HOW STRESS & TRAUMA AFFECT OUR WILL

STRESS AND TRAUMA DON’T JUST AFFECT OUR PHYSICAL BODIES, AND EMOTIONS, THEY ALSO AFFECT OUR WILL.

Unresolved stress and trauma can weaken our will and capability to make a quality decision.

QUALITY DECISIONS

A quality decision cannot be based on toxic emotions. If triggers continue to cause you to react with unhealthy behavior you cannot possibly be making quality decisions for your life.

REMEMBER, YOUR NEGATIVE EMOTIONS ARE A PRODUCT OF YOUR WOUNDS, AND UNTIL GOD IS FINISHED HEALING YOU OF THOSE WOUNDS (THE PROCESS WILL BE CONTINUOUS UNTIL YOU REACH HEAVEN), THOSE WOUNDS WILL SURELY INFLUENCE HOW WILL ACT, REACT, AND INTERACT WITH OTHER PEOPLE.

CHOOSE LIFE

As born-again believers with the Spirit of God alive inside us, we DO have the ability to choose life instead of death, and it is most assuredly God’s desire for us to do so.

We must decide to believe God’s Word regardless of our wounding.

Why is that so hard to do? What is in our way?

THE OBSTACLE

Over 25 years ago, the Lord opened up this scripture to Judy, Vicki and I and helped us to see how it completely illustrates what is in our way, blocking our will from being obedient to God.

Psalm 147:3 says “He heals the broken hearted, and binds up their wounds”.

Wounds in the Hebrew are literal “sorrows” or “griefs” which is a pretty good description of the traumas in our lives. But when I opened my Greek/Hebrew Lexicon and looked up Hebrew word 6094 for the word “wound” in this verse.  Right there it almost jumped off the page at me.

WOUND – Hebrew: ATSTEBETH – It is an idol.

I’d been seeing for years how our wounds were controlling us rather than the Lord. It almost seemed as if those traumas, because they weren’t healed, were on the throne of our hearts and replacing God as the Ruler in our lives… and here was the spiritual dimension to what we’d already seen in the physical and emotional.

It was like bells were going off, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding… all of a sudden it was all coming together.

So let’s look at just one scripture that describes what we’ve experienced in the spiritual realm because of this idolatry.

Psalm 106:36  They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.

Oh my. How many of us have become ensnared by our PTSD? I looked up the definition of snare and was stunned:

SNARE

noun

1. a device, often consisting of a noose, for capturing small game.

2. anything serving to entrap or entangle unawares; trap.

I realize that many of us were committing idolatry without realizing it, so please don’t take this as condemnation. It’s not meant to condemn, but convict…because it’s idolatry all the same, whether we know we are committing it or not. And idolatry in our lives clouds our spiritual understanding and diminishes our will to do what is right.

With all of this in mind, before I offer a prayer, I’d first like to share the lyrics to a song Judy Kennedy wrote for this segment of our workshop. Judy is the wife of a Vietnam veteran who has severe PTSD and during a flashback held her and her children at gun point in a traumatic siege of their property. She has gone through incredible pain at the hands of her wounded warrior and used her giftedness in music to craft songs that would minister to those still struggling with PTSD. As Judy, Vicki Lockman, and I worked through this idolatry issue in our own lives, she wrote this song entitled “I Made An Idol of My Wounds”. I trust it will minister to you, and hopefully I’ll be able to post a link soon to the audio.

I MADE AN IDOL OF MY WOUNDS

© 1991 Judy Kennedy

 

I FELT VERY SATISFIED WITH HOW I’D SPOTTED OTHERS’ PRIDE

AND NEVER SEEMED TO REALIZE MY OWN.

I’D ENDURED SO VERY MUCH

THAT YOU COULD NOT WITHDRAW YOUR TOUCH

IF I ALLOWED MY HEART TO TURN TO STONE.

 

I THOUGHT YOU WERE NOT OFFENDED

I DIDN’T DO WHAT YOU COMMANDED

YOU KNEW I COULDN’T HANDLE ANY MORE.

 

I KNEW YOU WOULD MAKE EXCEPTION

CAUSE I COULDN’T FACE REJECTION

BY SOMEONE WHO’D HURT ME SO BEFORE.

I MADE AN IDOL OF MY WOUNDS, I TURNED AWAY FROM YOU

FEELING JUSTIFIED BECAUSE MY LIFE HAD BEEN TOO CRUEL

PROCLAIMING WITH MY MOUTH WHAT I NEVER REALLY KNEW

THE DEEP RELEASE IN REALLY TRUSTING YOU.

 

I KNEW YOU’D COMMANDED ME THAT I MUST LOVE MY ENEMIES

BUT HE’D DONE SUCH AWFUL THINGS TO ME

YOU SAID SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER

FOR IF WE DON’T LOVE EACH OTHER

HOW CAN WE LOVE GOD WHO WE CAN’T SEE?

 

GIVE TO THOSE WHO’RE USING YOU, FORGIVE THOSE ABUSING YOU

BUT HE HADN’T LOVED ME BACK BEFORE

MY LOVE WAS CONDITIONAL, I WOULD NOT SURRENDER ALL

I WAS REALLY SELFISH TO THE CORE

 

I MADE AN IDOL OF MY WOUNDS, I TURNED AWAY FROM YOU

FEELING JUSTIFIED BECAUSE MY LIFE HAD BEEN TOO CRUEL

PROCLAIMING WITH MY MOUTH WHAT I NEVER REALLY KNEW

THE DEEP RELEASE IN REALLY TRUSTING YOU.

 

PRAYER FOR VICTORY OVER PTSD & TRIGGERS

Lord Jesus, I submit myself to you today, and I believe that Your Word will not return to You void, but shall accomplish what You sent it to do, (Isaiah 55:11). I confess with David in Psalm 109:22 that I am afflicted and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. Right now, in the Name of Jesus, I put my Post Traumatic Stress symptoms and triggers on Your altar, and I ask You to begin a new and cleansing work in my mind, will and emotions — my heart. I repent for allowing my wounding to control my life, and ask Your forgiveness.

I thank You that You are healing my broken heart and binding up my wounds, (Psalm 147:3). I ask You to show me my heart … my mind, will, emotions, and memories…any that You would want to heal and transform by Your Holy Spirit and blood. And as You begin to show me what is there, I pray that You would give me the grace to allow You to complete Your work.

I pray, dear God, that You would begin to show me my triggers and what those triggers are stirring up in my heart. I pray, Oh God, that You would shine Your light into the darkness of my life, and that You might rule and reign in every area of my life. Search me, oh God, and know my heart, my mind, my will, my emotions, my memories. Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting, (Psalm 139:23).

Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in me. Cast me not away from Your presence, Oh Lord, take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit, (Psalm 51:10-11).

I thank You, Father God, that because I present my requests to You with thanksgiving, Your peace, the peace of God, shall guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I thank You that I now choose to think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy, and that You will give me the strength to begin to do what Your Word instructs. I thank You that, as I do that, Your peace is with me. I thank You, God, that You have sent Your Word and healed me and delivered me from my destructions, (Psalm 107:20).

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

THE NEXT POST WILL CONTINUE ON WITH THE SPIRITUAL RAMIFICATIONS OF PTSD AND MORE ANSWERS TO HELP YOU WALK THIS JOURNEY OF HEALING.

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