Monday, October 12, 2020

Trauma Can Be Transformative

Trauma - it catches you by surprise, in bizarre fashion with unexpected costs. Trauma often sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it doesn't have to be. There's nothing you can do to prevent trauma; accidents happen, things go wrong, elbows are slammed into faces, and no plan of yours could have prevented this.

Yes, an elbow was slammed into my husband's face while playing a pickup game of soccer. Sometimes to stay fit, these things happen. I've had sufficient casualties as a runner, so I can empathize.

But what was this guy's elbow made of? He did some serious damage to my husband's mouth. I could have panicked, and I almost did, but we prayed together about the situation after assessing our options.
A very heartfelt prayer was uttered, something along the lines of..."Why Lord, but You know, show us what to do, provide comfort, healing, and wisdom. Thank you, Lord. Amen"

It seems like we're all in a cycle of trauma right now. We're dealing with the pandemic trauma while dealing with the longstanding trauma of social injustice in many forms, all during an election year. 

A traumatic event is defined as a series of events that cause a lot of stress marked by a sense of horror, helplessness, serious injury, or the threat of serious injury or death. We are living through simultaneous traumatic events collectively. We're living through group trauma, so in a sense, we're not going through it alone, but our individual impacts are different. 

Here's a simple reminder - trauma is difficult, but God is stronger than any trauma. The initial onslaught may threaten to overtake us, but then we remember that our help comes from God (Psalms 121). As we go through our trauma, our first instinct may be to remove or solve our situations, but again we remember to turn to Him first - the Rock that is higher than us (Psalms 61). Our emotions are intense when we experience trauma, and as we attempt to recover. When we can't utter the words, He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26,27). Again we pray for peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). And as we heal and our perspectives are changed, we know that He walks with us through the valley of death (Psalms 23), so we have nothing to fear. 

Initially, we were frantic. How would we pay for this? Would this injury be covered by insurance? Well, after we prayed, we became more methodical, calm, and assured in our approach. The initial dentist wanted 10K with a payment plan. Eventually, our dentist was able to perform the procedure at minimal cost with coverage through our insurance. 

Prayer frames your mind to see the Godly possibilities in any situation. Even in trauma. Especially now because trauma can be transformative.

I call to you from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me, for you have been a refuge for me, a strong tower in the face of the enemy. I will dwell in your tent forever and take refuge under the shelter of your wings. Selah. (Psalms 61:2-4 CSB)

How were you transformed by trauma? Were you changed for the better? Were you initially angry? Did you eventually recover or are you still dealing with residual effects of your trauma?


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The Comfort of Night by Nylse Esahc is on its way. This book was written with you in mind.


  1. So sorry to hear about your husband's injury, Nylse! I would have been frantic too, both in sympathy for the injury and anxiety about how to pay to have the damage repaired. You and your hubby did the right thing when you paused to pray. I am glad your insurance covered most of the cost of the dentist's bill. Speedy recovery to your husband!

  2. "Trauma is difficult, but God is stronger than any trauma." I love that! It's so true and what we need to hold onto when we're not sure what to do next. Thank you for sharing this experience. I hope your husband has a quick and full recovery! I'm visiting today from the instaencouragements link up. Have a great week Nylse!

  3. I have seen God use trauma time and time again in my life to change me and grow me and yet fear overtakes me every time it rears its head anew. Saying a prayer for deeper trust in Him through it all.

  4. Soccer can be pretty brutal in more underhanded ways - my husband's seen our boys play too many games (five sons - 19 years of high school soccer) - and he says he'd rather they'd played football - it's a more honest game with no faking and deviousness! I am so sorry about the injury - how frustrating. My first reaction is to always turn into a Tiger Mom or a Tiger Wife - but I have to calm down - and do what you did! Beautiful grace here - and God honored you because you trusted to honor Him! The hard, hard things are what breaks our hearts into something God-beautiful - I wish I wasn't so hard headed that it has to be that way!

  5. Yes trauma can be very transformative! That’s pretty much what I blog about—praying for you and your husband!

  6. My season of trauma and sadness brought about a great Hope. I've never been the same.

  7. Oh no, I’m glad your husband was able to have the injury taken care of reasonably! Thanks for this encouragement, Nylse. So helpful to remember God is stronger than trauma!

  8. No matter the trauma, God can bring us through it. I'm so grateful He is our healer!


  9. Thank you for sharing these encouraging words that even in the midst of trauma, we can be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. I love the way you said, "Prayer frames your mind to see the Godly possibilities in any situation."

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. Yikes! I can't imagine how that must have hurt. I'm thankful your regular dentist could do what needed to be done and with your insurance.

    I tend to get panicky in the beginning of trauma, too, until I've had a chance to pray and remind myself God is in control and seek His wisdom.


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