Are You Finished With That?

Years ago, a friend of mine shared something traumatic from her past. She ended her story with a question.

“What do you think I should do with that?” she asked.

Before I could answer, she rushed on to explain how someone else told her faith meant letting it go. Burying it. Leaving it alone. Forgetting it ever happened. Someone told her to “move on and get over it.”

In my opinion, the response was appalling.

Suffering, trauma, and sin should never be treated lightly.

At the same time, I watched as this friend struggled under the weight of the burden. She saw connections every day between pain in the past and her challenges in the present. Her past trauma paralyzed her, and she was bitter, withdrawn, and defensive most of the time.

I didn’t have a good answer to her previous question. But I knew carrying her hurts with her all the time, everywhere, wasn’t good either.

Suffering, trauma, and sin don’t have to define and control us. 

Praise Jesus, He has an answer to “what to do” with suffering. He meant it when He said “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

Suffering, trauma, and sin have a definite end.

There is nothing beyond Jesus. No suffering He has not overcome. No sin He cannot redeem from. No trauma He won’t work for good.

We live in the present tense, where things are ongoing, but hear Jesus’ tense:

“It is finished.”

Outside of time, active today, certain of the future He holds, and aware of all that has been, Jesus can declare done what is very much still doing in our lives.

We are complete in Him, and He will bring us to completion. He has saved, but there are still believers yet to be born.

Though there is paradox, this is what faith (the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen) means for whatever it is we don’t know what to do with:

Jesus died for that. Don’t take it lightly, but also don’t take it with you. Bring it to the cross. Share it with Jesus. 

Jesus died for that. Don’t take it lightly, but also don’t take it with you. Bring it to the cross. Share it with Jesus. Click To Tweet

Call sin sin, and let Jesus deal with it.

Weep when it’s time to grieve, and recognize Jesus’ empathy in that.

Treat wounds like wounds, and ask Jesus to heal them.

Recognize what’s false, and cling to what Jesus says is true.

Whatever it is you’re dealing with, deal with it with Jesus.

This is what I would say today, knowing Jesus, to my friend and myself about what to do with our “that.”

Jesus knows what to do, He holds it all, and He does so compassionately. Keep going to Him.


Oh My Soul, a song by Casting Crowns, speaks to this. One of my favorite lines is: “there is a place where fear has to face the God we know.” Listen for yourself:


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13 Replies to “Are You Finished With That?

  1. Two pronged wisdom here, Bethany: “Don’t take it lightly. Don’t take it with you.”
    I grieve for all those who have been told to “get over it,” but I also lament the way of the victim, for God is powerful, and there is nothing he cannot redeem.
    Unbelievable! But true!

  2. Great wisdom here, Bethany. Nothing swept under the rug really helps anyone. Instead, it only causes us to keep tripping over the same issue. So thankful it is finished with Jesus and we can take it to the cross,

  3. There’s so much hope here, Bethany: “Jesus can declare done what is very much still doing in our lives.” We are all works in progress, aren’t we? No matter how uncomfortable our ongoing struggles and/or healing make other people. I love the song you shared. When Randy and I saw Casting Crowns in concert (with Hillsong Worship) two weeks ago, that was the one song out of the whole night that literally had me in tears. And the line you shared is one of my favorites too. Hugs, friend!

  4. Dear Bethany, thank you for such a balanced approach for dealing with the struggles of life. I love your statement to not take our hurt lightly, but don’t take it with us! I could have used that wisdom years ago and avoided further conflict in my life. Blessings!

  5. We never really (and shouldn’t) forget the past, but we can learn to grow through it. Like many people I too have dealt with major traumas, which is always hard and hurtful. But learned that realizing they are ultimately for our growth, can bring health and healing. But as you say, they were wounds, deep emotional gashes. Those need tending to, because they usually mean the death of something that was dear to us. By learning to embrace this and allow the Lord to take me through a grieving process, he brought healing my heart, and they even became cornerstones of my testimony. Making it possible to proclaim “even in this God was faithful. And although it may continue to be hard, he will continue to always be faithful.” As Michele stated, “There is nothing God cannot redeem! Thank you for offering this post of hope to all who are struggling!

    1. I’m sorry for the trauma I’m your life, but praise God for how He has helped you. What a testimony! What a Savior!!

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