Authors of The Lives We Actually Lead, Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie, share a blessing for those who experienced trauma from their childhoods.


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Blessed are you who come with your sorrow,

allowing your pain to convey all its truth.

For here in the arms of Jesus

is where reality is a welcome guest.

Here is where grief is understood at its core,

where the dark shadow of betrayal

is seen from the inside.


Here, my dear, is where the work

of healing begins.

Blessed are you who mourn

as you meet yourself once again as that little child

who needed protection but did not receive it,

who deserved respect but was not afforded it.

The things that should have happened but didn’t

and the things that happened but shouldn’t.



The broken family systems and

normalized cruelties

that allowed your pain to continue

far beyond what it should have.

For you have come now to the God

who is alive to your past,

your present,

and your future,

who has already moved heaven and earth

to restore your dignity,

and return you to yourself.


P.S. Take a minute to remind your past self that you are loved now, tomorrow, and forever. And rest. You are safe. You are held. You are loved.

Excerpted from The Lives We Actually Have by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie. Copyright © 2023 by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.