I’m pretty undone today and whether or not I should be writing, who knows.
I write for the glory of God and trust His Spirit reveals His heart to us in ways my words alone have no power to offer.
I’ve heard some heart-breaking stories in the last few days. As I sat and listened with tears streaming down my face, I felt a fraction of the pain and offered sincere apologies.
Because I also know trauma.
I know there are places in many of our lives that have been too painful to re-visit. It’s easier to just pre-tend it didn’t happen, construct a different, untrue but pretty narrative or sweep it under the rug and watch other people trip over our denial or fear to bring into the light something that should have never happened.
Taking Jesus to the place of our trauma can sound a tad troubling. Some of us have asked the understandable question, “Where was He when it happened?” We can’t wrap our minds around the why so we bury it. We fill our lives with busy things, good things, bad things and utopian things….as long as we don’t go back to THAT thing. That thing angers us, makes us feel helpless and leaves us curled up in fetal position wondering where God is. In extreme situations that thing creates a longing in us to check out of this life.
I hate the lies trauma leads us to believe. And I hate the damage trauma causes to our bodies and souls.
Trauma isn’t respective to any one type of person or people group. All nations, tongues and tribes experience trauma. Trauma experienced as a child because of lack of protection is one of the worst. As adults, we are mandated not only by the state but God’s Word to protect children and in fact, is the reason Jesus tells us that it would be better to be thrown in the ocean with a millstone hung on our head than to hurt a “little one.” And to be clear, there are “little ones” walking around in adult bodies that outgrew their damaged soul.
I’m not going to go deep here, I am not a professional counselor nor do I want to be one, but I’m watching out for damaged souls who are longing to be healed in the light of the most powerful force on earth…God’s love for us in Christ. It’s the only place that brings a healing deeper than the trauma went.
As much we would like to and have tried to, we can’t heal someone else’s trauma. And we shouldn’t try…but we can lead them to the One who will.
I am convinced there is some trauma so deep that it becomes a sacred meeting place in our soul. So sacred that if we try to force our way in to someone else’s place, we will cause more damage. It’s the place of the jealous longing of a Father who saw what happened to us and promises to make it right if we bring Him to that place.
It’s not easy. We want to rage at a God who didn’t stop it…that He allowed it and seems to be silent about it. Let me be bold for a minute and tell you I believe with every ounce of my being, Jesus came to earth, starting the process of making all things right IN our lives and FOR our lives. He has been anything but silent.
Sometimes healing comes partly through the repentant and sincere apologies of others and sometimes it doesn’t. Please hear me on this, even when a person does apologize, that apology is still not the power that heals us. Yes, it can be a blessed gift but only God has the ability to go into the places of our trauma and set us free from the after effects, after shocks and after everyone else has forgotten.
Sometimes our trauma comes with guilt as we think of things we could have done differently to avoid it. Sometimes it comes in ways that no one can explain like tornados, hurricanes and others natural disasters. However, when trauma comes from the hands or words of someone else who is sinning against us, that guilt is a lie. We are not responsible for the sins against us, only for taking ownership and responsibility for how we’ve hurt others.
Taking Jesus to the place of our pain opens up a door of hope in us. Jesus always comes with hope. The first step He takes as we draw near and ask Him to come to our place of pain is met with the assurance of, “I have something better for you my child.”
I have something better than your despair.
I have something better than your anger and unforgiveness.
I have something better than your self-hatred and pity.
I have something better than your fear and shame.
And then we say with a trembling heart and a flicker of faith, “Okay, Jesus, let’s do this thing…..”
Jesus comes into our place and sits with us.
We began to hear Him, see Him, feel Him, believe Him, want Him, need Him, worship Him and before we know it, the hope in us has grown to a blazing fire that allows us to dream again.
The love of Jesus for us consumes the enemy of our souls, heals us, restores us and places a compassion in us that is never trivial about the pain of others.
And let me gently encourage us all, sometimes we shrink back from having compassion on someone because their unhealed pain is recklessly causing pain for those around them. But let love compels us. (Righteous anger is motivated by love) Not only for those who are the targets of someone’s unhealed trauma, but for the one who IF THEY KNEW and BELIEVED Jesus, would not cause pain on purpose. And that’s the beauty of the heart that Jesus heals and sets free from the pain of the past-
A heart that seeks only the good of others, even the good of our enemies. Because before Christ, we were enemies of the Cross He bled and died on. Without His willingness to take our sin and shame, we would have no hope of healing.
As I was praying for a struggling friend today, a song came on that inspired the words to this blog. It’s nothing new or hip but the words are powerfully true. If you listen to this and you know you haven’t taken Jesus to the place of your trauma, I pray this would be the day you would consider doing so.
He’s good. Gentle. Humble. Kind. He will not disappoint you. The real Jesus won’t. I promise.