"God heals the broken-hearted..." (Psalm 147:3).
Have you ever had a traumatic experience? An experience where you struggled with your emotions? Such experiences include:
- An experience that has led you to become aloof in your demeanour
- An experience that has led to anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, withdrawal from others, making further wrong decisions
- A bad experience you're not letting go of
- A feeling of disconnection from the outside world
- Having nightmares, agitation, frightened to go out
- Being startled easily
- Having flashbacks, avoiding the things that remind you of the trauma, dependence on alcohol, unable to trust others, etc.
Emotional trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that lead people to become vulnerable. Some of the stressful events usually lead to emotional trauma when they occur unexpectedly, when we are unprepared for it, when we felt powerless and when it happened repeatedly.
Should Emotional Trauma be unheard of among Christians?
Jesus encouraged his children not to fear, He said he has given us the spirit of love, power and sound mind. Is it then abnormal when Christians go through emotional trauma? No, it's not unusual when Christians experience emotional trauma, however, it is how the emotional trauma is dealt with that is pertinent.
No matter the kind of trauma we suffer or how it affects us, there's ALWAYS hope and a solution in Christ Jesus.
A few ways to deal with emotional trauma as a Christian;
- Confront your fears with the Word of God. An antidote to trauma is reading the life-transforming Word of God. It has the power to change lives
- Ask God for help
- Admit your feelings to someone trustworthy, an empathetic and loving person that can help you (Talking therapy). A Christian Counsellor who is very informed. You may seek help from your doctor if need be.
- Consciously reject negative thoughts by confessing the Word of God
- Write out and meditate on relevant scriptures
- Write down your feelings
- Listen to inspiring music
- Do not be in denial of your feelings
- Do not see yourself alone. The Holy Spirit is with you and He will see you through.
- Remember that every trial brings a better character. Every experience is to transform you to someone better. The bible says our tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).
- The trial is most likely to come with pain but it will build you up. If you feel overwhelmed managing your emotions, as previously mentioned, seek help from a trustworthy Christian counsellor.
How do you support a fellow Christian that has experienced or going through emotional trauma?
It can actually be difficult to know how to support someone to deal with emotional trauma as it means taking our time to understand from their perspective. As a Christian,
- Pray for them. Consciously take out time to pray for them
- Be patient with the person's pace of recovery. Don't judge your loved one's reaction against how you would react to a traumatic experience. Be patient with them should they isolate themselves from you
- Offer practical support, ask if they are okay to be visited, ask if they need any help. Someone that is going through a traumatic experience is unlikely to ask for practical support until you initiate it
- Do not immediately put blame on your loved ones. Be empathetic and sensitive
- Support your loved ones to socialise, visit them, engage in activities that your loved ones will enjoy
- Don't be offended by their reactions. Your loved one may become angry, emotionally distant and withdrawn, do not take it personally, learn to be patient with them and be persistent and never give up on them
- Shower them with your love and time. Be available for them and continuously offer your listening ears. Do not let your loved ones feel alone
- Send your loved ones encouraging bible scriptures
- If the emotional trauma becomes severe, advice your loved ones to seek professional support if possible.
I pray the Lord will heal every broken-hearted. He has said that you should cast ALL your worries upon Him for He cares for you (1Pet 5:7). May God also place His love in your heart to support those that are going through emotional trauma. I leave you with this bible scripture:
“Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.” (Isaiah 41:10 GNT)
- Myss Lafunky