How I Trust God After Trauma
Updated: Jun 7
I wrote an earlier post on why I trust God. This post is about what trusting God looks like for me right now.
The anxiety I faced after Maverick died and we got Kai's spina bifida diagnosis challenged my marriage and overwhelmed my coping mechanisms. Most of the new stuff I'm learning focuses on my physiology and a mindset of surrender.
As I experience it, anxiety is about fear of the future and a desire to control outcomes. The attitude with it looks like:
Fighting against reality or being angry about it
Believing reality needs to change (and usually that I am the superhero who need to change it)
Asking God to do what I want, fix things, align Himself with the plan I see as best
Forcing a plan for my desired outcome, assuming it's what God wants and that He's given me the authority to execute it
Rigidity, muscling through
Begging God to tell me WTF His plan is
I work to cultivate an attitude of acceptance, trust, surrender as antidotes. For me it looks like:
Letting go, accepting reality
Letting things happen, knowing they're for a reason and purpose
Fluidity, inspiration, Spirit-connection
Connecting with God on His terms, aligning with Him
Asking Him how He wants me to respond, what He wants to reveal to me out of His omniscience, how He wants me to be part of what He is doing (Eph. 2:10)
Acting in God's authority as He directs me
Daily surrender- My mornings of worship, prayer and connection w/Jesus expand my myopia. Especially, our church outlined a practice of identifying lies and truths that's been powerful in helping me align myself with Jesus--it's more like a vaccine for anxiety whereas my previous practice of challenging my thoughts was like a bandage. A lot of what God’s been revealing to me is defining what is actually within my stewardship.
Community- Especially in times of vulnerability, it's really important for me to be around people who support me. In facing challenges I'm not equipped to handle, reaching out for help--whether it's via a person, book, or other resource--gives me access to experience, wisdom, energy, perspective greater than my own. It looks like connecting with friends, calling a mentor, accessing a support group, studying the Bible in a group, studying the Bible by myself, attending church, listening to books, podcasts, speakers.
Physiological focus- They say trauma is stored in the body so trying to find freedom from my anxiety by focusing just on the mind part of the mind-body connection only gets me so far. I started seeing a specialist in somatic experiencing. I also started doing different types of workouts like climbing, boxing, dancing. Dancing and music especially seem to help me embrace surrender—it’s harder to be tense or controlling when I'm dancing, and harder to breathe shallowly when I'm singing. With my son and his inspiration, I also sprinkle in art and sensory awareness experiences. These activities I never would have touched before are outlets that calm my nervous system, ground me, get me out of my head and into the present. In the words of the philosopher, Raffi, "you gotta sing when the Spirit says sing, dance when the Spirit says dance..."☺️💃🏽