When I was 21, I was hit by a drunk driver. Although I didn‘t sustain life–threatening injuries, I did have some permanent ones, and my car was totaled. One of the most traumatic things I remember about that night wasn’t the accident itself. It was returning to my house from the hospital. It was the moment when the trauma that was still very present in my mind entered with me into normal life.
I think we’re all experiencing a similar phenomenon these days, even for those of us who aren’t on the front lines with the public. We’re living somewhat normally and even slower and calmer in ways, but in the presence of trauma. The disease, death, and shifting of life from COVID-19 has produced an ongoing trauma, and we don’t know how long it will last. It has impacted our economy, schools, businesses, and the way we worship.
A Time for Processing
I remember a therapist telling me after the accident that when we experience trauma, we’re often given bits and pieces at a time to process, rather than all at once, as that would overwhelm us. In the new space provided by our quarantine, I’m experiencing this now, as pieces of my past seem to have surfaced for processing. I have heard of friends experiencing this phenomenon as well. It’s brought fresh revelation, perspective, and, in some instances, fresh pain that has nothing to do with the virus. For anyone reading this post today and trying to process something, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
I’ve resisted some of these moments, not wanting to revisit painful memories. Yet even in my resistance, God keeps bringing new insight, as though He’s teaching me to get closer to His perspective. In many instances, I’m finding freedom from things that once brought me pain. Someday we’ll eventually find freedom from the hardships of this time too.
Yet the greatest freedom of all is realizing that we never need to be chained by the process. God reminded me this morning that, to Him, there’s nothing new under the sun, even if it feels like it to us. Whatever you’re dealing with, friend, was already processed and dealt with at the cross. And even when we don’t see the end result, we can trust the process like Abraham did, walking Isaac up the mountain.
A Good Plan, Even Through the Process
For those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, all things, no matter how painful, can be used for good, which means we don’t have to fear reminders or pain because we will grow closer to God in the process.
As we sit in the stillness, and even in the trauma, let’s remember that He knows the beginning from the end, and what we’re encountering has already been accounted for. His plan hasn’t changed. It’s good, and you’re safe in His plan and in His hands.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s the author of Fire Women: Sexual Purity & Submission for the Passionate Woman and the co-author and editor of DiscipleTrip by Dr. Joey Cook. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.