by Carl Stevens
We have all had physical trauma in our life. Almost every one of you at some point has broken a bone in your body. Maybe it was a foot or arm falling out of a tree as a kid, breaking something falling down some stairs, or just playing sports in general and getting injured. Or maybe you are like me and had a broken nose or some serious cuts and bruises from all the fighting over the years. Some of you may have been in a car accident that caused some very serious physical damage to your body.
Whatever the case, almost all of us have suffered pain from being injured. The word trauma is defined as an emotional shock following a stressful event or physical injury. So trauma can not only be physical, but also emotional injury.
The English word trauma comes from the Greek word “wounds.” Your physical wounds may have long healed, but many times the emotional wounds from trauma will linger because they are under the surface and can be harder to see. If you have a serious bone break in your leg it can cause you to walk with a limp. In the same way when we get broken emotionally and the wounds go unhealed it can make it hard to function in life the way God intended us too. You can live with an emotional limp ...limping through everyday life just trying to make it.
When we do not allow God to heal the hurt then we carry it into every part of our life. Our peace, our mindset, our relationships, our future can all be affected by our unhealed wounds. No matter who you are there is no doubt that you still have some emotional wounds from the past.
“One bad choice led to another and another. One day I looked around and I was 33 years old, homeless, indigent and could not make it through the day without getting high.” My parents were divorced when I was 2 years old and I lived with my mother and saw my dad very little for most of my childhood. Now that might not sound like too big of a deal, but my mother struggled with addiction and I struggled with not having my dad around. I was also molested by some neighbors at a very young age and grew up in a home where there was a lot of physical and mental abuse. Drugs and alcohol were also readily available and quickly became a way to cope with life. I learned to treat my wounds with drugs.
I made a lot of bad choices that I take full responsibility for. One bad choice led to another and another. One day I looked around and I was 33 years old, homeless, indigent and could not make it through the day without getting high.
During the last several years of my addiction, every friend and family member I had turned away from me. I had become completely alone.
After years of self-inflicted trauma, I came to God broken and defeated. A lifetime of wounds had left me crippled and living with a limp.
Psalm 34:18 says, " The Lord is close to the broken hearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." And, "I will give you back your health and heal your wounds," says the Lord.
"For you are called an outcast - for whom no one cares" Jeremiah 30:17. Its when I surrendered my broken life to God that the healing started. Even though the years of trauma that you've been through can still have some side effects, God is wiling and able to put you back together and give your life meaning and purpose. I lived as an outcast all of my life never fitting in even with my own family. But the (cont’d) family of God is where I belonged all along. I started this journey with God 13 years ago. I now have been married for 7 years and have 3 beautiful children. I have the privilege to be able to give back through prison ministry and share my story of freedom and hope.
Just like serious physical injury does not heal in one day, one month or one year, emotional trauma and injury takes time to heal as well. Don't get discouraged if its taking some time. Not all healing happens overnight. Its a process. God promises that He will complete the work that He has started in you. Philippians 1:6. And "He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds." Psalm 147:3
“Just like serious physical injury does not heal in one day, one month, or one year, emotional trauma and injury takes time to heal as well. Don't get discouraged if it’s taking some time … It's a process.” I want to share with you a near death experience that I had back in 1998. I was 22 years old and I was involved in a really bad car accident. I was with my brother and another friend of ours ( both of whom have since passed away, the friend from suicide and my brother from a drug overdose). The friend was driving, my brother in the passenger seat and I was in the back.
My friend ran a stop sign and we were broadsided by a couple of different vehicles. It was a violent collision, and I was thrown out of the back window, I skidded across four lanes of traffic and ended up underneath another car and the driver of that vehicle ran me over. I was pinned under the car with the front tire actually driving over my head and the back tire diving over my chest. It was a very bad situation.
I had severe road rash to the bone all over my body. The tires made full impressions on my face and chest in the form of bruises, deep cuts and one of my eye lids were split in two. I was rushed to ICU and observed for internal bleeding. The Doctors were amazed that despite being ejected and run over that I did not have one single broken bone. One of the Doctors even said that God was obviously watching over me. But I was still very hurt and so sore that I could barely walk for months. I was practically bedridden with a neck brace and bandages all over my body that had to be changed frequently. My doctor told me that I was facing a long road of rehab and that it was going to take some time to heal. My doctor also said that if I would follow the treatment plan and not give up then I would make a full recovery. To be completely healed from such a terrible accident seemed almost impossible at the time. But I decided that I would follow the Doctor's treatment plan the best that I could and about a year later I had made almost a complete recovery. Please hear me in the Spirit. God is saying if you will follow the spiritual treatment plan that He has laid out for you then you will be healed. It does not matter how deep the emotional road rash or the internal injuries that you have suffered, you will make a full recovery. Do not give up. Keep seeking God, keep in prayer, keep in the word, keep listening to Real Talk, keep in the fellowship with the believers around you as much as possible.
Do not listen to the lie of the devil that it cannot happen for you. You have not gone too far or done too much to be healed. It does not matter who you were or what you have done God is for you.
One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 57:18-19.... "I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace both near and far," says the Lord who heals them. Even though I suffered through a terrible car accident like that, God was still with me. I could have died or had much worse injuries. And its the same with your situation. You could have died but God is with you and God is healing you.
God is raising you up for this time in the world to be a powerful force for His Kingdom. All the struggles, the hard times, lonely nights, none of those trials will be wasted. God is using every bit of it to heal and equip you for the work that He has called you to do. Though the road to a full recovery may seem long,
God has a plan not only to restore you but to use you and your story to help others heal around you as well. God is the ultimate Doctor of your life and soul. He knows what you need and how to give it to you. God has the best plan for your life. Keep seeking to follow His plan. Much love and prayers .... Carl