Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) can occur due to a shocking, or fearful, tragic event or loss. The current losses or events that trigger anxiety, stress, bad memories, nightmares, sweats , weeping or any number of events that occur, may bring on an onset of post trauma stress - a reminder that we are still in need of God's grace and the healing touch of Jesus to go deep into our souls to cleanse, heal and restore us.
This week I went through a car situation - my car overheated on the highway on the way to work. I wondered while driving, "where is all this smoke coming from?" At closer inspection, it was my car that was letting out smoke like a hot kettle full of hot water. I pulled over to the breakdown lane on the highway, got out of the car and ran as far as I could from the car - I wasn't sure if the car was going to blow up or something...Whew! What a scary event.
As I collected myself, I called 911, a state trooper came to see if I was okay and The Lord sent one citizen, a woman to stop when she saw me standing in morning traffic on the side of the road to give me a lift somewhere if I needed it. Now that the emergency is over, it is good to know, there are still some people who care about people - even strangers - and will do the right thing to help a person in need. Thank God.
I got to the auto repair shop and was shocked at the cost of the repair - I wrestled with whether or not the manager of the shop was telling me to truth. I screamed inside, thinking about the savings I was trying to build, just to be hit with a whooping bill that I could not escape to pay to get the car back on the road.
With God's help, I got through it...yet...I could not stop weeping. In my mind, I knew, I was glad I had the money to pay the car repair bill. Thankful, the Lord saw fit for it not to take me over into debt; thankful that I got to work and did not lose much pay; thankful that I was safe and did not have a catastrophe on my hand - I was thankful. But the overwhelming loss shook me to my core, deeper than the actual incident, I realized on the second day, the ache I was feeling was connected to all the other losses, fearful losses, I experienced in the last four years. This incessant weeping was not about my car breaking down - it was about the cumulative loss all balled up into one car repair.
Yes...I had grieved those losses already...but every fresh loss was bringing back levels of grief that I had not completed. Like the loss of my car - the car that was my "dream car". I didn't love the car, but the car was for me, a blessing from God - a sign of His favor and that He loved me. So sick I was...that I thought that God's love and favor rested on one car. God allowed that car to be taken, but He provided for me during my "car -less" years and helped me to see His love for me had nothing to do with a Toyota Camry.
That loss had brought on some terrible consequences - buried deep in my subconscious. and that was just one of the losses that was the catalyst for the despair I felt about the car repair. As I sat in my car in front of a local library and cried with my head hanging out of the window...I realized by God's Spirit that maybe I was going through a post-trauma stress reaction. That fearful event more six years ago with the loss of one car had created a fear and stress whenever I had to repair my car unexpectedly. It was the same as when I walked out of my house and saw my car no longer in the parking space I left it - all unexpectedly.
I am so thankful to God that He showed me that - it allowed me to pray again for healing beyond my own means to self-heal. I need Jesus Christ, my Savior and Healer to heal my mind, my soul and my spirit.
Post-trauma stress syndrome can be treated. Beyond treatment, we need the healing touch of Christ to come into those deep places of heart and route out the mess, the vanity, the sin of placing things above our love for Jesus Christ.
Lord, heal me....heal us. In Jesus' precious name. Amen
Check here to read about PTSD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/