By Neil Anderson
Psalm 139:23, 24
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way
Most people I deal with have had major traumas. Some have been ritualistically abused to such an extent that they have no conscious memory of their experiences. Others constantly avoid anything that will stimulate those memories. All of these people have had their emotions traumatized–and many are stuck there. Unable to process those experiences from the past, they have sought to survive and cope with life through a myriad of defense mechanisms. Some live in denial, others rationalize or try to suppress the pain with food, drugs or sex.
This is not God’s way, however. God does everything in the light. Knowing this, you can always count on God to bring your past conflicts to the surface at the right time so that everything can be brought into the light and dealt with. I have noticed that when a person’s conflict is deeply traumatic, God allows that person to mature to the point where he is able to face the reality of the past. I have prayed with many that God would reveal anything in the past which is keeping them in bondage–and God has answered those prayers. Why don’t we pray this way more often in counseling? I’m disappointed at how often the “Wonderful Counselor” is left out of Christian ministry.
I am personally against drug-induced programs or hypnosis that attempt to restore a repressed memory by bypassing the mind of the person involved. Everything I read in Scripture about the mind challenges believers to be mentally active, not passive. Getting ahead of God in the healing process through drugs or hypnosis can throw some into a quagmire of despair they can’t escape.
I believe the first step in God’s answer for repressed trauma is found in Psalm 139:23, 24. God knows about the hidden hurts within you which you may not be able to see. When you ask God to search your heart, He will expose those dark areas of your past and bring them to light at the right time.
Prayer: Search my heart today, O God, and know my troubled thoughts. Lead me in the everlasting way.