Last week I had the immemce blessings to be invited to a training session hosted by Restoration Ministries. Patti and Dawn of the Midwest Center for Trauma and Emotional Healing. I walked away with so much new knowledge and a greater appreciation of people in general.
One topic was burn-out when working with others who have had traumatic experiences. This could be either a professional, friend or volunteer hearing life-changing stories that weigh on your shoulders and you can not do, and should not do, anything to really fix it. (The trauma will never go away…but it can be accompanied by new and healthier experiences.)
It was shared that it is very important to give what you have heard up to God. To ask God to carry it, to hold it, to know it, to be a witness to the situation. To ask God to do something about it…however God sees fit. This way while the knowledge will never disappear, you know you are not alone with it.
Without negating this important approach, I would like to turn it around. God already knows of the trauma. God knows this individual intimately and was there before, during and after the incident(s). God heard the cries and held them close. God cried and screamed when the individual could not. God will never forget and will always love. And with that love, God knows us too. I fully believe that God works in all lives, and will bring others into our lives to help us along our journeys. In that, God has responded to those who have gone through trauma by sending me, and you, and Dawn, and the person who spoke too loud in check-out line, but said a wonderful thing.
God isn’t sending us, you or me, to fix the person’s situation. We can not erase the horrible things that have happened. But, God is having us, with or without our knowledge, play a part in the healing and living processes. For me, I love knowing that God knows all the bad stuff, and when God brings someone into my life who share some of theirs, I am helping God, in perhaps the tiniest way, help the person move on. God is in-charge, God is holding that person tight (even if they don’t know it), so I am thankful to be part of someone’s journey of healing and hope.
God, please help me to discern when and what you want me to do. Sometimes you really surprise me and I wonder if I am over my head…but then I remember that just listening or talking about the weather, may be all that you are asking me to do. Help me listen to You so that when You are putting me in someone’s path. Amen.