Lately I’ve been thinking about all the tragedy that’s been happening in the world.
I know I’ve noticed one thing for sure; people have been coming forward to complete strangers to go above and beyond to care for them well! There is nothing that gives me a warmer feeling in knowing that people are reaching many, being united & caring for one another. It sounds like heroism but it’s really love. It’s gotten me in a place where I want to share something that might help more people to feel like they can be used powerfully; even at a time when we tend to feel the most helpless! It’s that time when trauma hits your front door and you say, “Is there anything I can do?”
Trauma shows up every day.
It’s a fact of life that trouble will come in every person’s life at one point or another! John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
I feel passionately about this subject. I am a trauma over-comer and I have been helping others who’ve experienced trauma for a long time. It’s so important how people respond in those early days. (More another time, on older, unhealed traumas.)
Ever seen anyone with a head wound?
Maybe yourself? It’s super messy and they can bleed for a long time if you don’t get to them fast and apply direct pressure. I mean slap that ‘whatever’ over the top and press on that thing until the bleeding is controlled. Maybe you’ll need stitches to mend the pieces back together? Sometimes just the pressure is enough.
What about a bad burn? Everybody’s burned themselves good, and the first thing you think is, get me some ice! Get some cold water and run it over that burn for as long as you can until that nagging, throbbing feeling subsides. Put something over it that will continue to take the sting off and keep it from scarring too much. Pretty easy remedies, right? Wounds heal from the inside out just like emotional trauma wounds. Trauma wounds take much longer to heal though. But the care can be similar.
a:an injury (such as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent
b:a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury
c:an emotional upset
Trauma looks like: the loss of a loved one, a cheating spouse, a fatal diagnosis, witnessing a shooting, being the victim of assault, abuse of any kind, trauma from service to our country, a disaster brought on by weather or carelessness, the loss of a job, the loss of your home, a car accident with serious injuries … the list goes on and on and on.Trauma looks and feels different for each person. Trauma is accumulative. Depending on the trauma, duration and healing received; a person’s ways of dealing with repeated trauma are different from another persons. No, “one size fits all” here!
Trauma feels like: chaos, confusion, irritation, fixation on the story, excessive crying, inability to think or concentrate, aggression, flashbacks, aggressiveness, insomnia, emotional shut down. This list could go on and on as well, but you get the picture, right? This person is definitely not themselves. They couldn’t be if they wanted to. I have had people tell me, “They just want to keep telling the story over and over?” “They are so mean, I couldn’t help them even if I wanted to!” Well, yes, Martha! They may be really jacked up for a while and hard to be around! It’s pretty hard to find a comfortable place for yourself to be in someone another persons time of trouble. No doubt about it! And then there’s the big concern or question, if I help too much, maybe they’ll get too needy or dependent??
So, let’s do some emotional first aid and get that person in a place that will set them up for good wound healing. Let’s apply some love, lend some faith, have the Father’s heart and bring a blanket of comfort.
2 Cor. 1:4 What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. (TLB)
Let’s all come outside of ourselves, our comforts, preferences and shake off how we think comfort has to look or be.
Here are some really helpful ways to show the love!
Listen, don’t fix *Bring food if they want it (most people aren’t hungry at all) *If they don’t want to talk-send a card *hold them *help them to bathe *help them dress *clean their house, or a part of it at least😊 *Don’t say, “You should.” Its super annoying! *Don’t tell them to get busy-even more annoying *Read them a book * take them for a walk, a drive, an errand, a movie, a cup of coffee, to a doctor or counseling appointment * connect them to a good trauma therapist so that when they are ready they can start seeing them if they desire* If they are angry-let them vent without judgement (venting is for them, not for you or your comfort) *Allow them to grieve-it’s THE most important thing they can do *don’t give time-frames on healing*Don’t gossip about how they are “acting” *use scripture carefully- there are so many emotions about the event, God, and how all this fits together-it can exacerbate reactions and recovery of their relationship with God *be comfortable with the answer, I don’t know* be comfortable with silence-just sit by them-you don’t have to say A THING * always ask for permission-for everything. Any. Thing.
With trauma the lens is shattered and only the supernatural healing that God brings heals the deeper layers and brings clearer purpose and meaning to the sadness. I’m so grateful that He does that. It takes so much pressure of the need to do more than He wants me to.
So, don’t wait for anybody else to show up!
The Holy Spirit leads you, rush in and apply pressure to the wound! Let your love pour cold water over the burn. Allow small but powerful times of care help them see a different picture and ministry from the Father. This work or care isn’t just for people who are “better at that” it’s for everyone. And who knows, you could become the “better at that” person.
#behishands #thinkbeforespeaking #betheirteam
If you’d like help with a loved one; or you are experiencing trauma of any kind & need help, please contact: kim@ fosterslifecoaching.com