Many people, like myself, have come to Christ and yet still carried the burden of trauma.
This can take the form of various addictions, broken relationships, and PTSD that exacerbates it all. The question is, what do we do as Christians with this lingering affliction? We know that we have been healed by the blood of Jesus, but…
We don’t feel like it. We can’t seem to act like it.
One of the most important components of changed behavior is understanding why you behave a certain way in the first place. Why you are constantly making decision, or avoiding making decisions, out of fear. When we understand the way trauma works, we can begin to heal and a strategic way. In a way that enables us to overcome the mysterious process in our brain that leads to unwanted behavior and sin.
If we want our heart to be “holy ground” where the Holy Spirit can move and grow within us, then we must first address how trauma has impacted the heart; that it has, instead, caused it to beholey ground. We have to come to terms with the fact that a painful experience has left a gaping chasm within the mind and heart. (Which in Hebrew are the same, by the way)
So how does this all work?
When a life-threatening event occurs (or one that feels life-threatening), our brain records the event in stunning detail. Survivors of the attacks on 9/11 have reported the onset of depression triggered simply by waking up to a crisp, fall day… the same weather as the day the towers went down. The event and each association with the event gets programmed into the brain for later recall in order to improve chances of survival.
The problem is that we will likely never encounter that extreme circumstance again and the associations are often a part of normal, everyday life. This leaves us living in fear or constantly disassociating in order to avoid that buried fear.
Recent studies have identified that a person’s perception of his or her ability to control the situation affects whether or not a tragic event becomes “trauma” or is simply recorded as a negative experience.
As believers in a God who has all power… trauma is essentially the unhealthy emotional interpretation of a painful experience that has taken up residence in our psyche.
The determining factor of whether the trauma remains or not, lies in our ability to surrender any perceived control to a God who is Sovereign and able to heal. We are in need of a Savior who can walk into the hell we have experienced, retrieve the broken part of us that we left there, fill that void with love, and walk back out unscathed.
You who are still trying to heal. You, brothers and sisters, who have all but given up hope of a joyful life… take a moment to reflect on what our God has done. Dig into the Word and re-familiarize yourself with the victory that was won over the enemy. It was not just for some distant future rescuing that Jesus died, but so that we might live fully alive, here and now, with Him.
The world has never known a greater force than our Lord. Your trauma doesn’t stand a chance in His presence.
Talk to your pastor. Get some references for a good Christian counselor who can walk with you through the healing process; who can remind you of Christ’s victory along your journey. If you don’t have a pastor or even a church, shoot me an email! I’ll help you find a healthy one.
Most importantly, know that you are not alone. Know that there is always hope. I have seen God work miracle after miracle on my PTSD until it was nothing but a lingering recollection, awaiting my approval to be written into a powerful, testimonial memoir.
I am no different than you. My healing is not the exception to a rule. It is the result of surrender to a God who makes the rules. He said, in Him there are none. Anything can happen. Even full recovery from experiencing hell on earth.
As always, my prayers are with you.