Trauma is no respecter of persons. What is traumatic for me, may be a walk in the park for you, and what you experience as painful and destructive might not hit me the same way, but the truth is that no matter the kind of trauma we experience as individuals, when the pain breaks through our armor and touches flesh, we all bleed the same.

The other truth is that God wants to heal each and every single one of us from those wounds. While I do believe He allows some things to occur in our lives to draw us closer to Him and teach us things, I don’t believe He desires for us to suffer, it is simply an inevitable part of living in a fallen world. He does promise to use our suffering, though. If you follow me on social media, you see me say this a lot, He uses suffering for His glory, and our good (Rom. 8:28). While I have experienced plenty of trauma of my own, I have also experienced an abundance of healing, and I since I have received His healing, I want to honor the Lord by giving that healing away to you today. 

This is how I heal:

Last week the Lord brought a painful memory to my mind as I was working on some small group homework and as grief set in, He prompted me to walk through the healing process with Him.  I will be honest and say this isn’t always an easy thing to do. Sometimes it feels safer to hold on tightly to the pain because it is familiar and known, and though God’s presence never disappoints, it can just be difficult to trust Him with the things we hold so tightly to. Any time we have to surrender something to Him we have to take our hands off of it and trust His hands to handle it with care. I can tell you, after years of experiencing His faithfulness in healing, He has never once mishandled anything I’ve given to Him, but it is STILL hard to let go, until we get into His presence. That’s when easy happens. 

When I was in the hospital, there were a few times when my kids were brought to see me, but because of how I looked or what I was experiencing when they got there, friends who were staying by my side shielded the kids from coming into the room. At the time I was more or less unaware, totally doped up on morphine, but I know now that they did this to protect my boys from fear and pain. On the flip side, my mama heart breaks for what my boys must have been feeling at that moment. They made the hour long drive to see their sick mom, and then were told no once they got to the door.  I ache to be able to go back to that time and space and explain to them, to tell them how much I love them, to hold and comfort them. 

As this memory surfaced, the pain was so strong, I reached out to the Lord in desperation for comfort and He reminded me to ask Him where He was.

I took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes tight against my tears and pressed in to Him. “Okay, Jesus. Please show me where you were when my kids were hurting down the hall and I was in my hospital room.”

The one instance I was remembering was when my friend Megan was the one who was with them. She had previously told me that she took them to the waiting room and talked them through some of the things that were going on. She loved on them and let them ask questions, and gave them as much comfort as she could. So that is what Jesus showed me, my boys sitting with Megan in the waiting room that I would later practice walking through (so I knew what it looked like). But they weren’t the only ones there. 

Jesus was there, in the waiting room, sitting in the chairs and holding the boys in His lap as Megan partnered with His love for them. He had his arms around them, He had them


I started to say that out loud, “You have them, you have them, you have them.” Tears streamed down my face as I let those words and the presence of Jesus sink into that memory. And then Jesus reminded me of the next step in this process.

“How can you worship me in this memory?”

This part was a struggle. At first I didn’t know how I could possibly worship Jesus. I felt too weighed down to do anything. I put my hands out on my legs, palms up, for some reason I didn’t have the strength to lift them in the air, and as I wept, I whispered, “Jesus, I hope this is good enough, because it’s all I can do.” And then I remembered that in the actual time and place when this memory was reality, I was laying in a hospital bed with no strength to lift my arms. If I had actually been trying to worship Jesus from my hospital bed, all I could have done was turn my palms upward to Him.  It was a really powerful experience, and I knew that my worship at that moment was enough. 

What that ‘exercise’ (for lack of a better word) does is take a traumatic, hopeless memory that causes pain and grief and bathes it in the hope of Jesus. The memory itself might still cause sadness (I am still fighting the tears as I write about this), whatever it was that happened didn’t change, but when Jesus’ presence is factored in, our focus changes. When I think about my boys being turned away at my hospital door, now I know that Jesus had them, that He was holding them and comforting them, and I can worship Him because of it. When my eyes fill with tears thinking about how they must have felt, I hear that chant play over and over, “You have them, you have them, you have them.” My eyes are turned from the pain and toward Jesus’s presence. I am captivated by the way He showed up for us supernaturally rather than the trauma of the natural moment. 

This is exchanging victimhood for victory, brokenness for healing, and grief for glory.

I pray that you can use this as hard memories pop up, or traumatic experiences arise. I pray God gives you courage use these two questions for your healing:

  1. “Jesus, where were/are you?”
  2. “How can I worship Him where He is?”

Be healed and blessed, my friends. You deserve it.