Trauma! (Part 3 of 4 – The Emotions)
As discussed in previous writings, trauma is unexpected, unplanned for, and can’t always be prepared for. Sometimes it is possible to prevent disaster by staying out of dangerous situations. Though we don’t have control over all things – only God has control over everything – we can still choose our attitudes, actions, and words. But there’s one thing we can’t do. – we can’t control the words, actions, or attitudes of other people. Sometimes what others say and do can have traumatic effects on us. That is what this piece is about – trauma of the emotions. Another way to say this is trauma of the spirit.
We are told to build up one another and encourage one another. That includes our emotions. When people are attacked in body, mind, and/or emotions, they need support. They need to be built up. They need encouragement. You can’t tear people down and build them up at the same time Be kind. Emotional trauma tries to stop us in our tracks, and often does – but it does not have to. We definitely need Jesus to help to get us through these traumatic experiences and I pray that we at least have someone to talk to when we are hurting. I am here. Others are too. Don’t keep it bottled inside. Let others build you up and encourage you. Then pass it on to others.
In First Thessalonians 4:18, we read, “Therefore encourage one another with these words”. The second one is Second Thessalonians 1:4 – ” … “He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us… ”
As a pastor, I always want to include practical ways to apply these instructions to comfort and encourage each other. I would like to suggest three steps each of us can take when the emotions are assaulted by the pressures of life or by the attacks of others. I will close with these steps and a prayer.
Admit that you have been hurt and that you need emotional support and encouragement. While you don’t want to dwell on the hurt, you also don’t want to deny it. That just presses it down into the soul, and hurts yourself and others.
Ask the Lord to send you to someone to comfort and encourage who has been through, or is going through similar situations. It’s good to know we are not alone.
Release the hurt to Jesus. Pour it on him. He already knows. Just let it out.
“Father God, you tell us to encourage each other and comfort each other. Help us to seek Your comfort and to pass it on to others well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”