Dealing With Effects of Trauma

Recently I was reminded of a hurt from my past after someone let me know an old boyfriend of mine had died.

The rejections I suffered decades ago replayed in my mind. The lie that said, “The reason he rejected you so deeply was because you were not good enough, pretty enough, loving enough” taunted me. I thought of people in my present who reject me at times. Giving in to shame at not being good enough as the reason for those rejections as well tempted me.

An uprising of bitterness against this former boyfriend and even toward myself for getting involved with him threatened to rise up.

I realized that the results of my connection to this troubled young man were more than just hurts. What I experienced with him was trauma.

Instead of embracing again the negative effects of this trauma, I listened to the trauma prayer online which a friend had introduced me to a number of years ago. Already I had listened to it several times, but I felt led to hear it again and embrace it in a deeper way.

After the trauma prayer was over, I let the next video play as I looked up the photo of this former boyfriend on Facebook.

When I saw his face again, I realized there was still some resurrected unforgiveness—not as much for what he had done—but because he never reached out to me to say he was sorry.

As I studied the photo of him and his siblings and parents, the voice from the video playing in the background asked, “Is there someone from your past that you need to forgive? If so, you need to do that now.” This man prayed a prayer releasing me from unforgiveness, and I agreed with every word he said, and proclaimed a confident “Amen.”

Since then I have felt compassion toward my former boyfriend and his family who are grieving.

And I’ve felt a renewed urgency to help others with the traumas in their lives sensing that this young man from my life of decades ago suffered traumas that allowed him to mistreat, reject, and have minimal empathy toward me.

A family member called me not long ago saying she was over-reacting with anxiety to an event that seemed relatively small to both her and myself. We realized together that this was because of past traumas. I saw that so many of her troubles involved unresolved trauma.

I sent her the link to the trauma prayer.

Then I thought of a friend who is losing hope in our marriage. As we talked not long ago, I saw that unresolved trauma in both my friend and her husband was involved in their marriage problems. She agreed.

I sent my friend a link to the trauma prayer.

I don’t see that prayer as an easy fix, but as something to open the door to this issue. Until a friend did that for me, I was convinced all my traumas were resolved.

In my working with the mentally ill, I was reminded again that dealing with unresolved trauma can be key to restoring mental health.

As I thought about how I’ve identified unresolved trauma in my life and in the lives of my loved ones, this list came to mind:

–troubles in marriage that seem so much larger than the circumstances at hand.

–unexplained bouts of anxiety and fear.

–over-reaction to rejection—even minor rejections such as someone not returning a phone call.

–angry outbursts with minimal provocation.

–waves of depression and sadness triggered by seemingly small frustrations or disappointments in everyday life.

I remember when I went to my friend’s house for the webinar on trauma, we were told to make a list of the traumas in our lives. These included sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse. It could be operations, injuries, sicknesses in ourselves or loved ones. It could be loss or the death of loved ones. My list included rape, suicide of family members, rejections by loved ones, and so much more.

But the good news about making the list was the promise that God wanted to release me from the effects of every one of those traumas.

Psalm 147:3 comes to mind when I consider traumas. “ He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [curing their pains and their sorrows].” AMPC

Here’s how I rewrote that verse today:

He heals those who have suffered trauma and binds up their wounds [curing their pains and their sorrows].

I remember how I clung to the promise of Psalm 147:3 after my brother’s suicide 4-1/2 years ago. His birthday was yesterday. He would have been 52 years old.

Today I’m praising God that He does not leave us alone in our traumas in this fallen world, but He lifts us up out them and then helps us to reach out to others with hope and healing. That’s how I ended up being a writer, speaker,“singer”and working with the mentally ill. The latest open door God has for me to pass along hope and healing is to mentor the bullied and bullies at a local middle school. He opened the door, so I know He has good in store. (I just made up that little slogan. I think I’ll use that again.) I’m excited about reaching out to these young people.

I’m discovering more and more that God is good, and He has good planned for us, but we must cooperate with Him and His plan.

How about you? Are there traumas from your past that are unresolved and affect your present in a negative way? Bring those traumas to the Lord, and He will heal you. It can take time and a “multitude of counselors,” but He is faithful to bind up all of our wounds. I’m living proof.

Instead of a song today, I have the link to the trauma prayer presented by Jim and Pat Banks.



Posted in Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Laying My Burdens Down

First posted on October 14, 2010

Here is a re-post of my October 14, 2010 blog with a few changes and a new song at the end. I wrote this six years ago, but contained in this blog are truths I need to be reminded of on a regular basis. May we all become experts at laying our burdens down/casting our cares upon the Lord.

“I’m in a bad place,” I said to Kenn, my songwriting teacher, last Thursday. “Working on a song seems like a hard thing today.”

Not long before I had been in North Carolina visiting a friend. What happened to the peace and joy I felt there? My trip was to be a writing retreat I had decided, but God also turned it into a “righting retreat”–a time to set things right in my heart and soul.

Hadn’t God brought me to a place of feeling I was beside still waters and all was right with my soul? So what had happened since I returned?

“I challenge you,” Kenn said, “when you get home to sit down for 15 minutes even in the midst of this funk you’re in and write a song.”

At home I realized Satan was attacking me. He didn’t want me beside still waters experiencing rest for my soul. I’m sure he was miffed that while on my trip I spent time praising God for every bad thing in my life I could think of and for all the good God brought out of those difficult circumstances.

So I did what Kenn told me to do. With a pen and my journal, I sat in the recliner determined to write for 15 minutes.

A song came. And with the song came truth.

While on my trip, I had laid all my burdens down. When I came home I picked them up again and then some.

So the song was about laying my burdens down. In 15 minutes I wrote the first verse and the chorus. Later that day I wrote the second verse and the bridge. It amazed me since I rarely write a complete song in one day.

The next day I received an email devotion with the title, “Casting Your Cares Upon the Lord,” which included this verse:

 “Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain you.” Ps 55:22 (NKJV)

The day after that laying down our burdens was mentioned in another email. Today on the radio I heard a song by the Newsboys called “Million Pieces” that was about yes!  laying our burdens down. A song we sang at church not long ago about the subject has also been playing in my mind.

Praise God for these reminders of this truth:  when I feel weary and worried, it’s often because I’m carrying burdens He didn’t mean for me to carry.

The verses that have been coming to mind since I sat down to write (or rather “receive”) my song are Matthew 11:28-30:

“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 of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

Since God gave me my new song I’ve been singing it to myself over and over: “I am laying my burdens down. I am laying my burdens down…” Once again I’ve given up on trying to control situations that seem out of my control and I’ve abandoned playing God in other people’s lives.

Rest is returning to my soul. What joy there is in releasing all my cares to Him and receiving once again the truth that He cares for me and is in control. I pray for grace not to pick those burdens up again.

What about you? Are you being weighed down by burdens? Listen closely and  hear God whisper, “My child, lay them down.” Then do it.


Here are the lyrics to my “laying my burdens down” song.

I have carried these burdens too long.

They have stolen my strength and my song.

I’ve been so worried, and I’ve been so bound,

So I’m laying my burdens down.


I’m laying my burdens down.

I’m laying my burdens down.

There’s peace for my soul,

And His strength can be found

When I lay all my burdens down.


I’m ready to lean on the truth.

I know my God can carry me through.

No more doubting and no more frowns,

Cause I’m laying my burdens down.

© 2010 Elaine Creasman

Another song about laying our burdens down.

“Casting My Cares” by Finding Favor


Posted in Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

King of My World

Some days people have called me a “take charge” person.

Taking charge may seem like a good thing, but it’s not when I’m working to be in in control of my life above the Lord.

Just today I was trying to decide if I should seek other employment after I retire from my present job. I wondered if I should go back to being a substitute teacher.

After discussing with others the pros and cons of that path, and what I did and didn’t like about it when I had been a sub in the past, I left the subject up in the air.

Then when my husband and I were in the car, I brought up the matter again. He said something similar to what my Bible study teacher has said when a decision is to be made. She says, “Ask the Father.” My husband said, “Why not ask God what you should do?”

I confess that too often I consult my own mind when making decisions instead of turning to the One who knows all about me and longs to guide me in every aspect of my life.

Years ago I heard a sermon that had such an impact on me. The preacher spoke of keeping God in our lives as “God Most High.” He brought up such verses as Psalm 57:2 which says, “I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]! (AMPC)

When I heard that sermon, I realized how often I put myself in that “high” position in my life and take God off of the throne.

Recently a song has been coming on the radio that is once again convicting me of this bad habit that I too often slip back into. The song by Natalie Grant is called “King of the World.” I want to keep God as King of my world, but too often I don’t. I feel that maybe He doesn’t know what’s best for me, that He doesn’t understand me, or that perhaps I need to be making decisions on my own.

The verse that comes to mind when I hear that song is Isaiah 55:9: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Today I’m confessing that I’m guilty of thinking I know more than I do and sometimes concluding that I’m more qualified than God to make decisions about my future.

What I do know is a truth I’ve heard repeatedly over the years: “The safest place to be is in the center of His will.”

But if I’m making decisions on my own behalf rather than consulting Him, I’m moving to places that are unsafe and will not bring Him glory.

In a Celebrate Recovery meeting I attended several years ago, I first heard the term self-sufficiency used as a negative trait that one needed to be delivered from. The opposite of self-sufficiency is depending on the Lord. The enemy tries to convince me that this isn’t necessary–that it’s  unreasonable and even fanatical.

The truth is God longs for me to depend on Him, to consult Him, to seek Him wholeheartedly.

That’s what I want to do.

I pray the Lord will continue to nudge me when I slip from keeping Him as the King of my world.

He’ll always be the King of the world, but I have to choose daily and even moment by moment if I’m going to keep Him as King of my world.

Lord, help me to keep choosing to see You and live with You as God Most High, the King of the world and the King of my world.


“King of the World” by Natalie Grant




Posted in Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Lord, Keep Me Hungry

Lately I’m been thanking the Lord for something I have that so many other people seem to lack—even those who call themselves Christians. That something is a hunger for God.

I used to think that this hunger was initiated by me, but perhaps that’s not true. Could it be that God planted this craving for Him in me? Maybe He puts it in all of us, but if we turn to other things to satisfy our souls, our hunger for Him diminishes.

On any given day I see that operating in my life. I wake up and have a desire to spend time with the Lord in His Word, but the cares of this world draw me away. My to-do list beckons. I watch TV and am enticed by entertainment instead of entering into intimacy with the One who knows me best and loves me most. I’m drawn away and find myself in the trap of looking to the things of this world to satisfy my hungry soul.

If I continue to do that on many consecutive days, my desire for God shrivels.

What brings back the hunger for God is going to Him, crying out to Him, believing that He alone can satisfy these deep cravings and allowing Him to minister to me. I open wide to receive all He has for me: hope, help, healing and so much more.

Somehow eating—tasting and seeing that the Lord is good–(see Psalm 34:8) makes me more hungry for Him.

As I seek Him with all of my heart, I discover what Psalm 107:9 promises is true: “For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good” (AMPC)

I’m discovering that humility and hunger go together. Moses was described as the most humble man on the face of the earth (See Numbers 12:3). He continually sought the Lord for guidance rather than depending on himself, which is what we do when we’re bound by pride. Pride kills spiritual hunger. I’ve seen that happen in my life.

One of my greatest heartaches in life is to have loved ones who are suffering from near-starvation in their souls, but yet will not turn to the Lord. It seems they have no hunger to know Him or receive from Him.

Some seem angry at God, perhaps because in a time when they were seeking Him, He didn’t deliver in the way they demanded. Instead of pressing in closer, they backed off and chose looking to the world to satisfy their hungry souls.

I confess at times I’ve tried to cram spiritual food into them. That practice is futile. Like a child who’s no longer hungry, they spit it out, and things become messy.

I’m thinking of occasions when I’ve gone out to a gathering where delicious food is being served. For whatever reason a companion of mine has decided not to partake. It’s hard being with that person. I want to share and have us proclaim in unison how wonderful everything tastes.

That’s how it is with loved ones who have no passion or hunger for the Lord. God feeds me with so many tantalizing, delicious truths from His Word, and I want to share. They have no interest. I communicate, “Do you want a bite?” but they refuse and seem to prefer having emaciated souls. Some days they remind me of the paranoid patients I work with who believe that what I’m offering them is poison.

Yet there are some in my life who have a touch of hunger, and I share a morsel of food with them, and they say, “Give me more.” Eventually, they grow as hungry for the Lord as I am, and we spend time feasting together.

Those who have a touch of hunger are the ones I try to reach with my writing. I want their hunger as well as their intimacy with the Lord to grow. I long for them to experience the fullness of allowing Him to feed them and satisfy their souls.

As far as those who seem to have no hunger for the Lord, there are two things I can do. One is I can love them where they’re at letting God’s love flow through me to them. The other thing I can do is pray.

And so today I do: “Lord, for all of those who have lost their hunger for You, I pray that You restore that hunger. Give them a deep craving to know, love, and serve You. Help them to believe that only You can satisfy their souls.

And as for myself, Lord, please keep me hungry for You.”

Hungry by Kathryn Scott

Will You Worship? I’m Hungry for You by Gospel Invasion Group


Posted in Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Leaping Instructions Guest Blog

Today I have a guest blog from one of my favorite writers, Kent Crockett.

I met Kent quite a few years ago at a writers conference where I was on staff. My privilege was to critique his proposal for a book titled, The 911 Handbook. I let him know that he was an excellent writer, and I thoroughly enjoyed and was encouraged by reading his work. Later that book was published. Since then Kent has had a number of books published including Slaying Your Giants: Biblical Solutions to Everyday Problems and The Sure Cure for Worry: Learning to Trust God No Matter What Happens. Kent was a pastor for many years, and now works to continue to build up the body through his writing and speaking ministry. To see more of his blogs go to

Leaping Instructions

By Kent Crockett


Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and cast insults at you, and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. (Luke 6:22-23)

I’ve seen people leap for joy when their football team scores a touchdown.

I’ve seen people leap for joy when a player hits a 3-pointer to win a basketball game.

I’ve seen people leap for joy when they win the Publisher’s Clearing House. But I’ve never seen anyone leaping for joy when they’re hated by others.

Jesus said to “leap for joy”—not when your team wins, but when evil is being unleashed on you. One time when I was being attacked by a mean-spirited person, another pastor told me, “You need to follow the leaping instructions. Jesus told us to jump for joy when we’re under attack.” I had never thought of that before—to literally leap for joy. Jesus said to “be glad in that day,” not after you die and go to heaven.

The key is to understand what’s taking place in heaven at that very moment. You must realize that when you’re being hated for doing God’s will, the Lord is giving you an incredible reward in heaven that will last throughout eternity. If He would pull back the curtain and you could see this reward, you would be doing cartwheels and leaping for joy. But since you can’t see it right now, you’ll just have to take Jesus’ word for it.

LEAPING INSTRUCTIONS. (You can also leap for joy when you are discouraged or depressed). Find a private place where it’s just you and the Lord. Start jumping up and down while you’re praising God. It’s that simple. Leap just like you jumped for joy when your team won. But now you’re doing it because God is blessing you in the midst of a horrible situation. And don’t be surprised if your depression and discouragement also leave you.


Posted in Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How You React

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

While looking up inspirational quotaions for a group I was leading recently, that particular quote spoke to me as I shared it with those in the group. It was attributed to Epictetus, a philosopher who was born in 55 AD.

He penned those words a long time ago, but the truth they convey applies to our lives today.

I see the importance of this truth often in working with people who attempt to overcome trauma. Those who can’t seem to get over what’s been done to them are those who react with bitterness, hatred, or self-pity. Some believe that their traumas are what causes their problems, but the truth is that it’s their reaction causing their unhappiness and mental health issues.

For years I found myself caught in that trap. I believed that harsh experiences from my childhood were the cause of my misery. What I discovered was the truth contained in the above quote. What caused my despair was my reaction–holding on to bitterness instead of forgiving those who had hurt me. This led to self-pity, negativity, and at times self-loathing. (If I had been a better person, then I would not have been mistreated like that.)

As I was contemplating this issue, I thought of a time years ago when I worked as an LPN on an orthopedic ward. There were two patients on my floor that had totally different reactions to what had happened to them. Watching them taught me that we truly do have a choice as to how we react to adversity.

I’ll call patient #1 Mr. Darling. Mr. D entered our hospital after being run over at the construction site where he worked by an inexperienced cement truck driver. He had multiple broken bones and numerous other injuries.

Patient #2, Mr. Woe Is Me came in for surgery on his hip after a fall.

Mr. D. who spent eight months on our ward (this was before rehab centers), brought joy to our floor because of his positive attitude, sense of humor, and encouragement to everyone he came in contact with. I remember going into his room with several other workers when we had to do some kind of treatment, and there would be laughter and lifted spirits all around. How well I recall his warm, loving smile.

This patient faced an uncertain future. He would be permanently disabled—never going back to the contruction work that he loved. He chose to react to his situation with acceptance and making the best of a bad situation. Immediately he forgave the man who had caused the accident, and was even concerned with how the accident might affect him. If I remember right, Mr. D was a believer, but he didn’t talk much about God. Instead he lived a life that showed he knew Him and trusted Him. He had a grateful heart and repeatedly thanked us for every little thing we did for him.

Mr. W was a different story. Going into his room was hard on everyone. He yelled at those taking care of him and never said, “thank you,” no matter how much we tried to please him and make him feel better. He incessently had a “Why me?” attitude as he recovered from his surgery. I remember well the look on his face—a sour I-hate-life and even at times a I-hate-you look. In the time he was in our care, I never saw him smile.

He left long before Mr. D, and I hoped that somehow he would discover the truth that it was his reaction to his situation that was hurting him and bringing on misery.

The day Mr. D was finally able to leave the hospital, I felt joy for the privilege of getting to know him and taking care of him. I can still see him in my mind’s eye walking from his room slowly with his walker to the wheel chair—a man crippled in body but not in his emotional or spiritual life.

I praise God for Mr. D and others–like my Uncle Danny who these days is facing multiple medical issues–who inspire by how they face adversity. I want to be one of those people.

And I don’t want to ever forget that “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

I also don’t want to forget this truth from Scripture:  “And Jehovah is a tower for the bruised, A tower for times of adversity.” Psalm 9:9 YLT

“It Is Well” by Kristene DiMarco






Posted in Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dealing With Dream-Stompers, Naysayers, Hope-Slayers

Recently I overheard a mom and her child interacting. The conversation entailed the adolescent expressing a desire, and her mom squashing it due to fear over the child’s past behaviors.

Angry words ensued, and the more the young person repeated the goal she wanted to pursue, the more the mom shot it down.

They invited me into the conversation, but the mom remained negative and wouldn’t listen to my attempts to suggest she allow her child to pursue her dream and give her room to fail.

When I left them, they were still speaking antagonistically toward one another.

After this, I thought of that mom and the role she was playing in that altercation: dream- stomper, naysayer, hope-slayer.

My heart hurt as I thought of times I took on that role with certain people in my life—especially those who repeatedly made unwise choices.

Then I recalled people in my life who have delivered discouraging words when I announced a dream or desire—often those the Lord laid on my heart.

“You’ll never succeed at that.”

“You’re not good enough to accomplish that.”

“That will never happen.”

“Why in the world would you want to attempt that goal?”

“Are you crazy? Kidding me? Have a screw loose?

Despite those who have tried to squash my dreams, with God’s help I’ve succeeded at most of them. The others are still in progress.

The key to realizing our dreams is to avoid listening to the dream-stompers and instead open our ears and hearts to the Lord and embrace His words and will for our lives.

One thing I know is that if He has called me to it, He will do it in me and through me. I think of God calling me to sing and those who have tried to squash that dream He laid on my heart. Several people in my life have said, “You can’t sing.”

My singing is not about being on “The Voice” or “American Idol” but it is about being able to minister to others with songs, some written by talented songwriters and others that God has laid on my heart. When I’ve obeyed God and sung songs to hurting souls, they have been moved and changed. They have said, “Wow! You can sing.” Many times there have been healing tears.

So who is right?

God empowers me to touch souls with songs, and the ones who say, “You can’t sing” are not souls who need a song from me. They listen with fleshly ears and compare me to the best singers in the world.

I think of the tsk-tsk I’ve heard from others as I’ve tried to pursue my dreams. When I turn to the Lord, He has something different to say. He communicates, “Good for you,” “I’m so proud of you,” and “You can do this.”

I’m praying for that mom who too often plays the dream-stomper in her daughter’s life—that she will allow the Holy Spirit to speak encouraging words through her.

And I’m praying for myself that I will completely let go of ever being the dream-stomper, naysayer, or hope-slayer in people’s lives—even my own–as I let go of negative words toward others and to myself.

Today I know for certain that God is dreaming big for me and for my loved ones—even if dreams and desires seem difficult or even impossible.

When others say, “That’s impossible,” I need to remember to embrace what God says, “…for all things are possible with Me” (See Mark 10:27) and echo what David said in Psalm 55:23: …But I will trust in, lean on, and confidently rely on You.”

The decision I need to make today and every day is: who will I listen to?

Song reference:

Lately the song “Through It All” written my Andrae Crouch has been coming to mind. And this past Tuesday someone in my Bible study mentioned it as well. Even with dream-stompers, nay-sayers, and hope-slayers working to try to get me to abandon my God-given dreams, my Lord reminds me that through it all He is teaching me to trust in Him alone.

“Through It All” by Andrae Crouch featuring CeCe Winans


Posted in Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , | 3 Comments