TW: There is mention of self-harm and suicide ideation in this story.

So when will I be fully healed?

That was the question that bugged me each time, as I sat across from my counsellor, session after session. I thought if I could put a deadline to this long journey of struggling in my mental health, I could look forward to something and have more hope.

Before I tell you the answer from my counsellor, let me take you back to when it all started.


I grew up in a broken family and walked through a series of traumatic events that spanned across my childhood and teenage years.

By 15, I found myself cutting parts of my body and wanting to die. Young as I was, I had had enough of life.

Then, Jesus.

A casual invitation to church from friends interrupted what seemed like my one-way descent into darkness. For the first time in my life, I felt a new emotion – love.

Someone loves me, and His name is Jesus.

Faster, God

My encounter with God’s love quickly set me on a new trajectory. On fire and eager to do more for God, I spent my days in church and served in the youth ministry.

Yet amidst my youthful zeal, I recognised that my past had left me damaged and unwell. I wasn’t walking with God, I was limping with Him.

I still experienced bouts of heaviness and hopelessness. While I no longer resorted to self-harm as a coping mechanism, the only response I knew was to crouch into a foetal position and cry helplessly.

I felt like an imposter at church – holy on the outside but crumbling within. “My brokenness is stopping me from serving God,” I thought to myself, “I need to be healed quickly.”

I wasn’t walking with God, I was limping with Him.

This led me to seeking professional help with a Christian counsellor, where she journeyed with me to process and express all the pent-up emotions that my inner child never could.

What I did not expect was realising the numerous things I had to work through and the amount of time it took.

Just when I thought I was getting better, another issue would surface and I had to deal with it, which pretty much feels like cockroaches crawling out into the light from under the rocks, except that I was excavating an avalanche.

I thought I could heal quicker but one session became two, two became 20 and soon I was seeing her for over a year.

Exasperated, I fired my burning question, asking her when I would be fully healed and completely well.

“Healing is like peeling an onion. When one layer is removed, God gently reveals another, and another, at the right time,” she said.

“If you knew how many layers there were, you might not even consent to His healing work. But if you drop the count and take one layer at a time, you’d find progress instead of discouragement.”

This was her answer and it was admittedly disappointing to hear.

After all, was it too much to ask Jesus to heal me instantly knowing He did it so commonly in the Bible?

In a world of instant gratification where almost everything can be sped up, unlearning this quick-fix mindset was difficult too.

But God is not of this world and neither are we. Hence, I held onto my counsellor’s words and stopped asking when I would be healed (or at least I tried).

I also saw from the Creation account in Genesis that God embraces the process.

While He could speak the universe into existence instantaneously with His word, He did it over the course of seven days – a process.

He first created light, then the waters, followed by the land, and so and so forth, and finally His crowning creation called man.

Wouldn’t it be a disaster if He created man first? There would be no light for him, not even physical ground to stand upon.

There is always a process, even in His miracles.

The God of “suddenly”

I heard its said that “God is not a God of immediately but a God of suddenly”, and I found this was true for my mental health journey.

I gave up going into each counselling session hoping it could be the last time, and just focused on what progress I could make in each session instead.

Before I knew it, three years had passed and my counsellor said she could close my case, seeing the tremendous progress I have made.

While instant healing shows us that God is powerful, gradual healing shows us that God is faithful, and faithful I have now known Him to be.

He does not place Himself at the destination and wait for us there but gently and patiently walks alongside us.

Moreover, the process does not only reveal God as faithful but matures us to be likewise.

He does not place Himself at the destination and wait for us there but gently and patiently walks alongside us.

I was eager to be healed so I could serve Him better at the onset but He was more interested in the person I become than the things I do.

So am I fully healed now? I no longer require the answer.

When the time comes, if there is another layer of healing revealed, I know the Good Physician will be faithful to heal me.

We’re going to be discussing MENTAL HEALTH at our physical event later this June. More deets below, and signups here.