Is It Possible to Recover from Trauma?
Trauma creates overwhelming feelings of being out of control.
You feel helpless.
You experience feelings of being smothered, where you desperately work to find breath to survive.
You struggle to cope, unable to find words to describe your constant sense of danger or feelings of hopelessness.
You don’t feel safe in your own skin.
Trauma comes in many forms, but its impact must not be taken lightly.
Don’t Minimize Trauma
Though others minimize what you are experiencing, the impact of trauma on your body, your mind, and your very being is real and ongoing. It cannot be explained or reasoned away.
I’m sure you are wondering.
Is it possible to recover from the impact of trauma? Experts in the field of traumatization say – there is no cure. There is only recovery.
That sounds like bad news. It isn’t. Knowing the truth is important for your sanity. Especially when a loved one or close friend says, “Just snap out of it.”
You can’t. Your brain is not equipped to snap out of the impact of trauma.
Cling to What is True
It’s vital to lay a groundwork of truth so you can discern between what is true and what is false in your journey to find healing. Part of that is understanding what is and isn’t true about trauma recovery.
Knowing there is no instant fix means you can stop blaming or punishing yourself when you fall apart.
It means you can relax and breathe and begin to heal. Because, while there isn’t a cure, there is healing.
Yes! Pause. Take a deep breath. Trauma isn’t imaginary. It is real. Many of its negative effects tend to be hidden, which means trauma’s impact is long-term.
No Quick Fix
Just because you love Jesus doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly be fixed and any trauma you’ve experienced will magically disappear.
And when you aren’t instantly fixed – it’s not because you lack faith. Don’t listen when people say:
You just need more faith.
You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.
Someone they know suffered way worse than you and is perfectly fine…
Such talk is toxic. Find people who love you and support you just as you are. People who give you permission to be where you are on your journey.
As for being fixed? You fix machines. NOT people.
You are a lovely person created in God’s image. What you suffered in the past and what you suffer now is real. And it’s significant because you are precious to God.
No Magic to Escape Trauma’s Impact
There are no magic potions to take, no magic wand to wave and fix yourself. Stop beating yourself up. Instead, thank Jesus you can’t be fixed!
For years I tried to fix myself and failed miserably!
But this is the exciting bit.
Trauma recovery is a process; not an event. It’s a process as you learn to acknowledge what happened and learn to regulate your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
As you learn to self-regulate, you begin to step out of the clutches of the physiological reactivity of the brain and live in the present moment.
You could say:
Trauma recovery is about learning to live, move, and have your being centered in Jesus the LORD rather than in your feelings.
Give yourself permission to be in process.
Process means you will have good days. Praise Jesus for the good days. You will also have bad days. Praise Jesus a good day is just around the corner!
You will make mistakes; even fall on your face. That’s okay.
You don’t have to be perfect. Jesus loves you for who you are – not for how skilled you are at pretending everything is fine, nor for how well you jump through hoops.
He loves and accepts you. Full stop!
Ask Him to help you be honest with yourself, to face the face the truth that someone hurt you.
Know you weren’t alone. What they did – also hurt Jesus. He was there with you. He understands your pain and He doesn’t condemn you.
Know what happened was not God’s design for your life. Yes, He allowed it. But His desire was for you to be loved and protected and nurtured.
The Wonderful Truth
Because Jesus died and arose from the grave, you can die to trauma’s identity. As you arise with Christ, you triumph over the past.
Daily choose life. And little by little you will experience the Lord’s transformative touch – relegating one aspect of the trauma at a time into the grave as you walk forward into newness of life.
Rejoice my dear friend. There is safety in Jesus. And there definitely is recovery from trauma!
Join me next week as I dive into keys to recover from trauma.