The Power of Trauma to Trap You In The Past
Trauma wields great power
In the moment of impact – the impact of steel as a truck slammed into your car. The impact of a hand raised in violence. The impact of rape. The impact of early childhood trauma. The impact of any other type of violence leaves one powerless.
Shock quickly clamps heavy chains onto its victim, restricting freedom of motion. Trauma traps you in the moment, slams the door behind you. Your mind attempts to escape by replaying the assault or by totally repressing the event. But this does not deal with trauma; it only buries it.
I love story. If you understand concepts through story, I’d encourage you to take a moment to read this short story about a girl locked in a dungeon. Go here now.
When you’re finished with the story, come back and I’ll share more about trauma and PTSD.
If you prefer just the facts, keep reading.
I think you understand the power of PTSD is real. Shock, trauma, and fear unite to cause fragmentation. The breaking of the personality assaults core identity and leaves a part of your personality locked into that traumatic event.
Torment assaults its victim, further sealing the cage holding part of your personality. It is important to learn how to deal with trauma.
To have your voice silenced, to be held captive, broken in spirit, and often suffering a broken heart, results in being covered with shame. Shame is a faceless enemy that causes your soul to hemorrhage. There are no easy fixes. You cannot simply say chains be gone with great faith. They will not magically disappear.
Satan is a legalist. There are legal rights that must be dealt with before trauma and shame’s power can be broken. This involves a process. It doesn’t normally all happen at once because you are a complex personality and there are layers to life. Each layer must be brought into the light and faced. Each right must be faced and overcome.
Ah, I hear you saying, “Jesus paid the full price to set you free. All you need is to name it and claim it.”
That is true! Jesus paid the full price. It is your choice to receive or reject Jesus as your Saviour. But salvation is a process. So is attaining mental and emotional health.
If you ask Jesus to be Lord, He breaks open the cell door. But it is your choice to step outside the cell and face each enemy along the journey.
The reality is, it feels safer to remain in the darkness you know than to face darkness you don’t know.
It is your choice if you don’t face your fears, your limitations, or your weaknesses. Words of boldness are good. Prayer is wonderful.
But unless you move to face the darkness, you substitute action for avoidance. Bold words without acceptance of truth or walking in forgiveness allow you to be passive and to remain hiding in the dark.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. It is the evidence of things unseen. Faith requires action. There is no shame in being afraid.
So what is my point? It is your choice if your fear defines you. It is your responsibility if it locks you in its grip so you move into avoidance.
It is also your choice if you define your fear and take responsibility to establish healthy boundaries fear can’t cross to take you captive.
It is important to understand each subsequent trauma reinforces the negative belief system created by the first traumatic event. Each lie, each limiting belief must be brought into the light and replaced by true truth.
We must choose to let go of passivity, of blame, of grousing and complaining, of judging others. We must actively choose to humble ourselves and admit our need for help. This is the beginning of how to deal with trauma.
Here is the big secret! The Lord is not confined by the dark. But He is there with you. His plan is to take you through adversity as you learn to rest in Him. He will not magically sprint you away but He will deliver you from the evil assaulting you.
Amazing, isn’t it?
So what is the next step? Today, I encourage you to take responsibility to place your hand into the hand of the One who stilled the stormy waters. Invite Him to bring the hidden things of darkness into the light and allow Him to guide you through the dark.
If you make that choice, I cannot pretend it will be easy. It will require courage. The wonderful new is in the process, you will move out of victimization. You will grow to become a mighty overcomer. And you will see limitations conquered in the beautiful name of Jesus!