“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” ~Isaiah 43:2
Upon reading the above verse you will realize the words, “when you…” It is not a question of “If you…” but, “when you pass through, walk through” – one thing is for sure, the only way out is through! I believe no one goes through life unscathed from an emotional, physical, and/or spiritual scar. And, when one area is affected so are the other two. But, it’s only in the revealing that one can have healing.
In the first step to being an OVERCOMER, you must acknowledge the trauma in your life.
O – Openly acknowledge what happened and that your excitant feelings are normal reactions to abnormal circumstances.
When I was younger and went through the various forms of abuse, I was in great fear of acknowledging what happened because my abusers would threaten me. So, I kept the traumas to myself for many years out of fear. This built a very big stronghold of fear in my life. As I shared in a previous post, I went through a very fearful stage that eventually carried into the various coping mechanisms of anger, insecurity, substance abuse, drivenness, and perfectionism. I didn’t realize, until I began my walk with the Lord, that I had to acknowledge the traumas in my life that caused me so much shame and grief, and come to terms with the fact that my excitant feeling and reactions were normal in light of the abnormal circumstances I suffered. However, because I didn’t bring them to light earlier, I wasn’t able to heal in those areas for a long time.
“What you fail to bring to the light and reveal, I (God) cannot heal.”
Likewise, AJ had to confront the effects of her traumatic wreck immediately after it happened to begin the vital healing process for the multiple traumas she suffered. It is in this step in which the damage to her body was assessed. The doctors and nurses went to work, using MRI’s and x-rays to determine where her injuries were so that they may begin the proper treatment for her healing. AJ had to come to terms with the fact that she was involved in something very traumatic and she needed healing in body, mind, and spirit.
V – Voice your feelings with those you trust; encouraging and reassuring you that you WILL be OK. You will get through this.
God, first and foremost, was the only One I trusted for a long time with my traumatic experiences. I did not trust man for obvious reasons. My trust was betrayed and my heart handled carelessly when I sought counseling from man. Fear, shame, and guilt kept me bound for many years until I came to Him and “let it all out.” My heart was poured out in such raw and explicit detail through countless pages of journal entries which allowed me to grieve necessarily.
“Oh Lord, my God, I cried to You for help and You healed me.” ~Psalm 30:2
Grief is an important part to healing, and to deny yourself the opportunity to grieve, denies the ability for God and others to comfort you. I can’t begin to count the many times I felt hopeless and when I shared my feelings with God, and through the immersing of His Word, I would feel His healing in my body, mind, and spirit. It was in the trauma room that God had me share scripture with AJ that would begin the healing process when she was at her most vulnerable. As the doctors and nurses stood by her side attending to her in the trauma room following her accident, I witnessed her mouth the life-giving scriptures to herself; opening the door to heal as I did through the Word of God.
“He sent out His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” ~Psalm 107:20
God also used my intimate circle of beloved family and friends to comfort me. They helped me rebuke the negativity in which the enemy would relentlessly whisper in my ear to drag me down to the pit, his pit. It was many times in the hospital room and various times throughout her healing process that God used me to impart wisdom to disarm the lies that the enemy would mercilessly feed her through negative thoughts.
“There are those who speak like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” ~Proverbs 12:18
“The lips of the righteous nourish many…” ~Proverbs 10:21
“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and pleasant (healing) to the bones.” ~Proverbs 16:24
It is in the Light that we could reveal what needs to be healed.
Grief also allows two positive things to happen in the person’s traumatic experience; first, they grow compassion and empathy for others; and second, they realize that they survived. In your trauma or trial you foster compassion and empathy for others. You can now relate with others in similar experiences and be a source of comfort and hope. As AJ began her process of healing, another young woman was hospitalized for having suffered from multiple and life-threatening injuries from a traumatic car wreck. We wheeled AJ into her hospital room where God used AJ as a vessel to provide much needed visual and emotional comfort. To this day, they have kept in touch comforting one another emotionally and spiritually.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in our affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Messiah’s sufferings, so through Messiah we share abundantly in comfort too.” ~1 Corinthians 1:3-5
It goes on to say in verses 6-7 that when we allow ourselves to be comforted it ushers in deliverance and steadfast hope in our trauma or trial (emphasis mine). Countless times I would remind AJ that each phase in her healing process was “temporary” and in doing so, it gave her hope and the strength to hold on for the next phase of healing. Likewise, when the young woman studied AJ from her hospital bed, she too realized that her state would be temporary. She would soon be “out and about” like AJ, having hope for her future.
The second life-truth grief teaches us is the realization that we survived a traumatic experience – this is a key component to healing in this stage.
“When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. For You are with me.” ~Psalm 23:4
Through the sharing and revealing of our traumatic experiences, it demonstrates to others that you got through it and survived. More importantly, it confronts you on owning that truth for yourself. My traumatic experiences made me realize that yes, I had problems, but I am still alive and so are countless others who experienced the same. Her conversations with others that made it through their experiences was like breathing life and hope into her own experience. The grief process allows you to realize that life is, was, and will continue to go on. And, we must choose to go on with it!
“And it came to be after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua saying; ‘Moses My servant is dead, so now, arise…” ~Joshua 1:1-2
The life-truth that God gave me during the opening of my traumatic wounds and thereafter was,
“If you’re alive, there’s still hope.”
I have passed this life-truth onto my Pops with the very real and life-changing “Ah-Ha!” truths that come with it.
There is hope because the Life-giving, miracle-working God lives in you.
There is hope because…
“With man this (our trauma and trials) are impossible, but with God, all things are possible!” ~Matthew 19:26
“Nothing is impossible. The very word itself says, ‘I’m Possible!’” ~Audrey Hepburn
…and you, AJ, and I can all move past the impossible because of Him!
Scarred for Life: Entreat and Remove, Accept and Renew