A New Heart Life

A guest post by Janet Eriksson . . . 

Friday night, I typed a medical transcription about heart health. I even looked at pictures of a heart to help me get the words right. If you don’t know the path I’ve been tiptoeing down, this might not seem like a big deal. Trust me, it is. A week ago, I could not have done any of that. This was a huge breakthrough beyond anything I could have expected. It came from the healing work God did in my own heart five days earlier.

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Cindy’s Story

A guest post by Cindy Caldwell . . .

I was the firstborn in my family of four children. My parents believed in God. My mother grew up going to a Baptist church. I am not sure if my dad went to church growing up. When I was a small child, they took us to a Baptist church where we heard about Jesus. God was not talked about in the home, and I don’t remember my parents praying with me or reading the Bible. The mindset in those days seemed to be that spiritual teaching came from the church. It was more of something you believed with your mind, rather than a personal relationship with God.

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How Trauma Settles in Our Bodies and Emotions

Trauma affects mind, body, and spirit. Trauma locks itself into our bodies.

I discern things in my body. Often, I can relate pain to circumstances.

One time, I was pushed onto my back. For years, whenever I experienced something similar, I immediately felt pain in my back.

When I asked the Lord, He showed me I had locked fear into my back from that first experience. I was still carrying it. Every new trauma triggered that pain.

So I prayed to release the trauma. I don’t have trouble with my back anymore. If I do feel back pain, I know I need to check spiritually how I’m doing.

Often we manifest physically what we are carrying spiritually.

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Exchanging Trauma for Peace

Trauma affects mind, body, and spirit. Trauma can lock itself into our bodies. As adults, we can carry unresolved trauma from earlier in our lives. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He wants us to invite Him into our hearts, where we’ve carried trauma. So He can redeem, restore, and bring peace.

I used to have flashbacks of traumatic moments. When I was a child, we lived just off the main corridor highway leading from a prison. Often, when the prisoners would escape, they would run the railroad tracks, connect to our road, and then get on the four-lane to get out of town. Prisoners would come through our yard and snatch the clothes off our line.

So at night, I would hear the sirens go off and I would cower in the corner. Can you imagine the trauma?

Years later, as an adult, I would have flashbacks of me cowering in a corner. I didn’t understand at first, but those were hints the Holy Spirit was giving me, of places that were still unhealed in my heart.

While I didn’t immediately connect those flashbacks with the prisoners coming through our yard, I knew not to discount the images I was seeing. Instead, I brought them before the Lord and said, “Lord, why did You show me that?”

When I realized where the trauma had come from, I was able to go back to the Lord and say, “Lord, I can see that image of myself. Where were You?” And I could see Him with me in that scene now, protecting me.

He brings those things to our remembrance for a reason. Not to scare us and not to make us angry about the circumstances – angry at parents who didn’t comfort us, or at people who didn’t know how to respond as our little hearts needed.

Instead, the Lord brings these moments to mind, to give us an opportunity to recognize that He never left us and never forsook us.

For some people, the trauma comes from violence. Or maybe a car accident. A death of a loved one. All those things are traumatic. Just imagine seeing those things from the eyes of a child. Children don’t know how to process traumatic events without help. Often, adults don’t realize how something traumatic has affected a child.

I remember growing up, we had family friends that lived in a funeral home, go figure. One of the kids locked me in the coffin room. I was probably five. So here I was, looking at all these coffins. I was scared to death, almost, no pun intended. But imagine. That was a trauma for me.

Think about things children go through, that they aren’t capable of processing. How might a child respond to hearing prisoners in the yard at night? Cowering in fear. Locking fear into her body. Believing a lie that she was never safe at night. Or that things would always go wrong. Closing off part of her heart. Resolving to take care of herself, or to not need help. All these responses, out of self-preservation, set patterns in motion that affect our lives.

Most of us didn’t have somebody that said, “I know you’re afraid. I know you’re scared.” Somebody that would have pulled us close and prayed the presence of the Lord over us, or prayed trauma off of us. Most adults don’t know to do that.

So those are the things the Lord wants to redeem in us. He invites us to sit in His presence, and allow Him to redeem, restore … bring us back to right order. He does this for the sake of our own identity and for the sake of us being able to live in a Sabbath rest. That’s His best for us: that we live in a place of rest.

He wants to exchange our trauma for His peace.

 

Gory to Glory

I have epiphanies in the shower. I don’t know why they happen in the shower but I am thankful that I take lots of showers. This morning the Lord showed me the importance of living our life in Christ.

I deal often with folks who have, because of trauma, separated from themselves (in one way or another) as a means of dealing with the pain. By the Lord’s leading and their free will we can lead those folks to reconnect with whatever part of themselves they have locked away because of pain. (Is. 61).

One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Cor. 3-16. Which basically says “We become what we behold.”

(Behold means to magnify.) If I am beholding myself and/or the trauma that was inflicted on or against me, then I become locked in that trauma. BUT, if I behold the face of Christ in those circumstances, no matter what happens, I can stand. I am hidden in Christ. Prayer allows us to invite Christ to show Himself in that trauma. Once we behold Christ in our trauma we can release it. Once released, the trauma (and the enemy) loses power.

Scripture says that the earth is waiting for us to turn to righteousness in becoming the sons (and daughters) of God. I encourage you today to stop looking at your pain and start looking for Christ in your pain. Christ is the key that moves us from “gory to Glory.” (2 Cor. 3:18).