Late last year, I finished over 18 months of counselling for PTSD. One of the first things we did during the group counselling sessions was to map out our lives on a large piece of paper. We were asked to draw and itemise both the highs and the lows of our story.  

I had experienced repeated sexual abuse, sickness, feelings of abandonment, fear and all the issues that stem from those emotions and beliefs.

Creating a life map was a difficult task for everyone in the room, but as I pushed myself to complete my the task, I saw something I had not recognised before. Whilst there had undoubtedly been many lows, there had also been countless highs and overcoming of my circumstances. As I mapped my life story, I was able to acknowledge that I wasn’t a victim but a fighter, overcomer, and survivor.  

Once completed, we were each asked to share what we had drawn, and as I spoke to the room, I  concluded the account of my story by saying, “I didn’t realise it until I did this, but now I can see I am quite spectacular!

As I studied my map, I recognised God’s hand on my life, working, strengthening, creating beauty from my ashes, and making everything work out for my good. (Romans 8:28; Isaiah 61:3)

God says He will, “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, and my life in so many ways is a testimony to that. (Isaiah 61:3)

Take some time and map out your life because it is a powerful tool to enable you to see your life in perspective and to understand that part of living is that we all have our highs and lows – the key is to balance it out and to keep running our race.  

Start from your earliest memory and recall all the things you remember that are significant or have impacted you somehow. Be honest about both the negative and the positive aspects of your story.

You are still here, and since you are reading this, I know already that you are an overcomer and someone who has kept on going and holding onto hope. Today I encourage you to gain some perspective and see how amazing you are, what you have lived through, where you have had victories and how you have grown and survived.

Once you have completed your map, ask God to help you understand the parts of your story that are difficult or traumatic in some way and invite him to heal you where needed so you can move forward healthily. God says, He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds and that he makes all things new.” (Psalm 147:3; Rev 21:5)

And remember, you are spectacular and amazing, and God has a plan for your life.

Prayer: Lord, I ask that you help me gain perspective as I map out my story. The enemy may have tried to rob and destroy, but you specialise in making things new and working miracles out of the mess. Would you please help me see you in every piece of my story today and move forward? In Jesus name Amen.