Shock is one part of my journey I wish I didn’t have to encounter, but I am steadily learning there is a distinct lack of understanding of what to do when it does occur. This has lead me to list down a few observations from my own experience.
So for encouragement and a place to go to remember what to do ….I’ve compiled 3 lists.
- Reactions when shock, trauma are encountered.
- For the person who has experienced shock.
- And lastly, for the person who is loving the one in pain.
Understand that someone who has encountered shock or trauma, is not functioning at their peak. Their brain is in a sense traumatised, their heart is feeling so much, their emotions are ebbing and flowing, their body is endeavouring to normalise but finds itself in fight or flight mode. I believe God has designed us to heal from these events and pains, but the amount of time can be greatly influenced by the richness of the community around us.
There have been many times where I have encountered a great flow of love from others following traumatic events. There have also been times where I’ve experienced heavy loaded “extras” being added by well meaning individuals. My hope is that this blog equips both sides of the coin. I am wired to see things from all sides and as such I desire to see His church flourish in this area of purposely loving one another in healthy and meaningful ways.
It seems that in this day and age we can hold one another to such a high account, that any breakdown is seen as weakness and is often met with hard reactions, rather than kind or gentle places to heal.
The reality is that God is our only perfect place to heal. However, He has also placed us in communities where we get the opportunity to practice loving others well.
Be blessed as you read through, possibly recognise some points and hopefully leave feeling like you have permission to heal, permission to walk this out with God and permission to walk this with safe community. Painful seasons are not easy, but I have experienced time and time again God’s redemptive plan for all pain.
I’m not suggesting pain is from God, but He certainly loves to thwart the pain filled plans of the enemy – so be encouraged, if you are walking through tough at the moment. God has some goodness in there amidst it, despite it, in order to crush the things that sought to crush you!
If you have ever encountered shock/trauma you may recognise some of the following responses:
- Spurts of spontaneous emotion and weeping.
- Physical shaking.
- The feeling of being raw inside and out.
- Whole body tired
- If not tired, it can be a feeling of not wanting to stop, buzzing about doing.
- Sleep problems
- Lack of motivation.
- Increased emotions….fear, upset, anger.
- The feeling of wanting to withdraw from others.
- Feeling disconnected or numb.
- Being startled easily.
- Body/muscle tension and other body aches/pains
- Hypervigilant/Hyperaware Fight or flight mode.
- Difficulty settling into anything.
- Everyday tasks can seem like mountains.
- A sense of being overwhelmed.
- Being “triggered” easily.
- Comments that wouldn’t have been a problem beforehand, now set you off.
and sooooooo many more. Take heart if you are walking through these kinds of experiences as a result of shock/trauma. God has some helps for us in this time and wants to release more of Himself to comfort and tend to our hearts, minds, bodies at this time.
To the person who is walking through pain in this moment – here are some helps that might encourage and help you, as they have me.
- You don’t need to work it all out today in this moment.
- Being kind and gentle with yourself is always a good decision, especially in raw times.
- Be present, don’t look too far ahead – today has enough trouble of it’s own. Matt 6:34
- Having trusted, safe places and people to share your burden can be helpful. I cannot articulate enough, the importance of not sharing with those who will pour more onto your plate. Share with those who will bring Father’s heart to your situation.
- Spending time writing out your feelings and thoughts to God – this has been so helpful for me.
- Doing something that fills your tank is always a good decision in times of hardship.
- Writing a list can help you process the practical things – which can become difficult when the brain and body is recovering.
- Prioritising healthy foods and drinking plenty of water is key to fueling our body for recovery.
- Getting outside into nature is refreshing to the battle weary soul.
- Pondering the things you can be grateful for, helps build resilience when working through tough.
- Prioritising sleep routines can assist in recovery.
- Choosing easy options for a time can be helpful. (simple meals, culling extras etc.)
- Ask for help if you need it – strong people remain vulnerable with safe people.
- Seek to process and forgive as quickly as possible – having the residue of trauma undealt with can impact future freedom. Asking God for His help in this area is key.
- Ask yourself what part of the situation is yours? What part is not? And ask God to lift the things that aren’t, so that you are carrying things that aren’t yours to carry.
- Asking Jesus to cut all ungodly soul ties with the damage can assist in having clarity and being able to move forward.
- Did I mention that in distress, being gentle and kind to ourselves is a good thing.
- If you need some retreat time to process and protect, this can be healing also. Too much time however can be destructive to the healing process.
- Be willing to allow God to defend you – sometimes the conflict and battles we have to broach aren’t ours to fight. God often is willing to take the burden of having to resolve things for us on our behalf.
- It’s not always our job to fix things. Asking God to show us what is ours to action is freeing and practical.
- Understand that this current circumstance might never be restored to what it was, but God has a place of peace for you within it, regardless of whether it is resolved or not.
- Being willing to hold others less tightly, can create space to see things for how they and you actually are. There might be relationships that are moving into a new season.
- Ask God the question, what are you trying to show me through this pain?
- Ask God the question, if I walk with you through this, what will is being built within me?
- Being willing to forgive freely those who disappoint or hurt us in how they have responded to our pain.
- Understand that pain can be productive, ask God about His purpose or redemptive plan through this.
- Spending time in worship, in silence, in whatever you sense your body and mind need.
- Understand that pain may take time to heal.
- Give yourself permission to take all the time that is needed to heal.
- Understand that what you are walking through will build something within you, as you walk it with God.
- Look for patterns, is there something that is recurring? It could be that God is wanting to heal this and bring His beautiful freedom to this injured part.
- Being self aware can help bring things to truth and therefore healing more quickly. (if we are not self aware, we are quick to blame others, if you rarely accept responsibility for anything, ask God to help you to be more aware of your responses and actions. When we are not self aware, we may miss out on discovering what God wants to heal in us through this event and hurt others with our lack of self awareness.)
- Ask God how He sees this situation.
- Be aware of what you are “feeding” your brain and heart. Times of healing need safe and building input. If what you watch, read and listen to are not life building, then reassess these at this time.
- Focus on this things and people that build you up, not tear you down.
- Asking God for a picture of your heart and what is happening in it, can help in recovery. As time passes and strength is being restored, ask God for updates on your heart condition. This is a truly miraculous tool in recovery.
Truly, this is not a exhaustive list because there is so much that we can action, even if we feel as though we are without capacity.
Be encouraged, you are definitely not alone in this. You are worth the time, the investment and the healing.
For those who are looking to love those who are struggling, please check in on the next post.
God loves His beautiful church, His church are the ones who bring His heart into the world in all it’s brokenness – in order to allow Him to reveal His plan for loving and healing every one of us. Thankyou God for loving me in this way. xxxxx