By Raychel Chumley

It’s the time of year when everyone starts thinking about goals and priorities. I’ve been mapping out my goals for 2018 since the middle of December! I’m sure you’ve thought about your priorities in the areas of health, friendships, family, faith, and maybe even your profession. But have you considered your emotional health? If you haven’t, it’s time.

2017 might have been a difficult year. Your life might have changed in some drastic ways. Maybe you walked through a divorce, like I did, in 2017. Or, maybe you had a different major life change. It’s possible you experienced grief last year when you lost a loved one or a treasured friend. You might have even experienced more than one of these major life changes…I like to call them storms.

After storms rage through our lives, we are left with a lot of broken pieces. And even after we begin to heal—the scars remain. Every woman carries a few scars that tell the stories of what she has survived in her life. Sometimes the scars are on the outside; more often than not, the scars are not visible to the naked eye. They are the wounds you carry in your mind, heart, and emotions.

I have had so many people tell me, “I had no idea,” “I thought things were getting better,” and “I didn’t realize your marriage was like that.” You see, my scars were very well hidden. From the outside looking in, we looked like a happy family. But under the surface there were deep wounds no one knew about. Maybe you can relate.

Did you know there is a grieving process for everything that changes in your life? There is. And you can’t bury grief. It demands to be felt. Don’t go into 2018 still dragging around the broken pieces of 2017. Be brave! Open up the dark closets of your mind, drag out those skeletons, and let the light in so you can finally start healing. You survived the storm. You can survive the healing process.

The grieving process should be embraced with open arms. You can’t heal what you won’t acknowledge. It’s time to rip off the old bandages and let those wounds heal. The choice to be emotionally healthy will become the foundation for everything you want to accomplish in 2018. So never fear, sweet friend, the freedom you find on the other side will be worth it.    

Raychel ChumleyRaychel Chumley is the co-founder and president of Big Blue Couch® Coaching, LLC. She is the author of the Bible study, “Unbroken.” She lives in North Dakota with her children.