(Also if you are interested in the Playlist for this Series, it’s on my Spotify and is called, “Overcoming Trauma Series: ‘Tune in with Meredith’ Playlist”
Hey friends! How’s it going?
I’m here to deliver the second installment of a series on trauma. It’s called, “Why Would We Ever want to Heal from Our Trauma?”
Today we are going to talk about why the “why” is so important.
If you’ve been through trauma, you’ve probably had this thought:
“Why would I want to heal when it’s just easier to ignore it? Can’t I just pretend it didn’t happen?”
I know, working through pain is hard work. Nobody wants to do it.
But it’s important.
You know why? Because we weren’t meant to live a small life, stuck in our boxes of fear and anxiety about what happened. We’re meant to live a FULL life.
When we’re ignoring it, pretending it didn’t happen, we’re stuck in fear whenever we’re triggered. We’re stuck in anxiety because we keep reacting out of that initial trauma. And by ignoring it, we basically give the enemy room to work with our unhealed selves.
Just look at John Chapter 10:10. It says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.”
The devil wants to steal your life. God wants you to LIVE it.
Not just that though. He’s got a PLAN for you.
One of my life verses is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
There is something about the way our world is today. I’ve been saying this for a couple years now, as we watch the unrest increase.
(And I’m not saying this about everyone) but I do believe – there are a LOT of people who are angry that have unaddressed trauma. Many of them would rather blame someone else than deal with it (even though no one else can fix it). Many of them, don’t even know it’s there. They just know they’ve been hurt, and they don’t know where to put that pain. So they act out. Completely logical. There are so many injustices today, it’s easy to act out.
But in watching it, I see my old angry self. I see that girl that didn’t always get angry at others, but didn’t know what to do with her pain. I used things like alcohol and food and running to try to stuff it down. But there was pain there and I couldn’t figure out the source. I wondered for years, “What is wrong with me?” I remember hitting a bottom with my drinking in my late twenties and begging my parents to tell me what they thought was wrong. Someone – just TELL me and FIX ME!
But the only one who could do that – was me. I had to be willing to acknowledge my brokenness so the healing could begin.
None of the people I was angry at could give me the peace I needed. None of the behaviors or substances I used could either. It was an inside job. I was desperate for Jesus.
And when I finally cried out to Him, He just met me right where I was so I wouldn’t have any doubt it was anything other then Him. And from that moment, he put the people, the friends, the places, the things I needed to to get REAL, to DEAL, and begin to HEAL.
So when someone says, “What’s wrong with you?” And it just makes you angrier, let me say to you,
“What happened, my friend?”
We have to deal with the WHAT, so we can answer the question, “WHY?”
Do you know the song, Shake It Out?” by Florence and the Machine? Whenever I hear it, I think about shaking off those demons, that anger, those resentments and the FREEDOM I get from RELEASING them.
It goes like this, “Regrets collect like old friends. Here to relive your darkest moments. I can see no way, I can see no way, and all of the ghouls come out to play. And every demon wants his pound of flesh but I like to keep some things to myself, I like to keep my issues strong. It’s always darkest before the dawn…” She goes on to sign, “And it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back so shake him off!”
It’s funny because I looked up the meaning behind the song and apparently she wrote it about shaking off the hard and difficult emotional journeys that come with mental health issues.
I also found a Rolling Stone article from November 2018 where she talked about being 4 years sober. Her songs on her new album are about everything from eating disorders, to drugs to depression and social anxiety…
These are things that often come from going through trauma, which I’ll talk more about later.
Now I have no idea what happened to her, but I’m betting there was something. And I’m so glad she wrote this song to remind us we may have the devil on our back with mental health struggles from trauma, but we CAN shake him off.
When I finally saw Jesus, I had found my WHY. It wasn’t, “Why did this have to happen to me,” anymore. It was, “Why would I not want to be free of this pain?”
I don’t know if you know this – but scripture tells us that God wants to do a new thing. In Isaiah 43:18-19 he says,
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
He WANTS to bring us out of our wilderness of pain and into the promised land of healing.
When we’re busy running from it or avoiding the pain – we think we’ll never have to deal with it because we just don’t want to. But then it keeps coming up, and I am a believer (because I’ve seen it in my life multiple times) that God uses the pain. When things come back up that we’ve been through, he WANTS to HEAL us through them. He’s not revealing them to us so we can stay in our suffering, he’s saying, “Let me bring you through this pain to the other side of healing.”
Our brains may not physiologically comprehend a way out of it. But He sees it.
Why? Because he says in Isaiah Chapter 55: 9, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
We may THINK our way is the best way, but His ways are always higher. He’s the Waymaker.
The other thing – Jesus really does GET pain. He may have been without sin, but he wasn’t without PAIN.
If you look at Hebrews 2: 14-18, it talks about how the humanity of Jesus.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil — and free those whose lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, FULLY HUMAN IN EVERY WAY, in order that he might become a MERCIFUL and FAITHFUL high priest in SERVICE to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. BECAUSE HE HIMSELF SUFFERED WHEN HE WAS TEMPTED, HE IS ABLE TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE BEING TEMPTED.”
When you really grasp this, you realize – wow, he really does get me. This was the game changer for me realizing God isn’t just “up there, not down here” – Jesus came and became man FOR me, so he could DIE for my SINS, and He gave me the Holy Spirit so I could know He’s with me at all times. What a gift.
Not to mention – have you read about how the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness?
In Matthew chapter 4:1-3, it says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
He GETS it. He gets the temptation to avoid pain. He GETS that temptation to avoid suffering.
In Matthew Chapter 26, Jesus is in the the Garden of Gesthemane, before he’s going to be arrested and crucified.
Verses 37-39 say, “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
He wanted God to take this pain from Him. He didn’t want to die on the cross. But He did. That’s just how much he loves us.
He wants us to be healed.
Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
1st Peter 2: 24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
BY HIS WOUNDS YOU HAVE BEEN HEALED.
He says this in Isaiah 55:1, “Come, all who are thirsty, come to the waters.”
How thirsty are we for freedom when we still have that unaddressed trauma?
You know, when we’ve been through trauma it feels like there is just too much to deal with, there’s a lot of clutter. So we get overwhelmed by it. We don’t address it because it’s just “too much.” It reminds me of PHYSICAL CLUTTER.
When we’re struggling with the devil, and he’s trying to get us to respond to life out of trauma, our thoughts are cluttered, our feelings, our life, is just cluttered. That’s why we need help – to just process through it.
The past few weeks I’ve been working on preparing for a garage sale. It is my first and I’m kinda freaked out, but for some reason I just feel like I’m supposed to do it, there is something I’m going to learn from it. Anyway, I’ve been working through clutter – constantly looking for those things we don’t need and it’s been a very freeing process. I’m sure it will feel even better when we let go of some of this and get it out of the basement. But it’s clutter. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your home, or in your mind or emotions – clutter needs to be cleared out.
I don’t know what your clutter is. Maybe it’s an addiction to a behavior or a substance. Maybe it’s an addiction to overachievement, perfectionism or busyness or approval seeking. Maybe it’s hurriedness.
These are the things that can clutter our lives enough to avoid dealing with that deep root of pain.
If we don’t clear the way, we’ll keep reliving those darkest moments, when it’s time for us to SHAKE him off!
Hebrews 12:14-15 tells us, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no BITTER ROOT grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
He doesn’t want us to MISS the grace! He wants us to address that bitter root!
What’s funny is that it says at the end of that verse, “see to it that no bitter root GROW UP TO CAUSE TROUBLE AND DEFILE MANY.”
Now, when I read that I think generations. That right there is to me – the BIGGEST WHY of all this because it really isn’t about us.
It’s about the future generations who will be carrying these burdens if we don’t deal with them.
I’ve seen it first hand – both those who deal with it, and don’t.
The beauty is that YOU can be the one to reverse it. YOU can be the one to stop it from moving down your generational tree.
You can be the CHAIN BREAKER, because JESUS is the WAY MAKER.
If he can do this with me, and SO many others – he can DO IT WITH YOU.
I just want to close by reading part of Psalm 107. It’s verses 10-16.
“Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High.
So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. THEN THEY CRIED TO THE LORD IN THEIR TROUBLE, and he SAVED them from their distress.
He brought them out of their darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he BREAKS DOWN GATES OF BRONZE AND CUTS THROUGH BARS OF IRON.”
He is not messing around.
So, give him the space to bring you the GRACE only He can give.