It speaks to the challenging times in which we live that you don’t have to break out the acronym PTSD today. Everyone knows it from the traumas of wars, natural disasters, terrorists attacks, and other disasters. And it can become quite debilitating if we ignore it. It is not uncommon to run across people who are dealing with traumas. Some of whom don’t even realize they are still working through it.
PTSD can also come from traumas that are not as frequently thought of as well. I had a friend, for instance, who, every time you had to hit the car brake hard, would take a sudden deep breath. She explained she had done it ever since she was in a bad accident that she didn’t even remember. Yet, somehow, at least at a subconscious level, the memory was there. Car accidents, sexual trauma, bad medical incidents – PTSD can come from a variety of sources.
We often highlight the good things in life as being defining for us, such as marriages, children, jobs, hobbies, and interests. Yet traumas (and how we deal with them) are also defining for us. And despite what many may think, neither counseling, open discussion with friends, nor prayer will take traumas away. Whatever they were, they are now a part of those who have experienced them.
Yet, these traumas can help us. I do not mean by this that traumas are good. They are not. But by the grace of God, through faith, we can turn evils into good (just as God turned the exile of a nation by the Babylonians and the crucifixion of an individual by the Romans into something good).
We live in a world where evil things happen to people – good and bad people. When we become traumatized by something, it is key not to try to journey out of that dark place alone. God may not stop the traumas of this world (and we don’t really know fully why), but he does send people to help. And when people recover from that trauma, they can help those who recently have been traumatized and help them journey into the light.
One day traumas will not be part of life. One day in God’s kingdom – evil – all evils – will be no more. And God will wipe away every tear. In the meantime, God is still with us. Let’s always look to him and help one another until we get there.
All the best and ’til next time,