Tripping over Trauma
You know, the stumbling, triggering, clanking and clamoring that is stuck on replay in your mind and heart.
You want this chapter to be over. Honestly, you do. But, as though it has mind and strong will of its own, the trauma comes back. It makes pop-up visits at the most inopportune times; during a disagreement with your Spouse, a Monday Morning Meeting with your Supervisor, during a movie, in the middle of the night, even while praying…
You name it.
Trauma. Officially defined as “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience” or “emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury”.
In short, I’d like to add a personal definition trauma as “One’s disbelief and disappointment over the disregard”.
Maybe it was the disregard for your wellbeing, or your position or role. Maybe it was the disregard for human life or a sacred connection. Maybe it was the disregard for vows made, or the disregard of innocence and trust. Perhaps it was the disregard of how another’s actions or inaction would impact you.
You name it.
Define your trauma, but don’t allow your trauma to define you.
Even when your trauma has been defined, it doesn’t define you. You are more than your trauma, and life is still available following trauma.
When trauma is used to define you, it creates boundaries around you from which you can never surpass. You become dependent upon defining life within the constraints of those traumas. You become bonded to the trauma and you go into a lifelong handcuff and marriage to this trauma. Herein lies the trip up.
I am broken. Permanently.
I have bad relationships. Permanently.
I am defiled. Permanently.
I am disadvantaged. Permanently.
I can never do/be ______________________ because of ____________________ (Fill in the blank as you may).
Trauma, gone wrong says:
I have an excuse not to try
I have an excuse to make poor choices (or, my poor choices are justified)
Healing takes time and the right environment. Similar to seeds that need specific environments to thrive and grow.
My question however is, what happens, in the event that the environment is never quite right? Do we continue to wait? Do we have a responsibility over the variable (ourselves) that we can in fact control?
When trauma becomes your trip up, it separates you from responsibility, accountability, and progress.
Of course, there must be sensitivity applied regarding the various types and origins of trauma. What this post is addressing is the responsibility that we have in not using our trauma as a weapon, becoming toxic and harmful to ourselves and others.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Let’s take it to the Word.
Consider the Woman with the issue of blood. How did she arrive at the conclusion that power was not only what Jesus had or did, but it was the very essence of who He was? His physical being?
What magnitude of revelation was this, that if she could only get a hold of one of His threads, that healing would be hers forever?
She risked shame and humiliation, in pursuit of the one true Healer. She was willing to risk it all because her suffering and trauma were great, but her faith was even greater. What had happened to her (her past) couldn’t hold a candle to what her future would be if she could touch Jesus.
She was convinced, even after the enormity and force of the crowds would otherwise be discouraging, that at this point a touch would do.
That woman, in suffering and in desperation, touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and EVERYTHING changed.
Just one touch. One word. From God almighty will heal. One touch will erase the past. There is grace in the wilderness
God is the only one who gives sentences. Not trauma. Not past mistakes. Not your family name. Not your race or gender.
God spoke the world into existence. He gives and He takes away.
He is Lord and He has the final say.
A mentor of mine once told me that God didn’t just make me strong in order to throw my weight around; to contend with others; to defend myself; to shelter and hide and show and prove.
The weapons of our warfare are mighty to the pulling down of strong holds. (2 Corinthians 10:4)
The Lord trains our hands for war and our fingers for battle. (Psalm 144:1) We were made in the image of the all-powerful God. The Lord of Hosts. To first be righteous and holy, and then to be valiant and mighty. Filled with dominion and authority. Why? Because that is his image. We were made in the image of God. Much of our molding happens in those traumatic spaces.
Trauma becomes our trip up when and only when it becomes an IDOL.
We are not called or expected to be in humane. If we are poked with a needle, it will hurt no matter how righteous or unrighteous we are! When we are sinned against, when we face trials, when we are caught in the crossfire, when we are harmed or have had things stripped away from us…we feel!
Job felt. David felt. Elijah felt. Rebekah felt. Jonah felt. Paul felt. https://faithalone.org/grace-in-focus-articles/suicide-bible-people-who-wanted-to-die/
They didn’t just feel the stress and pain but they felt depression. They felt suicidal. They felt!
This however isn’t about somehow becoming numb to the feeling of trauma. That isn’t the goal, nor is it reality. We will feel. This is about identifying how we graduate from feeling to perpetually abiding in the pit of trauma, and hence, that trauma becoming our trip up.
As we dwell in this pit. the enemy will have you to believe that you have a right. You have a right to suffer in emotional anguish. You have a right to give up. You have a right to be bitter. You have a right to never forgive them. You have a right to isolate. You have a right to harm other people or even yourself. You were wronged remember? You didn’t deserve that remember?
The Lord says, MY grace is sufficient for you. MY power is made perfect in your weakness. I will give you joy for your mourning. I will give you grace in the wilderness. I know your frame and that you are dust. You’re human. My joy will come in the morning. Wait on ME and be of good courage and I will strengthen your heart. Vengeance is MINE. Rest in Me and wait patiently for Me. Cast your cares on ME because I care for you. It is not by your might or your power but by MY spirit.
We overcome because of the GRACE of God and we overcome the ramifications of trauma because of the GRACE of God.
Paul caused much trauma to others before coming to Christ, and then he faced much trauma after coming to Christ because of his message. He was beaten, imprisoned, hated, etc.
In his affliction, he cried out to God and asked if He would be willing to take this particular affliction away from him and the Lord responded, My grace is sufficient for you. So Paul resolved to boasting about his weakness so that the power of Christ would dwell in him.
The Lord isn’t quick to pull us out of the wilderness at times – and I know, that NEVER feels good. Even when Satan wreaks havoc in our lives, the Lord wants to strengthen us beyond that.
This isn’t suggesting that you do backflips over the traumatic violations that have happened or may be happening in your life. Let your spirit receive this message. You may have been sinned against. You may have been harmed, violated. God sees and he knows and he is going to deal heavily with the wicked.
Still, God doesn’t want to deal with the wicked while you remain wounded and sore. He wants you to be healed – and our healing holds conditions.
The first condition is faith. Jesus told the Woman with the issue of blood (and many others that he physically healed) that her faith made her whole. Do you believe that the Messiah can heal you?
The second condition requires the ongoing “maintenance” of our heart and thought lives. As you walk in freedom, there will be constant opportunities to waltz with the trauma. The enemy may take no breaks in bringing thoughts back to your remembrance or trying to create new traumatic experiences for you to store.
As he tries to break and rob your freedom and identity, God’s grace is greater still. With each blow also comes the fortitude, wisdom, stamina and strength of the Lord – if you will allow.
For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.2 Corinthians 4:17
Growing in Grace,
Listen to the She’s Marked Podcast Episode 013 – When Trauma Becomes your Trip Up