Book Reviews, Sabbath, Sabbath Rest, Spirituality, Writing

How to Heal from Trauma Using Prayer Beads

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Friends: I’m delighted to welcome back Kristen E. Vincent to the blog. You may remember Kristen from her post on “Sabbath Opportunities” in 2014.

Kristen is a gifted author and one of the women of My Quiet Spaces, a spiritual community for women created by women. She is a featured speaker on the My Quiet Spaces: Retreat at Sea January 25-29, 2018. 

Kristen’s new book, Beads of Healing: Prayer, Trauma, and Spiritual Wholeness, was just released. She took time out of her busy launch schedule to answer a few questions on trauma, healing, sabbath, and finding God’s peace in prayer and stillness.

Dana: The Upper Room posted a really wonderful Q&A with you on their website. I was really intrigued by one of the questions, which talked about how stillness was a game changer for you. You know I’ve been working on a book about sabbath, which is, in part about being still. I wondered if you’d be willing to go into more detail about how stillness made a difference in your healing.

Kristen: Absolutely! I was never good about being still. I was always on the go, over-committed, breathless with activity, and juggling several to-do lists in my head. I really struggled with rest and sabbath. I couldn’t sit still and watch TV unless I was multi-tasking, and sabbath for me was just a day to churn out my to-do list at home. At the same time, I was praying this desperate prayer to be healed from my childhood trauma, begging God to lead me to a life of peace. I had no idea I would find the answer to my prayer in stillness.

JDT: How did the stillness help?

KEV: I learned to trust. I realized the busy-ness in my life was about fear; I was trying to avoid stillness, staying one step ahead of it, because I believed that I would hear, feel, and remember the pain of my trauma. I worried I wouldn’t be able to cope. But it was in the stillness that I found God. I came to understand that God had always been with me – even in the midst of my trauma – and had been helping me to bear the pain. The stillness was actually the place where I could sit with God, share my story, hear God’s words of comfort, and begin to heal.

JDT: That’s amazing! How did that change your view of stillness?

KEV: I reached a point where I really craved stillness because that’s where I experienced God most immediately. Not that I couldn’t experience God in activity, but stillness and rest created a space where I could really hear God’s voice and feel a sense of deep peace. Now I seek moments of stillness throughout my day and make time for extended periods of stillness each week.

JDT: Sounds like you discovered sabbath!

KEV: Exactly.

JDT: What do you hope people will get out of your book?

KEV: That God loves each of us deeply. I think that’s critical for those of us who have experienced pain in our lives – and who of us hasn’t? When we experience trauma or loss or other pain it’s easy to feel abandoned or punished or somehow separated from God. My hope is that people will read the book and recognize God’s presence in their pain and God’s offer of healing and peace. Because God loves us deeply and created us for joy.

Order Beads of Healing today. Discount code: KVBOH17 for 20% off at Upper Room Books or prayerworksstudio.etsy.com

Learn more about Kristen here, and sign up to meet her in person at the My Quiet Spaces: Retreat at Sea. Kristen is also featured this month on Whitney Simpson’s Blog, Exploring Peace.

2 Comments

  1. Kate Rademacher

    Lovely! Thank you for sharing this exchange!

    1. Thanks for reading, Kate! It’s a lovely book–and Kristen has an important message for all of us (whether we have experienced trauma or not): we can find God’s healing peace in prayer and stillness.

      Hugs,
      Dana

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