What is the effect of trauma on the soul?
I came across that question recently as I was reading, it hit me hard. I am not sure if it was because it seems we are living through a worldwide trauma with the pandemic, or if it is because of dealing with trauma and its effects in my own life. But the question made my soul pause.
Lately, I have been able to tell things were off, yet I didn’t know why. When I came across this question, a light switch came on. It was as if my soul said, “pay attention because this is what is going on in your life”.
In his book Get Your Life Back, John Eldridge states that one of the effects of trauma on the soul is that it damages it. Trauma can cause a breach in our soul, a rending. It is in these places that Satan will then seek to both attack and manipulate.
This hit home. Trauma has caused me to struggle with trust and feelings of abandonment, specifically in trusting that God is good and that He is there. I don’t doubt His sovereignty, I do doubt His goodness, or at least His definition of what it means to be good. In my story, there is a series of compounding traumas and just like a metal rod that is bent once, when put under pressure, it will most definitely bend there again. It is in this bend that Satan sows his questions both about God and about my relationship with God.
They are subtle and on the surface, seem valid.
Yet, this is not the truth.
The truth is that God seeks to restore, to renew. This restoration most often is not a one-time thing, it can be, but most often healing from trauma takes time and aided by good counseling. It is the continuous application of truth to the weak areas of our soul that have been damaged by trauma. God’s truth surrounds the area and begins to reinforce and reform that area.
In his book, Eldridge writes the following prayer as a place to start, but full disclosure…it takes faith to start. So be patient with yourself, take things a step at a time, the first step could be reading this prayer, the next steps are praying it, and choosing to believe.
“Dear God, I invite your headline presence into the things that have hurt our union. (Be specific if you can) I invite your Spirit into the places that have been assaulted, come and heal me here. Cleanse these places with the blood of Christ, let your blood wash over all wounding, wash away evil, cleans every form of trauma in me. Bring your love here…”
May God grant us the strength to take the next step and restore our union with Him in the midst of trauma.