Trauma! (Part 2 of 4 – The Mind)
As I think about how trauma affects the mind, two causes come to mind. (No pun intended!) One cause would be physical trauma – traumatic brain injury. This is not uncommon with soldiers, accident victims, or those who have suffered abuse. The mind affects everything in the body, so it is very important to deal with. I am not qualified to write about that except to say God bless those that have to deal with this kind of assult to the brain.
But there’s another type of trauma of the mind – when we have too many thoughts coming at us at once. Does anyone out there relate? Sometimes our mind gets on overload, and it is very frustrating. As mentioned in the last piece, trauma is sudden. It is unexpected. There is no way to plan for it. When multiple thoughts come at us all at once and we have to make decisions quickly, it can be very difficult to function, especially if those decisions affect our loved ones. Our processors are not designed to work at warp speed. At least for me, I can only think of one thing at a time. When I have competing thoughts, its like they all knock each other out and I don’t know which one to revive, pick up, or even which one to look at. I’m glad I have a great memory aid in my wife, who hands me a piece to look at – “Did you remember to take your pills?” Very helpful.
How do we deal with this trauma, this overload? What does the Bible have to say about this? We need God’s wisdom and peace to ease and manage our mind. Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” When thoughts come too fast, we need a way to deal with them. We need wisdom.
The Bible talks about wisdom in James 1:5 which says “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it will be given him.” Sometimes we just need to take a breath and say “Lord, please sort out these thoughts. What is the most important thing to think about right now? I need wisdom on how to proceed.” Practically, it may help to write the thoughts down too. Looking at them on paper may help you see them more clearly. Also, though it may be hard, it is best to choose one thought and lay others aside. Stop. Breathe. Reflect. Calm down. Ask God to help you narrow your focus. Relax. God’s got this, even if you make the wrong decison.
When our thoughts are anxious, we can remember Phil. 4:6 – “Do not be anxious for anything, but by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Literally, that means God’s peace marches around your heart and protects it.
Trauma of the mind can be released to Jesus, into His hands, His heart, and His control. Keep talking to Him. He will help you through it. God bless all who read these words. – Pastor John