Life has a way of presenting circumstances that are painful and sometimes quite traumatic. The fallen state of this world and humanity places us in vulnerable positions of being affected by a society filled with crime, abuse, mistreatment, poverty, war, disease, hunger, and so much more. Additionally, relationships and families are a target for brokenness as all of the previously mentioned tragedies can impact people spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
Sometimes hope is lost in God and people. #LetsBeHonest
The painful existence of wounds of the heart and mind – trauma – is more common than we can imagine as the “after shock + effects” may be clearly seen when we encounter a perpetually angry/rude and troubled co-worker, a defiant child, or difficult family member who seems to always want to argue. We don’t have to look very far to identify the traumatized. Truthfully, the trauma may even lie in our very own hearts.
The months of April and May (2019) have taught me even more as a Bible Teacher and Trauma Healing Group Facilitator that pain should not be “hidden” – it’s not natural nor biblical. As I recently had the privilege of facilitating at Transformation Church of Trenton, New Jersey – it was a beautiful lesson and reminder for us all that we will suffer in some capacity – but we do not have to “package it” as a weight to be carried.
How can we be more honest about our pain and trauma?
- Talk to God like we’ve never done before. This is good. This is biblical. A sizable portion of the Psalms were written by folks who were having a hard time in life and needed an outlet for their pain. God was the one they turned to when they couldn’t even turn to anyone else.
- Speak with a trusted friend, leader, or mentor who is aware of the skill of listening. Listening is a skill and a great listener will ask the right questions, give constructive feedback, maintain privacy, and not be quick to judge your pain as insignificant, a sign of weakness, or an inconvenience to their schedule. The more times you share with a trusted and skilled listener, the easier it becomes to process your painful circumstances.
- Seek professional services. Some cultural beliefs would have us view professional help as a lack of trust in God himself. This is certainly not true. Proverbs 11:14 states:
King James Version
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.
Darby Bible Translation
Where no advice is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
World English Bible
Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls, but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.
How have you had to be more honest about your pain? Has addressing it been more helpful? How do you feel about the concept of “skilled listening” when seeking help?