I had this written before the recent Tornados that hit Kentucky. The trauma they are experiencing is beyond comprehension. The loss of life, property, dreams, heritage and a how daily life was done, is a trauma that takes time for healing to occur. In these kinds overwhelming situations you will go through all the stages of loss: grieving, anger, despair and a host of other things. It is hard for those who know the Lord and the hope and peace He can bring. I honestly don’t know how anyone can have that strong of a will to make it without Him. I wrote this blog to deal with the daily issues of life more so than the catastrophes of life. I hope some of this will be applicable to both.
There is a lot going on in culture. There are two types of things I see prevalent in the church culture right now. First is the denial of problems, pain, disease etc. It is like if we deny, it doesn’t exist. This is coming from the belief of positive confession etc. Negative things do exist and not calling it by name does not make it go away. The faith movement has made us go to an extreme of not admitting to what we are facing. Denial does make it any less real and can mask something to never be addressed. This denial thinking is not very well accepted by the emerging generation as it is not authentic.
The second is the over focus on the problem of trauma, depression, anxiety, and a host of other societal problems. This has led to a cultural acceptance in the church that it’s ok to not be whole. Again, an honest evaluation, but not a Godly or biblical perspective. Jesus did not just heal, but made whole to the degree the effects caused by the problem were reversed as if they never occurred. But the over emphasis on trauma can create a self-destructive path and a non-deliverance mindset. The problem is real, but its magnitude is more than the answer. The focus is on self and feelings than faith and freedom. This focus on the problem more than the solution is not very well accepted by an older generation who will say “just get over it.” Which is coming from the first mindset of denying it. This position is not accepted by an older generation who has endured much.
So, we are sitting in two different philosophies and approaches. But both have many things in common. Both approaches do not bring wholeness to the issues. Both do not have a solid pathway to resolve. Both have faith involved to a degree, but not true authentic Biblical faith. But what is positive is both have a desire to be walking in freedom as an outcome.
We all have things we will go through in life. I see three areas of roots causes of trauma.
- First, some are just life issues due to living in a sin filled world that we feel the effects of. Unredeemed man and man’s greed and pride can come into play. These can create all kinds of abuses from others. Rape, deception in business, murder, revenge, corrupt governments, unfair situations. We can create a lengthy list. It is the unredeemed areas of men, acted upon. These are external processes that affect a person’s life.
- Second, other things are our own poor decisions and responses that have caused our problems. These things create a self-induced calamity that can become a false identity and an ongoing cycle of trauma, or life events that are detrimental to our emotional and mental health. These are emotional and psychological areas that come as defense mechanisms to cope with or not cope at all. These decisions are not being responsible for our choices which have repercussions. These can create “loops” of thinking and lead us to a self-deceived state the Bible speaks of. These are internal processes.
- And finally, that which seems unexplainable or makes just no sense. These things are demonic or have demonic roots. This would be the demonic attacks to slow us down, distract us and cause confusion in faith. I have experienced all of these and I’m sure you have to. But we give too much credit to demonic things and deny the first two sources. I have had my dark times in life, but I decided to not live in the darkness and allowed the light of God’s deliverance to come in. These are supernatural processes.
At times it can become confusing as it appears all three are at work at the same time. That can be true. The demonic forces bring things to shift our faith. The same time demonic forces move upon the evil in men’s hearts to create situations that affect us. We then make decisions emotionally and intellectually more so than spiritually lead. So, what is the balance we need?
We need to not deny our problems or the problems of others, but face them from a biblical perspective. This emerging generation needs to be taught, not denial, but how to walk out life and still find rest during the storms. We were not promised a life of ease but a life of overcoming. But to overcome there first must be a battle, or something we must gain victory over. This is where the older generation should be quick to train and encourage rather than judge or give a quick answer without investment.
We must walk out the problems by facing them and finding solutions. For some they seek a counselor, therapist, or an emotional health person to help them deal with things. These can help, but the only way to truly be free is to allow God to deliver, heal and make whole by restoration. Lazarus was dead and Jesus called him asleep first, but because the people couldn’t go there in understanding, he finally said, “He is dead.” Jesus came to change the life calamity with light and life. His perspective was positive, not negative. Others were sick or demonized and Jesus recognized the condition, and then addressed the thing holding people bound. What is needed is a perspective from God, not ourselves. From the potential of faith which exceeds our understanding. If we don’t shift into a position of faith, then things will hold a grip on us, a grip that is more intellectual, and emotional based on the current condition and not the future.
When I came into the kingdom many years ago, there was not any of the counseling things we have today. If you had a problem or anxiety, depression or any type of emotional problem you and God worked it out. Your dependency grew on God until you had a breakthrough. You were also dependent strongly on the spiritual community you engaged in to stand with you, hold you accountable and walk out healing with you. It made us closer and more connected in heart. No one journeyed in trauma alone. We had emotions, we had feelings, but it was our faith in God that caused breakthrough. We didn’t deny, but lived above things, knowing God was our breakthrough.
God is near those who are broken-hearted. God does not draw close to just bring comfort, but comes to resolve or bring change. Every time Jesus was near those broken hearted, he brought a shift into their lives. Jesus is the agent of change, and his involvement will always produce change. Like all healing it is God who is the ultimate healer. He has allowed healing to come by all kinds of ways. He uses doctors, people, loved ones, friends, and even kids at times. All are relationships and that is what we experienced in my early years. Someone in my Christian circle could be carrying your answer. If you are out of fellowship, you could be delaying your answer. I have seen this happen constantly, that an answer was given in a meeting, but the person wasn’t there and never heard it, so they struggled until the answer came again later in the future.
Some emotional traumas are how others have treated us physically and emotionally, abusing us. Those require healing, time and seeing God step in to make us whole again. Many other emotional traumas we face come because of what we hear or assumptions we make. We are quick to allow our mind to imagine all kinds of fantasy. I had a spiritual daughter come to my office and demand I tell her who was talking about her behind her back. I told her, “No one.” After about 20 minutes of arguing she would not back down. I told her, “O.K. I’ll tell you who is talking about you, there is only one person and it’s you!” Sometimes we make things bigger than they are. We also hear in ways that come from past hurts so what we hear may not be completely accurate. It really comes down to not what we hear but how we hear. A person may be accusing but it may be coming from their own insecurity or hurts. It’s how we hear their voice in the accusation. Do we hear the accusation or the hurt it comes from?
Jesus said in the parables to be careful “How” we hear. The problem is not hearing God’s voice but distinguishing it with confidence from all other voices. There are five voices affecting our spiritual ears.
- God’s voice – which can be a still small voice
- Man’s voices, the flesh – your desires and emotions
- Voice of reason – your intelligence
- The voice of conscience – your sense of knowing right from wrong
- Satan’s voice – deception
All of these have certain familiarities to them. We are most familiar with our intellect and our conscious. Then our voice or emotions, then satan’s, and finally God’s. As you see God’s voice is at the end and the other voices are entertained. If we create a new order of God’s voice first the outcome becomes; our conscience will submit to it, our intellect will embrace it, our desires and emotions will yield to it, and Satan’s voice will be diminished or gone.
As I said, we all go through traumatic events in life due to one of the three reasons. We are not going to avoid it. It’s how we negotiate the moment and what voices we are allowing to dictate and form us during it and afterward. You can tell by this story how I negotiated the three areas and the five voices.
I can remember being clinically depressed for over a year. I was transitioning into the apostolic from the prophetic and I had not heard God’s voice for a year. I also was denied any ministry role everywhere I turned, and leaders were pitting people against me. I was hearing all the voices, but the most important, God’s. I was trying to sort out what decisions I had made that were wrong (there weren’t any). And I was living in others unredeemed responses and oversight in my life. I knew the enemy was trying to stop me at every turn and constantly spoke to me about failure, unqualified, rejected, no value and would never find my purpose, identity or do anything of any value for God. I fought all the voices, all the influences, and still wasn’t having break-through. During it, my youngest son died and was pronounced dead in the hospital. I got the call and instead of conscious or emotions or intellect or even the voice of Satan dictating, I allowed God’s voice already in my spirit to rise. Remember, I was in a deep depression and hadn’t heard God’s voice for a year. But His voice was still in me, just buried in the mud of everything. I told the devil he could take everything, but wouldn’t take my son. Not a tear, not a fear, not a voice of reason, but the gift of faith came to me. I went to the hospital and raised him off the table 2 hours after he had died. You see, denying the other voices has given my son from that day (Dec 2) 30 more years of life so far. Which could have been for me, to live in 30 years of trauma instead. It came down to a decision I had to make concerning God’s role in my life.
I know this short teaching doesn’t cover every unique detail, but I will say I have helped people work through all kinds of abuse, trauma, suffering, rejection, mental stresses, emotional upheaval etc. all thinking in the moment there is no way I’ll ever get free. Yet they all did. Some in a few weeks and others many years. You can avoid future things by hearing God, and you can heal from past things by God speaking into you. Everyone is only a guide to healing, be it emotional, mental, or physical. But the bottom line is, God is the one who brings the wholeness. All those things do not define who you are to God and what you can do for Him upon the earth. There are many things to bring wholeness, but dealing with the voices is a main hurdle to overcome and will help in the entire process. I hope this helps you break free from a cycle you may be in, and I also hope it helps you heal from past hurts.