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.