Traumatic events can leave us scarred and lead to anxiety and depression. There are different kinds of traumatic events that can scar us such as abuse, assault, severe illness, terrible accidents, death of a loved one, violence, or combat. As I write this, it is not just a textbook understanding for me. I am writing from my own personal experience in hopes someone might read this and be encouraged in their struggle.
Having lived with abuse throughout my childhood, I understand that feeling of never feeling safe anywhere. It seemed like a nightly thing to me to go to bed wondering if that was the night I would be dragged out of bed awakened to abuse by my father. That was compounded by never knowing what condition my mother would be in upon arriving home from school. Would she be happy, sad, mad, all at the same time or swinging widely between them. As I grew to be bigger than my parents, my fear for physical safety faded away, but the mental/emotional aspects dragged on and on. It was a life of feeling locked into something I did not choose, want, or know how to get out of.
From 1993 to 1995 I went through my first serious bout of autoimmune. It got so serious that my tests showed I could go into multiple organ failure. It was made even worse by the fact that I lost memory. After my doctor found the cause and started me on my medication, I began to recover, but then the task of rebuilding my life was daunting. I had little to no help from others. I did not have the money to pay for things like speech therapy, so I put myself in situations that required me to speak. I had no idea what would happen for me as far as a career was concerned because I had left the school I was studying at to return to my home city to die, but then I didn’t die.
I share these things to simply say I understand trauma. We may have experienced different kinds, but we can understand each other.
What I have found to be the most helpful for me has been my relationship with Jesus. In his presence in prayer I found healing for my soul. In Jesus I found purpose for my life and the most wonderful example for me to follow.
The bible in Hebrews 4 of Jesus:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. “
Jesus experienced this life in a human body. He accepted the frailty of a human body for the purpose of dying for us on the cross. When I think about what Jesus suffered, I realize that he understands trauma. He was taken away by soldiers, endured a kangaroo court trial, beaten and whipped beyond recognition, and nailed to the cross to die a torturous death.
Jesus began his earthly life as a refugee because Joseph was warned to take Mary and Jesus and flee because Herod’s troops were coming to kill Jesus. Jesus experienced rejection by member of his earthly family,
Jesus experienced trauma in his earthly life, so he is able to sympathize with us in our trauma. But he also has the power to gently heal our souls, minds, and spirits. That is why he said in Matthew 11:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jesus has not only brought healing for my soul, he has also transformed my life to be able to comfort others who have experienced trauma. I will share more about how that started in a future post.
Jesus has given me the wonderful opportunity to become friends with many refugees. My past experiences help me to empathize with my refugee friends as they share their experiences of traumatic events in their lives such as war, loss of their homes, loss of loved ones and their whole refugee experience. It is in those moments of being a listening ear that I can show the love of Jesus to my refugee friends.
If you have experienced trauma in your life, Jesus has the power to gently heal. There is always hope for us because Jesus is our all powerful savior who loves us.
If you experienced trauma, please reach out to someone whether it is a trusted friend, a pastor, or a counselor. It can get better step by step.
I would like to share a music video again. It is I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe. It seems fitting to share it in this post. We never have to be alone as we recover from traumatic experiences.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.