Trauma that ensues from some of life’s obstacles and events has the potential to throw us off course from reaching important people and places along our destiny path. They threaten to derail our progress, disrupt momentum, and even cause things to come to a halt. Sometimes, the effects of trauma debilitate, persuading us to abandon the seed of a dream that God has planted in us.
When this happens, we become more aware of the size of our pain and the challenges we encounter. In hopelessness, we minimize God and His ability to move through the hard places where we have found ourselves stuck.
With any goal or worthwhile dream, there is a certain amount of movement required to move toward the future God has planned. In their various ways, the lingering effects of trauma station themselves as bullies, positioning between us and the manifestation of purpose-driven dreams. What we face seems insurmountable, driving us to adopt mindsets and habits that sabotage what we desire.
Our minds appear as enemies, intrusive thoughts obstructing the progress needed to attain goals. Though the voice of trauma sometimes seems to speak louder than the Voice of God, our potential will connect with the voice that we choose to acknowledge and heed.
It may seem impossible to navigate our way from places where we feel trapped, but we have a Savior who is a refuge to us in trouble (Psalm 46:1). When we study the examples of biblical heroes who suffered great challenges under extreme conditions, we see the rescue mission unfolding in the passages of Scripture. Even as the Psalmists cried out to God, the Father responded with both love and action.
God offers us similar opportunities as He did with those champions of our faith. We can submit to Him and pursue the vision the Holy Spirit has placed inside. The obstacles that oppose us from within do not have to stop our progress.
No matter what we face, we can embrace the wisdom of God to familiarize ourselves with the enemy’s devices. We don’t need to place more attention and emphasis on what he is doing than how God is moving. The Lord will give insight and equip us to navigate the war that wages in us and in the spirit realm.
The Holy Spirit will order our action steps, helping us in prayer and conversation to speak words that give life. He will reveal how we can partner with Him and all of Heaven to tread over the enemy (Luke 10:19). Although the devil strategizes against our minds and emotions, the following principles advise us of practical and spiritual steps to lead us into the future and hope God has planned (2 Corinthians 2:11; Jeremiah 29:11).
The enemy wrestles against us in the area of shame. He wants to persuade us to adopt a perpetual sense of unworthiness. Instead of relying on and delighting in the gift of God’s grace, Satan deceives us into believing that God’s acceptance comes by performing religious works.
Performance trains our focus on practiced rituals and outward appearance. It deflects focus from our hearts, the core of our being, which is most important to God (Isaiah 29:13; Ezekiel 33:31; Matthew 15:7-9).
God knows that we are like dust, and we are only able to desire and do His Will by His Spirit working internally (Psalms 103:14; Philippians 2:13). Pleasing Him does not originate with external performance exercises, but rather in hearts that draw near (Matthew 23:27-28).
At Jesus’ baptism, the Father publicly acknowledged His pleasure with His Son before Jesus ever performed any of the miracles leading up to His death, burial, and miraculous resurrection (Matthew 3:17). Similarly, we who have placed faith in Jesus Christ, are already loved and accepted, not by our religious performance activity, but rather because of the finished work of Christ and who He became for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
There is nothing that we can do to extinguish or increase the Father’s compassion for us. He loves us completely and perfectly. While our good works can’t do for us what the blood of Jesus has already settled, neither can our self-punishment.
Shame operates to convince us that the Messiah’s offering was insufficient to atone for sin and soul. Furthermore, anxiety and shame jockey for attention. They contend that we have to earn our position in Christ by performing good works, yet punish us mercilessly when we miss the mark.
These soul villains cause us to seek salvation in false repentance, flogging ourselves with scathing words scripted in negativity. Jesus came to earth, to build us up, not tear us down. Coming to the Lord, in faith, with a contrite heart, is what endears us to Him.
Reconciliation isn’t limited to our eternal promise of salvation, but it is part of an enduring covenant that beckons us to return, receiving the mercy that forgiveness lavishes. Here, He bathes us in comfort and courage to joyfully receive His gift of grace.
The pathway out of pain and trauma will be peppered with challenges. Sometimes, we can become overwhelmed and distracted by the concerns the world presents. It provokes fear, anxiety, and a feeling of being ill-equipped for areas where God has dispatched us to move forward in faith.
These difficulties incite anxiety and prevent us from cultivating what the Lord has planted in us. Advancing with what God has assigned isn’t optional. When we delay our obedience, we partner with the enemy to self-sabotage God’s destiny dream for us.
Procrastination is a tool often used to pull our focus from working in collaboration with the Holy Spirit in God’s preferred time frame. Procrastination partners with fear and progress to prevent and prohibit the Holy Spirit’s move through us. We have to intentionally extinguish limiting beliefs that we are not worth consistently showing up for our divine assignment.
Instead, we must embrace and encourage ourselves that we are worthy of our call, and therefore receive the grace to devote ourselves to the rhythm of investment that it may require. Shame and unworthiness don’t have to keep us cycling in inconsistency, but we can gather the support people and strength to uproot and move forward with encouragement and hope.
The purpose that God has crafted for our lives is bigger than us. When we hinder our obedience to what God has called, we rivet focus on our vision, supplanting what the Lord had in mind. Perfectionism partners with inadequacy and insecurity, stalling our progress and downplaying our gifts.
Even more, it belittles the Giver of those gifts in our lives. In doing so, we deny God intimate relationship and fellowship, robbing Him of the glory He wants to bring through our current, imperfect state.
Though we may disdain to appear weak, our vulnerabilities highlight God’s glory (2 Corinthians 12:9). He offloads the burden of our presumptive need to appear polished and put together on our own.
Perfectionism leverages an unsustainable burden, but our surrender to consolation and counsel of the Holy Spirit removes and relieves the crushing weight. With His spiritual insight, our finite view shifts in focus from temporal to eternal, from ourselves to our Savior.
Jesus was the only perfect person to walk the earth, and it is our relationship with Him that will usher us into experiencing wholeness, the Bible’s definition of perfection that pleases God.
If you are feeling trapped in the trauma of your past, unable to navigate toward your destiny, you can resume progress with the Holy Spirit. Setbacks will come, whether from circumstances out of your control or others under your direct influence. You don’t have to become enslaved to the effects of traumatic encounters. God has good and perfect gifts for you to discover, even as you seek Him for the wisdom of what’s next.
Begin by searching for a counselor on this site and secure an appointment to meet with a professional. You will gain the empathy and support to navigate your next move as well as the motivation and momentum to keep moving.
“Blue Arch”, Courtesy of Darkmoon_Art, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Fantasy Castle”, Courtesy of peter_pyw, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Mirror, mirror, on the wall…”, Courtesy of pixundfertig, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “What’s Next?”, Courtesy of geralt, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; Pixabay.com, CC0 License
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