounded heart. Such a great God!!!
        Thank you Tracie for sharing your story and the tipps on how to overcome.
        Blessings,



    • Marlane on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      I am going through the same, but I would like to know how are you dealing with trusting your husband again?



  3. Sue on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Thank you for these words of understanding and strength. The past year has been hard – my husband is ill and it just feels like everything falls on me to do or it won’t get done. I’ve been overwhelmed and trying to not scream at him and others but I just want someone to take care of me for a change. Your words have reminded me that God is taking care of me – I’m not alone in this battle.



  4. Sue Gavin on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Thank you for these words of understanding and strength. The past year has been hard – my husband is ill and it just feels like everything falls on me to do or it won’t get done. I’ve been overwhelmed and trying to not scream at him and others but I just want someone to take care of me for a change. Your words have reminded me that God is taking care of me – I’m not alone in this battle.



  5. Heather on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Thank you for this. After being laid off my job, I felt so betrayed & discouraged. It’s been a long road to healing, being able to provide for my family again & trusting people…although I’m not where I was financially, I’m starting to slowly produce financial means again…like the sparse flowers. This was such a blessing to me. Thank you!



  6. aracelis Williams on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Thank you .. the last few days I have been overwhelmed w fear and anxiety bc my son is a senior in HS and I fear what the future holds ! Thank you for reminding me that God is my
    Strength ….



  7. Missy Langford on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Loved everything you said. Great post and devotional! Thanks for sharing your heart.



  8. Angie on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I’m sorry, but introducing a devotion about broken hearts with a story about dying flowers leaves me feeling a little “messed with”. I get the gist of your story, but to even make that comparison feels trite. I’m sure you’re intentions were good, but please consider the fact that you’re reaching people who are desperate for someone, anyone to relate to their private pain. A story about flowers is belittling to the heartache of abortion, abandonment, betrayal and so on that many suffer with and look to this ministry for comfort. I truly don’t intend to be negative, only asking you to please consider the comparison.



    • Jenny on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Hi Ladies,
      I am also in the same corner, and still learning to deal with such a huge hurt. And as well you said Mary Jayne, to know that God´s heart breaks with mine everytime I feel so crushed, has done a lot to my soul and my wounded heart. Such a great God!!!
      Thank you Tracie for sharing your story and the tipps on how to overcome.
      Blessings,



    • sondra on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Angie,
      My husband was murdered in 1983 when our childen were 9 and 6. To this day, we are affected by the actions of one hateful person, who forever changed who we are.
      The stark, bare stems of Tracie’s bush represents the tragedy of an untimely death. The new leaves and blossoms are the unexpected signs of life.
      When brutality walks in, so does fear, anger, confusion, paranoia, depression, panic, sadness etc. This is the new normal. My children have experienced many sorrows, unfortunately. Evil doesn’t give you a break.
      However, by the grace of God, time can bring new leaves and unexpected blossoms to broken hearts. This is not a perfect, fair, just world. Living day to day is a challenge. My girls are strong individuals who have been a comfort to others facing many obstacles. They are a blessing to others. They are new leaves and unexpected blossoms to someone’s breaking heart.
      Tracie’s blog post was inspiring in and of itself, and this response to you isn’t meant to be a postscript, but to share my own sorrows and those of my children. The blossoms tell me there is hope at the end of the journey.
      And our journey ends when we see Christ



    • Kimberly on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Hi Angie, I too when first reading this thought fruitless bushes were a trite comparison to the pain I see in this world in my own life and in the lives of those I counsel at the crisis pregnancy center where I work as a nurse. However, when I went back an reread the devotional, I realized she wasn’t making that kind of comparison at all. She was simply using the flowers and the statement her daughter made as a springboard to talk about broken, damaged, fruitless, ugly hearts and the fact that it takes a lot of time and a whole lot more Jesus to heal them. Tracie talks about the fact she never dreamed she would face the heartache she has in the past several years in her own life and the fact that she didn’t know if she would ever heal. I don’t know Tracie and have never read her blog, but I get the impression from these statements she is speaking of much more than some gardenia bushes that wouldn’t bloom, but rather of some very deep hurts she has faced in her own personal life! And I trust from the depth of her devotional, she would never ever intend to make light of anyone’s pain suffered in this hard life on earth!



  9. Dot on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I lost my husband 9 years ago. Only in the last 3 years have I made such a concerted effort to allow the Word of God to wash over me, cling to it, and deepen my relationship with Him. He heals and continues to heal. So thankful for the LORD’s faithfulness.



  10. Melanie Davis Porter on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Thank you. This was for me today. ????



  11. Elizah on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Tracie,
    Thank you so much for this post you shared as sometimes I would feel so down to a point whereby I ask myself if God has really forgoten about me,or that I was not worth much to those around me…I am now overwhelmed by the post to be more optimistic and trusting that in regardless of what I might be going through in life or in doubts of anything , God is also by my side and working tirelessly on my worries..I now know and understand that everything is always an assigned solution to all my troubles and believing that regardless of a storm,,,he faces it with me and all will be well and be like a full bloom of roses.



  12. Jean on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Thank you Tracie for your words. I love reading your blogs abd books.
    My brother was murdered 23 years ago and I was lost for a long time. My healing really began after I gave my life and heart to Jesus. My family is now facing a re-sentencing hearing in November for this individual but I am in a much better place this time around. I don’t have the anger, resentment, and bitterness I did 23 years ago. I do still feel he deserves the life sentence he was given but I have been able to forgive him. I just wish others in my family could say the same thing.



  13. Su on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I have been in this self constructed prison both physically and mentally for quite sometime due to painful words, actions and lies from someone I love. I have lost trust and am finding it almost impossible to regain. My thoughts of not being enough, of being unwanted or loved, have plagued me daily. I have felt much like your flowering bush…never to bloom again; Thank you for your insightfulness in your words of wisdom, that I feel have been directed by God….thank you also for the hope you have given to me through your writing, that we can “bloom again”.



  14. Becky Janow on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 10:35 am

    I read your proverbs 31 devotional this morning and then I read this blog. I could not get through your blog without crying because your words brought healing to my heart this morning!



  15. Denise on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 10:56 am

    My hurt is brought on by my poor choices and the slimy pit I jumped into head first. I’m trying to find my way back to God. I know he has been with me these last 5 years, I’ve been the one to turn my back on him, but I know he loves me and cherishes me.



  16. SandyT on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Thank you Tracie for sharing your journey and encouraging us on ours. He remains Faithful…what a joy-privilege to make our faith journey together.



  17. Jada H on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Tracie-I personally liked the comparison, because if God cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field (or backyard, in this case), HOW MUCH MORE must He care for me—to NUMBER the hairs on my head, to know my thoughts (even when I won’t give them a voice), how AWESOME and MAJESTIC is His love for me!! In the last 10 years, I have dealt with cancer diagnosis for me (age 39), heart attack for my spouse, death of my best friend on the way home from vacation to “celebrate” my remission, my family home of 80+ years burning to the ground. I loved the comparison of beauty coming from our well intended, though not best laid plans, actions (unintentional “pruning” by cutting off someone in our lives, cutting off our connection with God–but Hallelujah, He NEVER cuts us off! I know not everyone relates the same, but I do not want you to feel badly for trying to make the “everyday” Holy for those who do not know His love…..With all my love and prayers for healing for everyone from the hurts of life…..



    • Anna in SC on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Oh yes, Jada , and thank you Tracie – the gardenia bushes comparison went straight to my heart – figuratively and literally. I have loved gardenias since childhood and have been brokenhearted by the ravages of drug/alcohol addiction in my family for almost all of my 58 years. My husband is still in bondage and it has a devastating effect on our marriage. As for trying to grow gardenias off and on through the years, definitely another challenge. Most recently in the past year as I transplanted 2 small ones from my old house when we moved. They have struggled and come close to death, but Hallelujah, they are coming back and I got one bloom just the other day – in October. And I continue to stay and pray the same for my marriage. I know that God has a purpose in my life, and that His glory will prevail in due time. And He will do the same for all that are broken if we put our faith in him.

      Tracie, from my gardenia to yours – Thank you, your devotion will always be in my mind and my heart as much needed encouragement <3



  18. Jenny on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you for your insightful writing, Tracie. Two years ago, our beloved only child (now in her 30’s) sent an email to us out of the blue detailing all of the “wrongs” that she was subjected to by us over her lifetime, and demanded that we cease all contact with her. We thought we had provided a loving home with no drugs, lots of love and laughter. We never even fought over anything, she was such a good child/student, there was no reason to. Seems that she had internalized every little and big hurt or perceived slight over the years, and nourished her anger and her bitterness, and just kept it bottled up inside. We were and are still devastated. She still refuses to have any contact with us. I finally learned just to release her and give her to God, and then accept God’s loving care. Once I did that, it has been easier to deal with.



  19. Jan on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Sometimes just acknowledging that we have been hurt is the first step toward healing. Thank you for your words today.



  20. Kathy on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I like the 3 tips you gave for overcoming negative thoughts. I have harbored feelings of neglect and verbal abuse for many years, yet I know the Lord wants me to respond in a way that will diffuse the situation. When I do dwell on the negative I need to look to the Lord and put these steps into action:
    1) Ask God to help you recognize your negative thoughts when they happen,

    2) Reject those negative thoughts and refuse to think them anymore, and

    3) Replace negative thoughts with something more true, positive or pleasing to God.
    Thank you for your uplifting devotional to meet any situation with God’s Word as our shield to the negative thoughts and feelings.



  21. Patty on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I have also felt the pain of
    betrayal in my long term marriage. The pain is so hard at times. It is hard to imagine how this can turn into something good. God knows how everything is to work together for good. Trusting in God not sure if the pain ever goes away.



  22. Marcia on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Hi Tracie, I’m a reader from Brazil, and I’d like to thank you for blessing my life with your wise, encouraging and insightful words! Yes, they have reached people that far in the globe… God’s ways are amazing, aren’t they? ????



  23. Dawnielle on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Tracie thank you for sharing this, healing from heartache where you think you will never have a whole heart again is crushing. Betrayal for some time seems like you will never bloom again, but with time and Jesus Grace and Mercy your heart does ever so slowly begin to show signs of blooming again.



  24. Donna on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Isn’t it wonderful that we can take delight in the seemingly small things of life! Plants are just one of the multiples that God has given us from His loving hand to enjoy and nourish. I’m pretty sure that he used several references to growing and vines and watering etc in His Word to teach me what he wants me to know. God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God. (Ack to LT)



  25. Jessica Orika on Monday, November 6, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Thanks for these great words. I’m greatly encouraged already. God bless you.



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Tracie Miles is a bestselling author and the Director of COMPEL Training with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  She helps women grow stronger in their faith, pursue the life of purpose God designed them for and live a life of peace, joy and happiness despite their circumstances.

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