Traumatic Experiences (6 of 8)

Mike Connell

Page 3 of 11
Now, later on a person can control it all, and bury it all. Later on they may see something, or hear something, or smell something, and it triggers the memory; and all the emotions come back up to the surface, flooding up. I’ll give you just a simple example. Late last year, one of my daughters who lives in Indonesia, miscarried after 5 months. I left and went immediately to be with them, to comfort them, and also to take a service, and to walk them through the process. So after a long trip on the plane – I get off, a little bit of time, then we have a service and a few days, very busy days. I had to keep all my own feelings managed, because I’m there to serve people. Then I came home, it’s Christmas, I’ve got lots of things to do.

About 4 weeks later, I was sitting watching a television, and a song came up – Amazing Grace; and I just began to weep and weep and weep, because the last time I heard that, was in the service we held in my daughter’s home. So I had pushed down all the grief of the experience, but hearing the song again triggered off the memory, and up came all the grief that I had buried; and I could vividly picture being in the room, seeing her singing, and my grandchild dead in the box. It was time for me to grieve and to let go. So, it’ll be just as simple as something like that.

Now, my daughter who went through a huge grief over this situation, and particularly the way they do the cremations, there was quite a traumatic experience for her. So, she was left almost in shock; and I said: “It is important for you, that you see this from God’s point of view. It’s important you have a different picture, because the last picture you had was deeply distressing for you.” I said: “You need God to put a different picture inside you. You can’t remove the memories people have. What you can do is open the way for God to show them a different picture.”

So when we go through a painful experience, we have a limited perspective – what we see is very around our own pain. So, one of the ways you approach a trauma, is to invite the Holy Spirit to take the person back into the experience, and to show them Jesus in the middle of it. This takes some willingness on the part of the person, to be willing to let the Holy Spirit go there. Most people just try to bury the memory and the pain. It’s like locking it up in a room, and then just not letting anyone in. They just try to control the pain.

So I encourage them, if you’ll just let Jesus into that room of that memory, if you’ll let Him come into that room, and be willing to go there again and feel the pain, He will speak to you and comfort you, and He’ll change that situation for you. So, with my daughter, I asked her to close her eyes and to look into that picture of what she saw, and to invite Jesus to come into it. She saw immediately. She saw Jesus standing there, and she saw Him grieving, and she saw Him pick up her child, and hold her child in His arms. He smiled at her and spoke to her; and immediately the grief all subsided, because instead of the memory of a casket going into flames, she had a memory of Jesus taking her child. It brought a deep release for her.

So, when a person has a traumatic experience, they need the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus in that experience. If you think of in the Old Testament, I think its 2 Kings 6 - Elijah’s servant looked out, and they were surrounded by the Syrian army, and he was terrified. So when he looked at his experience, it was overwhelming, and he was filled with fear; and he cried out in fear to his master. He didn’t know what to do; and Elijah prayed this way: “Lord open his eyes, so he can see what he hasn’t seen. Open his eyes, so he can just see there’s more for us, than against us.” The Holy Spirit opened his eyes, and he saw in the spiritual realm from God’s perspective, he saw the presence of all the angels. He still could see the army, but now he could see something else. He could see the overwhelming power of God on his side, and he came to peace.