John 8:32 ‘Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
What does it mean to be traumatized. It’s to have something so awful, so unbelievable, so unspeakable happen to you that it literally throws you into a state of psychological damage; that it causes you to not be able to function properly in relationships. It doesn’t mean that you don’t function, that you aren’t out there in the world attempting to function.
We are seeing the results in people’s lives of Satan’s dirty work; only he could author the forms of abuse and trauma many have lived through.
We live in the midst of a world where there are multitudes, not a few, but multitudes of people, that are literally traumatized by past hurts and wounds; 8, 9 and 11 year olds emotionally, trying their best to ‘act’ like an adult. They are out there together trying to get along together and it doesn’t take very long to figure out why we derail our lives and relationships, and fail to reach our potential, and are addicted, overweight and miserable. Its overwhelming work carrying adult weight, while yet a child, emotionally and developmentally.
As I look back at my young mother self, in the early 1980′s, I see a 30 yr old woman trying to function in adult life with the emotional maturity of a fifteen year old. The trauma had kept me at age 15 emotionally, as my physical body continued to age around me.
So what is trauma, anyway? The word trauma means to be wounded physically or emotionally; it is to have sudden or substantial shock that creates severe and lasting damage to the psychological development of the individual. The person is basically stuck where they were when the trauma occurred. My counselor explained back then that it was as if the hem of my dress were stuck in the door and even though life moved forward; I couldn’t move forward until I went back and opened up that door and freed myself.
It was truth that opened the door for me, and it was looking at the truth hidden behind that closed door that has since set me free.
I write this today to encourage you that freedom is a reality; it’s the best part of my story. It’s the best part, the good news; the freedom part of knowing truth. I believe with all my heart God wants us to function normally. He is my Jehovah Rapha, the God who healed me. My life is changed. I wish you could ask my husband of 29 years and my grown kids about the difference in their wife and mother since those days. They love to share the story, for you see, their lives were changed, as well.
I don’t know what path God wants to take to heal you, because he deals individually with each one of us. Maybe you’ve already started on your journey and feel like you are in the middle of the process. I want to encourage you not to give up. I know well that middle ground where God’s pulling you out of the mess you used to be in, but you haven’t exactly reached that place of victory yet. You seem to be stuck somewhere in the middle and you are not sure you want to go on, but you can’t go back.
How many of you know what I’m talking about? You feel like, ‘God, I can’t stand this place anymore,’ and he reminds you there is no place to go back to.
I don’t know about you, but my healing journey parallels that of the Children of Israel. Starting on my journey of transformation years ago was like leaving the proverbial bondage of Egypt [trauma], not a place to return to, EVER. Being in the middle of the process felt like wandering in the wilderness, and taking laps around Mt. Sinai and never quite learning my lesson.
So what about Canaan; does Canaan exist? I’m here to tell you, yes, it does.
Truth set me free. Free to what; what is freedom? In my life, knowing the truth set me free to enter into the proverbial Promised Land of Canaan; a land of victory; a land of triumph over trauma. For me, freedom was victory over my raging, and freedom to move forward and mature emotionally. Life quit being so overwhelming. In fact, compared to what I’d known in Egypt and the wilderness days of my transformation, my life felt like the Promised Land.
The truth is Canaan is wonderful, it is milk and honey compared to the wilderness, but I want to caution you; Canaan is not a land of leisure. In order to possess the land there are giants we must slay. However, take heart, you’ll have tools to use that you never knew existed while dwelling in the wilderness. But then, if you’ve passed through the wilderness of your triumph over trauma, you already know that.
God wants all of us to enter into our own Canaan, to be free, and to know triumph over trauma. Satan wishes to waste us, waste our lives and he often gets a hold of us at an early age. Abuse and trauma cause actual development lags; but God is a restorer and healer, transformer and redeemer!
Are you a survivor of abuse? Do you need help facing and overcoming the trauma? We’d love for you to join us at our next New Life Weekend.