The worst thing about trauma, in my opinion, isn’t the pain. Pain comes and goes. The worst thing about trauma is the fact that it can alter you, permanently. Trauma makes people paranoid, suspicious, irritable, sensitive, guarded, defensive or reclusive. When you’ve been hurt, a small part of you begins to see people as potential sources of pain. A little bit of innocence evaporates every time your heart is broken. A new mindset begins to crystallize. Resolutions based on that situation begin to take shape. Habits begin to change ever so slightly. Prejudice might bud too. You begin to put your value system subconsciously on a weighing scale, wondering if who you are is what the world needs and begin to make alterations according to your interpretation of the agony. Sometimes we think we’re growing but we’re just weaving ourselves into beautiful, numb, functional and smiley cocoons so that we never have to feel anything so intense again.
The world has with passing time celebrated superficialism more and more. Every time people cry out for help on social media, we recoil. We engage so much better with politically correct and well-to-do posts. Every day, the message is loud and clear, “Do not put your issues out there”. People’s own experiences have made them callous and petrified of dealing with insecurities in other people. Broken people, break people.
I was 8 months pregnant, exhausted and grief-stricken. I had this recurring asthma attacks that were hardly responding to treatment. On the day my doctor decided to have me admitted, I felt as if I was being ‘committed’ to a mental institution. I had a breakdown, heaving and crying as a stunned couple of nurses gathered around to console me. I thought they couldn’t possibly understand what I was dealing with. It was funny to one of them that I was so terrified of needles. I suddenly was terrified of everything. I was afraid of my parents leaving me alone in the hospital. I was afraid I would die and fail my child even before his birth. I was going to be a single mother, and I wasn’t ready for it.
In and out of the hospital, a dark cloud of agitation, hopelessness and frustration hung over me constantly. It had become such an incessant companion, I thought it would be mine to keep forever. My world began to fit into a certain mould and I started to see the world through the lens of anguish.
The good thing is, I’m a covenant child. There’s a divine assignment on my life. I’m born of God and therefore must overcome the world. God is much more interested in me than I am in me. I didn’t think it then, and frankly wasn’t holding on to much. But He saw the end from the beginning and was in the details. My skewed theology and frame of mind aside, I am a masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that were pre-ordained for me. For this reason, God set me right.
With that season gone, I had to constantly allow The Holy Spirit to reveal the negative attitudes I’d built towards people. The walls had to fall and the masks had to come off. Moreover, I had to come out of the fire looking more like pure gold than like ash.
The natural response to pain is to withdraw from any semblance of it. But the spiritual response is to rush towards every wave worth riding! The revelation of the fact that everything you went through was purpose bound will have you unmitigatedly carefree!
Every day of walking with God and with great tender people he sent to surround me, not only did my mind heal, but I also began to appreciate why I had to go through what I went through. As a highly emotional person, I learnt to love myself immensely and treasure the fact that I feel so deeply.
When God checks in, trauma becomes the place to make you kind, tender, full of empathy, gentle, careful with people’s hearts, authentic, seasoned and gracious. The devil intends to make you a pile of misery but I pray for you that the pain you’ve had to deal with will have an opposite effect. May your heart be whole, your mind be sober, your relationships be rich and meaningful, and may you always be a deep and genuine lover of people!
….they saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their go heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Daniel 3:27b