Triggered

Published by Camille deVos on

Brokenness. It is all around us. When we take the time to open our eyes and look, we can see how the world is groaning in pain. We see the longing for something so much better than what we have right now.

As we take the time to look and to listen to everyone’s story, we begin to see the wounds and that scars that we carry. For some, there is a collection of superficial wounds that have healed over, for others there are much bigger scars that continue to carry a faint ache and pain. Some of us have very raw and recent wounds, while for others there are wounds that are taking a very long time to heal.

Rubbing the wounds

These wounds cannot be protected. Often we don’t know how to dress them properly so that they are able to heal, other times they are so very big that we cannot protect them. As we move through life, we find the wounds bumping into and rubbing against so many different things in this life. Psychology likes to use the word ‘trigger’. We move through life and the wounds that we carry are thrown against different events, conversations and smells and suddenly the pain from our wound is washing over us all over again. We are triggered. In that moment we cannot escape the emotions and memories of the pain that was inflicted on us the very first time. Depending on the severity of our wounds, it can be as if we are reliving that experience.

Things that seem commonplace to so many other people are suddenly challenging and hard for us. The abrasions for our wounds pop up in so many different places that it becomes challenging for us to participate in certain activities or conversations. We encounter certain happenings and our memories flood over us so that it becomes difficult to function. Panic grips our heart and the sympathetic nervous system kicks in as we find ourselves immobilised, ready to run or leaping into attack (the freeze, flight or fight response). 

Wounds that keep reopening take longer to heal

A cut, bruise or broken bone that isn’t bandaged, stitched or protected properly will not be able to heal because it is continually exposed to further hurt and damage. In the same way, an emotional wound that continues to be hit, exposed or even rubbed will take much longer to heal. As we find our wounds knocking into fresh experiences and opening all over again there is little opportunity to heal. Instead of time allowing the wounds to heal, events across time mean that the wounds are reopened. We are visited with fresh pain as the emotions of surrounding our memories wash over us again.

Healing in the arms of the Great Physician

Healing cannot be found in anything that we do. Psychology speaks about techniques such as graduated exposure or systematic desensitisation. These techniques have merit, particularly in making sure that the wounds are not as raw and the pain is not as intense when we bump into various triggers. It helps us to grow and realise that when we are triggered the response and events that we experience emotionally, imagine experiencing or revisit are not real.

He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds  – Psalm 147:3

For those of us that know the love of our Heavenly Father, there is so much more hope for healing. Our God is the Great Physician. He brings hope and healing where no one else can. He provides safety and security when no one else can. He is the bringer of hope and the giver of life.

In the arms of a loving Father, we can do so much more than become desensitised to our wounds. In the arms of our loving Father, we can find healing. He binds our wounds. Making sure that we are safe. He works by the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts so that we come to know and believe that our security is found in him and no-where else. He teaches us that we do not need to be afraid, that the refuge for our pain, even the pain of our memories, is in his arms.

There is healing for all our wounds in the arms of the great physician. He teaches us what is right and wrong. He brings hope and he brings healing so that we can move through life without fear of what our wounds may bump into.


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