Recently I came across an article written by Bonnie Gray, a writer for (In)Courage, a wonderful site where women share devotionals and encouraging words with their readers. Bonnie had written a post referring back to another post she wrote on her own blog, Faith Barista. It is a powerful story of how after years as a successful career woman with a love for the Lord, she found herself in the depths of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from re-surfacing childhood trauma. I recommend you take the time to read it.
She held my attention as she shared how her body responded physically to events that had occurred in her childhood. Events she had kept hidden inside. The top notch therapist she saw told her that PSTD happens not only to vets, or others who go through physical or sexual abuse or events in their lives like 9-11, but that it occurs in those who experience emotional or verbal abuse also. He told her that PTS and anxiety attacks like she was experiencing usually happen in the strong. In those who have conquered life in spite of what they went through. It usually comes up in their 40's and is triggered by another person or event. This world expert therapist told her it was good news. WHY? Because, as he stated, "God is loving the hidden parts of you back to life."
I know that I know that I know God guided me to this post by Bonnie Gray. It was as if this therapist was speaking to me, or more importantly GOD was speaking to me. Lately He has been walking me through the traumas of my own childhood, most of which I thought of as minor. I believed that the abuse was the only cause of the PTS my doctor diagnosed me with, until she told me that I was not only experiencing issues from the abuse, but from some of those "minor" events too. My argument was that others had it so much worse. My argument was that I knew I was loved. I blamed myself for my reactions and tried to erase the diagnosis of PTSD itself. Really? Come on! Yet time and time again something would come up and is still surfacing, and I am always stunned by how my body reacts and then shuts down in response when it does not feel safe. In my head it is all reasoned out and understood and my faith is strong. I get it. I move forward in courage knowing this is not real for today, but the body's response? Over the top!
Reading Bonnie Gray's open and honest post of her own journey has helped me to understand, accept and share with transparency some of my own journey, hoping it will help others the way Bonnie's story has helped me.
Just like in Bonnie, God wants to heal the hidden and broken parts of me too. It is why I am to rest in His love. It is one of the reasons He brought to my attention Matthew 11:28-30 more than 23 times in 6 weeks. He desires me to give Him my burdens. God wants to heal the broken parts of all of us. You may not struggle with PTS, but we all need restoration in one way or another. It is not easy but with God's love and guidance we find the courage to heal and be free.
"It is for freedom that Christ set us free.
Stand firm, therefore, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again with a yoke of slavery."