I have a theory.
The science of posttraumatic growth can be aligned with biblical truth. Here, we find a trustworthy answer for psychological recovery and resilience.
Hello! I'm Lauren, and i love you.
I don't know. I don't understand. This is hard. This really hurts. Simplistic as it may sound, those four statements have been the only way I could and sometimes still can describe my life circumstances. I don't know what to do. I don't understand - many things....
There's a book that has me hooked (and it's not the Bible, though that Book definitely has me hooked). The book is called Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research, and Applications. You see, I've experienced posttraumatic growth (PTG). And I have a theory about PTG....
You and me, we're alike. I don't actually know we're alike, but I would guess you've experienced hard things. You know suffering. We all do in some capacity it seems. You and me, we've never met. Or maybe we have. Still, your mind is hidden from me. Your thoughts...
No More Self-Help
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Psalm 13:5 (NIV)
It was the last thing I ever wanted, to end up in a psychological straitjacket of sorts. The years following my physical freedom were heart wrenching as I learned the depths of my brokenness.
When I left the cult, I was not free.
Perpetual brain fog kept me from considering, much less comprehending the simplest of scriptures. I was completely emotionless without a fleeting sweep of sentiment in my heart.
At the same time, I wanted to understand the Bible. And I certainly wanted to be human.
A beautiful scene in my life was setting aside stacks of library books promising help for psychological trauma and with gentle tears streaming down my face, surrendering.
God, help me understand this book.
Help me understand who Jesus really is.
Just as children raised in a Christian home must eventually decide their faith for themselves, my reality was similar but opposite. I was terrified I might live the rest of my life saying “no” to God because humans had devastated my mental capacity for truth.
Self-help was a seeming solution until God helped this helpless girl.
Meanwhile, I still hoped Hugh Prather would have wise advice in The Little Book of Letting Go to accompany the optimistic sunshine silhouette on the cover. Hugh’s message convinced me that anxiety would abate, worry would wane, and fears would fade if I could just become the essence of love.
I wouldn’t realize it for six more years, but God had answered my heart’s cry for help.
First Corinthians 14:1a (AMP) says to“Pursue [this] love [with eagerness, make it your goal].” I spotted a similarity between self-help and scripture. Jesus was a fuzzy concept, but I could follow biblical directives.
Be patient, be kind, don’t envy or boast. No arrogance, rudeness, or anything close. You don’t get a break because love never ends, and it’s worth all the effort to be a true friend. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Proverbs 17:17)
It’s a high calling to imitate God (Ephesians 5:1), but made in His image (Genesis 1:27), I started to nod.
Yes, Jesus IS God!
No matter what circumstances whirl around us, we know Jesus died and He’s alive today. An impossibility solving our greatest needs really happened when He rose from the grave. When we were helpless. Powerless.
And we didn’t even have to ask.
It’s time we let the resurrection of Christ reach our broken places. May we rest in God’s saving grace and affirm like David in Psalm 13:5, “I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”
Heavenly Father, You alone are the perfect essence of love. Enable me to pursue Your character as my own. May Your love reach the deepest, most intimate places of my heart and liberate me from every trace of fear. I trust You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.