For the believer - trauma recovery is a mind-renewal process that involves being sanctified by God's Word and His Truth just as much as it involves learning/re-learning life skills, stress management skills and stabilizing your nervous system! In this episode I am diving into the spiritual component of the trauma recovery journey by looking at:
My hope is that this episode stirs your faith to walk in Victory as a child of God - knowing first that you belong to the Lord as you recover from the pain of trauma.
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Trauma Recovery is a mind-renewal process that involves being sanctified by God’s Word and His Truth just as much as it involves learning/re-learning life skills, stress management skills, and stabilizing your nervous system. The Spiritual Benefits of walking in submission to God actually support positive neuroplasticity and adaptation - bring more stress resilience, peace and blessing.
God’s Word and His Spirit Make the Crooked Places Straight in the Heart
While we all have a sinful condition as human beings in need of God - childhood trauma such as abuse and neglect create higher levels of inner chaos that lead to health issues, generational patterns of dysfunction, addiction, personality problems and disorders, depression, anxiety. Family dysfunction is a darkness that impacts brain and body development by damaging the stress physiology.
When we walk in His ways - the Hand of the Creator begins to straighten out that which is crooked in our hearts. He moves within our being through the power of His word and His spirit and brings life to what was dead - prunes away that which does not bring Him glory and establishes us in new, abundant life.
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
that gates may not be closed:
“I will go before you
and level the exalted places,[a]
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
The Heart is Deceitful and Desperately Wicked - who can know it?
The inner domain of human beings is not territory that any human is fully equipped to know and understand. While psychology and science can be of help to us - they will never cover the fullness of what it means to be humans created in the image of God living in a fallen world. The inner chamber of man’s heart is knowable and changeable only by the Lord God.
When you begin to realize the vast impact of trauma on the human body, mind and soul - it is truly amazing how deep and how insidious it is. It gets into the fabric of the individuals cells and DNA. This is the impact of sin and how it stains us so fundamentally at the core of our being - both our own sin and the sin of others. How can we trust our own hearts? How can we trust such a distorted view?
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,[b]
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
The hope in Christ is that we are given a NEW heart -
I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Double-mindedness and personality instability
One of the painful effects of trauma is feeling fundamentally unsafe and unstable on the inside. It is a sense of uncertainty and feeling that you can’t trust your thoughts or your reality. It can be crazy-making and it also makes victims of trauma susceptible to being abused or abuse others! But the Word of God purifies this sense of double-mindedness and makes us stable and secure in Him because His Word never, ever changes!
Science can change, treatments can change, psychology and the field of trauma and attachment and neurodevelopment can change - but Jesus never changes - He stays the same forever! And there is such great Hope in that! We trust in the one who will never change. We trust in the one who our Rock!
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Seeking Healing From the World When the Holy Spirit is powerful enough to bring you through trauma, stabilize you and bring you out on the other side.
Here’s what we know as believers - we know that every good and perfect gift comes from God. So we know that we can get paid for example from our job and receive money. But the true provider is God not the employer. Similarly, a doctor can help us heal - but that healing ultimately comes from the Lord because the Lord gave the doctor those skills.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
When it comes to trauma recovery - we can get great benefit from psychological tools and modes and frameworks that are truly wonderful and a blessing and gift of common grace - but remember that ultimately healing comes from God.
And further - the ultimate healing is the healing that comes to the spirit through the Power of God’s Word. Because the reason trauma exists we know is because of original sin anyway - we have inherited this sin nature from our father Adam. And so the washing and regeneration of our souls is the deepest healing - and it does over time and through the power of sanctification bring healing from the deep issues of trauma as well because we receive the mind of Christ and we have a new spirit the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead that lives in us and empowers us to live new lives as a new creation and walk in the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:6-16
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[b]—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
Your ultimate healing from trauma does not come from the world. It comes from God - it comes from His Word. If you trust in the Lord - he will make your path straight and secure - He will fully establish you - a lot of times, when we are desperate we can turn to the world - and end up actually involved in seeking healing from spiritual sources or philosophies that heap more bondage on us. And so we have to remember that the Lord and His Word is sufficient - it does guide, it does direct it does bring freedom!
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.