Monday, February 6, 2012

Drama and Trauma

How quickly do you bounce back?  Do you have people in your life who tell you that you should ‘get over it’ or ‘move on, already’?  Whether it’s because someone insulted you or something as traumatic as a loss of a loved one, the last thing you want to hear is, “move on, already”.  But those of us on the other side, those of us who have to witness you going through this trauma or drama, don’t want to deal with it so we want you to hurry up, deal with it, and move on.  It can be very emotionally draining and trying on a relationship if you are constantly re-visiting a trauma or drama.

Drama is something we want to people to ‘get over’ a lot more than trauma.  With trauma we will allow you some time, not much mind you, to heal and then move on.  With drama we tire ever so quickly of hearing the story over and over.  We are selfish creatures and if it’s not OUR trauma or OUR drama, we want people to move on.  When it belongs to us, we’ll take as much time wallowing in it as we want to and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I’m not sure that any of us can simply move on.  What people really want you to do is get over it, stop talking about, and move AWAY.  What if we just recognize that we all need to continue moving forward and allow the wounds to heal as they may?  And what if the energy required to continue moving forward WITH the drama and trauma actually comes from those around us who patiently and lovingly stick with us through all of it?

I think its ok to continue on our life journey WITH the sting on our cheek from the slap in the face.  It is ok to continue on our life journey with the knife still stuck deeply in our backs.  It is ok to continue on our life journey with the holes in our hands.  Move on?  Be careful not to say “move away, already!”  Move on – pick up - move forward – continue the forward motion, the forward momentum, of your life and allow the things you carry to eventually get easier.  

Paul had an affliction that he referred to as a thorn in his side.  There are many theories about what exactly this was.  When Ananias prayed for Paul’s eyesight to be healed perhaps it was only a partial healing, leaving Paul’s eyesight poor.  He did have others write for him and in his letter we find in Galatians he says (6:11), “see what large a letter I have written unto you with my own hand”. 

Maybe Paul had experienced the loss of someone so close to him that he was tormented with depression and anxiety.  Many of us know what an affliction that can be.

Perhaps Pauls’ affliction was something ongoing such as habitual sin, maybe sexual issues or envy or pride.  Maybe he struggles with his own identity as a person, a man, a Christian, a human.  A personal description of ‘thorn in my side’ may not be physical.  These internal struggles or habitual sins can be just as painful as a physical ailment, after all. 

I think God did not reveal Paul’s true affliction so that he could show us that he can identify with any type of ‘thorn’.  If we were actually told what it was it may dilute the authority and power behind 2 Corinthians 12:9, “my grace IS SUFFICIENT for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. 

Our drama and trauma can become a thorn in our side.  We may never completely ‘get over it’ and perhaps the point is to not get over it.  The point is to pick it up and continue your journey.  The point is to allow the experiences to make you wise.  The point is to learn from it.  The point is it is YOUR drama and YOUR trauma.  It is absolutely possible to continue moving forward with your life while processing all that has happened to you. 

The next time someone suggests to you that you need to deal with your drama or move on from your trauma, simply tell them, “you first”.  For we all have these issues that continually haunt us, that continually poke us in the side like a painful thorn.  Pick it up – carry it with pride – claim it as your own – and then show the world that you can continue the forward momentum that God started in you. 

Creating God, you are a mercy-filled God, always granting mercy and grace to us who do not deserve it.  Forgive us when the pain someone feels is our fault.  Forgive us when we have ill feelings towards others who have caused our pain.  Help us to forgive those who do, indeed, sin against us and thereby causing trauma and drama in our lives.  Thank you for recognizing that we have a hard time moving forward.  Help us to energize one another enough to continue moving forward – to continue our life journey – whether we are walking, running or crawling it.  Help us to continue working together, loving one another in spite of the knives in our backs, the pain from lies, and the agony of hurt.  Your Son knows all too well the feelings that utter betrayal can cause.  May we never forget that.  In the name of Christ…Amen.

Philippians 1:6 “For He (God) who started a good work in you WILL be faithful to complete it in you”.

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