Welcome back to “Friday Feature!” Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and enjoy today’s devotion! If you missed last week’s devotion, you can read it here!
Brie Guiles brings us today’s devotion titled, “Enduring Trauma with Christ.” Brie, a Canadian girl living in North Carolina, is married with 2 fur babies. She loves coffee shop vibes, long drives, and spending time with family and friends. Brie started ‘Caffeinated Faith’ as an outlet to express her growing faith and inspire other women to grow alongside her. Brie & I had the privilege of meeting through Instagram a short time ago. Give her IG page a follow! @caffeinatedfaith You will definitely be inspired!
Enduring Trauma with Christ
I was four years old when I was formally diagnosed with PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – after being held hostage with my mother and brother in our California home, smack dab in the middle of a hot September afternoon. I was too young to understand this diagnosis at the time, but it haunted me for years nonetheless, converting my once bubbly personality into the shell of a little girl my family knew me to be. I didn’t talk to anyone, let alone strangers, and I suffered from severe migraines for many years, and still do when I’m stressed.
Maybe your trauma story doesn’t look quite like mine, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less real for you. We have all had our own scary, unimaginable set of circumstances – some of us more than one – and learning how to cope with trauma is never easy. I know how it feels to believe that things are never going to get better, or that closure will never come.
Because we live in a world inundated with sin, we are prone to tragedy. The enemy wants us to believe we’re stuck in it for good. Friend, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m here to tell you that your experiences are valid, and that the best type of closure comes directly from Christ. His sacrifice gave us a toolkit of faith, obedience, and trust that in Him we can endure whatever the Enemy throws at us.
As believers, we’re familiar with verses like 1 Peter 5:7 which says “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” But this isn’t the only time in the Bible that trauma is addressed. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus calls us out: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
And even in the Old Testament, fear and anxiety (common symptoms of post-traumatic experience!) are addressed. Take Psalm 91:4-6: “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and a buckler.” And Isaiah 40:31 outlines, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint…”
All of this to say that God knows not every part of our lives is going to be picture-perfect. His Word is jam packed with the wisdom we need to not only get through the hard times, but to thrive and blossom in our relationship with Christ along the way.
Trauma, pain, anxiety… unfortunately, these are all part of the “package deal” of being a human. But it is what we choose to do with them that determines our outcome. None of us want to stay stuck, do we? The Lord certainly does not want us to keep living in pain; He is waiting with open arms to help us through the darkest, scariest times. Let this be the encouragement you need to let go of a piece of your trauma to Him today. Cast your fear. Praise the Lord for being with you in every moment with your favorite worship song. Let Jesus take the pain.
Eventually, I learned to celebrate my trauma as a sign of life. I no longer shed tears over what happened that day, and I don’t let the lingering stress-induced migraines define who I am. Instead, I can thank the Lord for delivering me from that hot mess and bringing me to where I am now. His light was what I needed when the darkness started creeping in, and when I finally let Jesus in, my entire life started to shift.
Guess what, Friend? Yours can too.
Parting note: I do not want to discourage you from seeking professional or pastoral help when you need it. The Lord has given us earthly resources to use for our benefit! Talk to your loved ones and your Church leaders, or find a counselor to help you unpack stowed baggage. No matter what happens, you are never alone.