When we let God show us how our past has hurt us, He’s able to heal our brokenness. But the first step and often the hardest is acknowledging what’s happened to us.

One way to help see your own story is to write your life map. Divide your life into four segments based on years: 0-12 yrs, 13-19 yrs, 20-30 yrs, and 30-present. As you focus on each segment, pray and ask God to show you what happened during those years. What trauma did you experience? What happened sexually during these years? What other painful things happened during this time that may have made you vulnerable? As you work through each segment, God will begin to show you behavioral patterns in your life and how earlier experiences led to choices later in life.

After you’re finished with your life map, write out your story in a journal format. Trust me on this. There’s something that happens when we write things out rather than just keeping them in our thoughts. Hidden truths become clear. Everyone who’s willing to trust God with this step find it to be one of the most significant steps in their healing journey. It’s most certainly the beginning step.

Are you ready for the next step? Return to the main article for more information, the next exercise and four books that can help you on your way.

Written by Barbara Wilson Psy.D.

Barbara Wilson Psy.D.

Dr. Barbara Wilson is an author, Dr. of Clinical Psychology, licensed Clinical Psychologist. She is also the founder of Freedom Bound Communications, an organization that brings healing and hope to those with a painful sexual past. She speaks internationally to youth and adults with her message of sexual bonding and healing. Released from a past of her own, Barbara combines neuroscience and Scripture, with her own story of healing to explain what sexual bonding is and how to move freely into your future in her books, The Invisible Bond: How to Break Free From Your Sexual Past and Kiss Me Again; Restoring Lost Intimacy In Marriage. Dr. Wilson’s study guide, Free, Finding Freedom and Healing from your Past, available in women’s, men’s and young women versions, is being used locally and nationally to walk men and women through an empirically-based, trauma-focused approach for healing from past abuse, sexual trauma and destructive relationships. You can view or purchase any of her books here. Barbara and her husband have been married over 30 years.