When my faith receives a quick blow, it becomes shaken and I lose my spiritual balance. After the initial shock, which befalls nearly all humans who experience trauma, I begin the recovery process. I believe this process is God inspired and will help all those who choose to follow it.
Re-establishing my faith is the first course of action to recovery from trauma. God's Word states in Romans 10:17: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (NIV) This is why many people fail to recover or continue to struggle in their recovery. Their faith is not set on the foundation of “the Word,” but is fixed on the trauma that has devastated them. Establishing my faith means I will do my best to put my total trust into the Lord’s will, away from my own selfish will. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV).
When my faith begins to strengthen me, I then shift my focus from my problem to the Lord Jesus, whose ways are just. He has been waiting for me to get my faith renewed, so that He can plant seeds of hope within my spirit. It is then that I am able to have strength to “reverse” my sense of loss and desperation. Isaiah 40:31 says, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” (NIV) Hope assures me that my Lord will work things out for me.
At this point, you can see I am still thinking about myself. In order to rise above my situation, I must understand what is written in Genesis 50:20: “You (Satan) intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (NIV) I am obligated to share my faith and hope in spite of my adversity and loss by reaching out to others in love. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (NIV)
Applying the Word of God in this way releases comfort and gives meaning to my adversity. As His child, I have the privilege and duty to obey in faith, hope, and love, with the greatest of these being love.
Bobbi J. Craigmyle, Psy.D. ©1999, ©2010