Letting Truth Triumph Over Post-Traumatic Emotions

Photo Journal Your Heart.

How has God been touching your heart this month?

Share what you see. 

 

Anxiety rages in my soul. It seems worse this month ever since I chose my focus word for this year – TRUST. And since I started spilling out those deep places of my soul.

I want to scream and cry.

I want to run and hide.

I just don’t understand it. I recently found a “home” in cyberspace. A place where my heart feels safe. A place where I am encouraged to be “real.” A community of open hearts where I feel accepted just as I am.

But why then do I feel so afraid? Why do I want to withdraw from comfort-receiving and comfort-giving?

DSC_0332
Roaring In
Shame-slapping Scowls
Stormy Emotions
Stomping Down
Sinking Me

Toxic shame screams, “You don’t deserve comfort. You don’t deserve to be accepted. You will never be of any value to anyone else.” Shame pierces the very core of who I am. Encourages me to hide the painful experiences. Darkens and distorts the truth of who I am in Christ.

Panic shouts, “Watch out! You’re going to be hurt again. Reinforce that wall.” Many times in my life, when I told the truth and tried to be “real,” I was hurt. Friends I thought I had for life didn’t want to be with me anymore. I wondered, “What’s wrong with me?”

drowning
I can’t do this anymore!
Jesus, save me!

Fear chains my creativity. I write. I delete. I write. I delete. Then when I do send it out into cyberspace, I second guess myself and want to snatch it back. What if I said something wrong? What if I someday regret writing this? I comment on blogs, but fear twists my gut. If I write something to comfort, I feel hypocritical, because I don’t always feel courage myself. If I share painful feelings, I wonder if I sound like I’m looking for pity. And I worry… Did I encourage that person or did I only make her pain more heavy? What if I am misunderstood and I hurt someone? What if I become more self-centered than God-centered? 

Wouldn’t it be easier to numb my emotions again? To not rock the boat? To not risk writing that’s “real”? It’s easier. It hurts less. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know.

I’m drowning in all these insecurities, Lord! Will there never be an end to all the turmoil in my emotions? Please grab my hand and pull me up!

Then a still small voice. Hardly discernible amid all the cacophony in my soul.  Whispers of hope...

Troubled soul, be still and listen.

Trust Me, My child, trust Me.

“O storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate!
I will rebuild you with precious jewels
and make your foundations from lapis lazuli
(the symbol of wisdom and truth).”
(Isaiah 54:11)

 

My heart trembles as I try to grasp this TRUTH.

I lay down my “I-can-fix-this-myself” attitude.

As a child, I stretch out my hand and lay it in His.

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

holdmyhand
You don’t need to understand;
you just need to hold My hand.

He pulls me up. The storm still rages, but I keep my eyes fastened on Him.

When I lose eye contact with His love, I sink again. So easily when the emotions roll in and knock me off-balance…

rollercoaster
Scary Monster
No power
No control
Memories trigger

This “being real” stuff opens up the vulnerable child in me. And it’s scary. Like some years ago when my kids convinced me to ride a roller coaster. Nose dives, upside down twists, hairpin turns. Terror sucked the breath out of me. I was powerless to stop this monster. No control about when I wanted to get off. When the monster finally stopped, my shaky legs stumbled to my husband. I heard his concern as he looked at my chalky white face, “Are you alright? You’re shaking!” He guided me to a bench. I shook and sobbed. Then I realized that feeling of powerlessness and lack of control triggered a memory and threw me back to a time of abuse. To the monster who took away my power.

But as I write this, I think of what my counselor has said, “If you hold onto the past, your abuser still has you under his control. Don’t let him have that power over you anymore. Don’t let him weigh you down in chains. Live in the blessings of the present. See the sun shining in the window? Breaths of God.”

I’m not going to let the monster win. I am no longer in the past. Today I am stronger. I will control the monster. He will not control me. Jesus is Power. I will focus on how He fought the monster for me. He has already won.

I don’t want to miss out anymore on blessings and opportunities. I want to move forward, one step at a time.

Letting TRUTH triumph over these post-traumatic emotions…

Listening to Whispers of hope...

Quieting my anxiety with the visible proof that no one has more power than the Creator, and He has all things under control.

sunrise
But for you who revere my name,
the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays.
And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.
Then you will trample on the wicked;
they will be ashes under the soles of your feet
on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.
(Malachi 4:2-3)
Spearfish Falls
A “Soulrest” Moment
“Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love;
Our God is an awesome God.”
(Rich Mullins)
040
I love how God’s creatures point to His promises.
“But you were washed, you were sanctified,
you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
and by the Spirit of our God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:11)
060
I found these beautiful mushrooms
growing up out of a dead tree.
God springs up life out of death!
DSC_0045
“How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free
Down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold.”
(William Wordsworth)

10 thoughts on “Letting Truth Triumph Over Post-Traumatic Emotions

  1. beautiful pictures, sparkling words
    thank you for opening up to vulnerability
    keep listening for that One True Voice
    to help shut out the lies

    My novel in progress (needs editing) is about overcoming those same type of voices
    perhaps you’d be willing to read it in its raw form?
    email me if you’re interested
    (and yes, it takes courage for me to ask)

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, FireFly, for your kinds words and the encouragement to keep listening to the One True Voice.

      I’d love to read your novel in progress. 🙂 Maybe I’m overlooking it, but I can’t find your email… Can you please email me with more details?

      Like

  2. Your transparency blesses me today. I too was victim of abuse. The trust grows as the healing is allowed to process and progress. Your fears now spoken out loud has less power and it will dissipate altogether gone one day. Thank you for your beautiful tenderness and vulnerability my sister in Christ.

    Like

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jeri, and for your encouragement and support. I’m so sorry you were a victim of abuse, but I’m happy your healing has progressed.

      Sorry I’m a day late with approving your comment, Jeri, but I just found your comment in my spam box.

      Like

  3. “Fear chains my creativity. I write. I delete. I write. I delete. Then when I do send it out into cyberspace, I second guess myself and want to snatch it back. What if I said something wrong? What if I someday regret writing this? I comment on blogs, but fear twists my gut. If I write something to comfort, I feel hypocritical, because I don’t always feel courage myself. If I share painful feelings, I wonder if I sound like I’m looking for pity. And I worry… Did I encourage that person or did I only make her pain more heavy? What if I am misunderstood and I hurt someone? What if I become more self-centered than God-centered?”

    I can SO RELATE to this. And the roller coaster. Thank you for being brave and writing. I feel just a little less alone today because of these words. Keep hitting that dreaded “publish” button! ❤

    Like

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