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Rev. and author Barbara Lane on how faith helps heal trauma

Author Barbara Lane

The Ordained Ministerial Counselor and author Barbara Lane kindly guest posts today. Her new memoir Broken Water is a testament to how resilient the human spirit is and the power of sisterhood, as well as how faith helps heal trauma. She discusses the latter point in such an inspiring and empowering light below.

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About Broken Water: An Extraordinary True Story

In this true story of resilience in the face of hardship, Barbara Lane and her sister Kay survive abandonment by their mother only to face severe abuse while living in foster care: the home of a Mafia grunt.

But for Barbara, missing her nine other sisters was more than she could bear. This well-written and powerful memoir reveals Barbara’s hidden abuse and invites the reader to journey with her through the many years she spent trying to find her sisters and solve the intriguing mystery of her family of origin.

Broken Water is an honest and unforgettable tale of inspiration and transformation, a story of perseverance, tremendous faith and a belief that grief, loss and suffering can become the roots of wisdom, joy and a fulfilling life.

As an Ordained Ministerial Counselor, Barbara shares compelling stories of others she has helped to overcome their own haunting histories.

Author Barbara Lane guest posts: How faith helps heal trauma

We hear a lot about trauma these days and how essential it is to adopt a trauma-informed approach to healing. To me, this is good news as it involves looking beyond diagnoses, behaviors and symptoms and focusing on the essence of being human—the soul. It involves understanding the core of trauma, our beliefs, our relationships, and our responses to dire circumstances.

Belief versus faith

Healing from trauma is highly correlated to what we believe in and the level of faith we embrace. Belief and faith, however, are not the same thing.

Belief is an acceptance of what is taught external to the self, while faith is the core of our existence, found innately within. Belief is a set of rules, dogmas, and societal expectations that we are taught to accept. Faith is an understanding that what one is seeking already exists inside waiting to be embraced and expressed at the highest level of experience.

On childhood trauma and hindered healing

As with many, I lived through my own childhood traumas. I was removed from my home due to abandonment at the age of three and placed in an orphanage.

The saving grace to that story was that I was placed with the sisters I loved. The bigger trauma was being separated from them through foster care placements. I never stopped missing them. One sister and I were placed in the home of a mafia grunt where we experienced severe abuse of every type.

All of this formed a belief system in my mind that hindered my healing. For example, I believed what I was told: that being a child of trauma carries with it a life-long sentence; that I was irreparably broken. Such a strong belief closed my mind to the possibility that I could become more than I was before the trauma.

It separated me from my internal source of healing and disconnected me from the strength and resilience I innately possessed—my faith.

Healing through faith quote
Healing through faith. A great quote from Barbara Lane, author of Broken Water.

Moving forward upon discovering the true meaning of faith

It wasn’t until I discovered the true meaning of faith that my healing journey took flight, one that continues to this day. Faith led me to uncover, embrace, and utilize my feminine energy—my ability to self-nurture, protect and guide. I say uncover because the beauty of the healing journey is the discovery that we already possess what we are looking for to heal our trauma—faith.

This internal source of healing, strength, and power is available to all, is indestructible, imperishable, and cannot be bound by external beliefs. It can, however, be hidden from our awareness. We can fall asleep to its presence.

How belief systems shape our world

Belief systems operate as an invisible force, shaping our views of the world, our communities and ourselves, often outside of our conscious awareness. These systems are based on what we hear other people say, what we are taught, what we read, or what we see in the news. If we are to heal our traumas, it is essential that we examine our belief systems, come to understand their origins, and align ourselves with those that reveal our inner faith while discarding those that hinder our awareness of it.

How are we to determine which belief systems lead to inner faith and which hamper our healing? True faith is a personal experience, found within and provides meaning and purpose in life. It is sacred, visionary and connects us to the transcendent.

What faith is and what won’t heal trauma

Faith is a remembering of who we are. It is a waking up from the deep nightmare of trauma to the realization that, as children of God, our souls are not tethered to suffering.

True faith empowers us to remember that as a child of God, we possess a spark of divinity within and that our spirits are filled with the breath of God, a force beyond all understanding, one that cannot be diminished by the traumas found in the world.

Belief systems that distance us from this experience have the propensity to hinder the healing of trauma by leading to generalized negative views about the world and our place in it. Feelings of guilt, unworthiness, and the view that we deserve punishment separate us from the divine within, leading to the experience of worthlessness, hopelessness, depression, and anxiety. This is not faith. This will not heal trauma.

Broken water book cover
Click the book cover image to get your copy of Broken Water on Amazon.

Trauma is of this world; faith is not

Horrific traumatic events happen every day, some unthinkably evil. Children are abused. Women are battered. People are killed. We are hurt, harmed, abandoned, and discounted. We lose loved ones, suffer illness and experience tragedy. How are we to make sense of it when trauma, by its very nature, causes us to forget we are of spirit?

The miracle of healing, the shift in perception, involves slowly but surely remembering that trauma is of this world while our faith is not. Living our inner faith is not of this world; it transcends this world. Faith transcends trauma.

This begs the question: How does one wake up from the nightmare of trauma to the reality that faith and healing are already there—within? How do we remember?

For some, it is through prayer; for others, it is a walk-in nature. Many meditate to uncover their faith. Dancing, singing, sports, and art are only a few of the practices and rituals that can draw one’s conscious awareness from our earthly experience to the presence of inner faith. In this way, positive belief systems can promote a shift in perception from the vulnerability of life to the invulnerable soul.

Trauma is of this world. It happens to our minds and our bodies, but faith (our spirit) is not of this world; faith is transcendent. Faith heals what is already healed within.

Every healing journey is unique

Every journey to healing trauma is unique and takes a path of its own. There are times when faith seems ephemeral and simply cannot be possessed.

Be kind to yourself and expect to experience the joy, compassion, fulfillment and healing that faith provides. Surround yourself with those who have faith in you and treat you with compassion and love while you journey within where the essence of faith and healing resides.

Speaking from personal experiences

I have had my personal experiences of healing through faith. As with many, I often forget the source of my strength and feel the resultant pain and anguish. But when I wake up, when I remember again and again, I embrace the joy and splendor of life.

As an ordained minister, I often speak of the power of faith. Yet some still see it as external to the self, something that they seek and cannot find. I have watched healing and transformation occur right in front of my eyes.

Faith is not something to seek but rather something to uncover within. This powerful source of healing is already inside of you. Once this realization is accepted, trauma softens, faith takes over, and healing takes flight. The once victim becomes empowered, self-governing, and in touch with their unconquerable soul. It is as William Ernest Henley described in his poem, “Invictus”:

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

About author Barbara Lane

Barbara Lane is a Ministerial Counselor and author of the new memoir, Broken Water: An Extraordinary True Story, about being separated from her 11 sisters in the foster care system, and reuniting with them again 43 years later. For more, visit


Top photo: Meet Ministerial Counselor and author Barbara Lane. Photo courtesy of Barbara.

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