Trauma. It's one of the main things that has led me to Christ over and over and over again in my life. Through the trauma, Christ was the only constant...the only thing that made sense. And the one thing that gave me hope that there were better days ahead. That Christ was with me and near, and close to the brokenhearted...close to the suffering and sick. Close to those who needed healing during and after the death of a loved one. Close to those who were going through a divorce and the children experiencing it. Close to those going through tough breakups and assuring them that their worth was not found in men but in Christ. That though we might be feeling rejected, we are extremely LOVED. Close to those trying to find that one job, through the rejections and hurt along the way.
But what happens when you are no longer experiencing trauma? What happens when all the hurt you've ever known has suddenly subsided and lessened, and you no longer feel like you're drowning and in desperate need of a Savior?
This leads me to where I am now...learning how to cling to Christ when I am beyond the storms. Beyond the trauma and the immediate pain. Beyond the divorces, break-ups, job rejections, cancer diagnoses, and traumatic death. I know I am not freed from these things for good, but at least and hopefully for a little while.
Since the 6 month mark of my dad's passing, I began to allow myself to really rest in the peace that God has brought me. For the first time in my life. But it wasn't until the peace finally came that I realized how my whole life I have never been given the opportunity to find Christ beyond the storm. Christ is in the storms with us, but where do we find Him when things are actually...good?
Since as far back as I can remember I have experienced some sort of repeated trauma, beginning from my earliest memories of having to go back and forth from my mom's to my dad's...the sadness of leaving and missing my mom when I was with my dad and the sadness of leaving and missing my dad when I was with my mom.
I found Christ at an early age. I don't remember exactly when, but if I had to guess I would say 7. I would pray every night when I went to bed. It just felt like the right thing to do.
That same God continued to come through in rough patches with my dad in early high school, the divorce between my mom and stepdad in early college, my first break up after a nearly 5 year relationship when I was 21...the list goes on and on.
When my dad got sick with cancer, I had the peace that God prepared me my whole life for that time. Almost 5 years of therapy on and off, being on anxiety medication for an insomnia battle the spring prior, and finally getting a steady job with benefits.
God came through as my dad was passing away in the hospital, giving me strength to get through and then coordinate all the arrangements. I didn't even get a chance to begin really grieving that week because I was so busy.
Then God came through in bringing me my dream job, my boyfriend, a home, and a sweet puppy to help me move forward in love, peace, and stability.
And now I sit. I sit with God not because I need to through the suffering, but because I want to, and it's the right thing to do. The traumas in my life have always launched me towards Christ full speed. But now things have slowed down, and I have slowed down. There is so much stillness right now. So much silence. And that may not necessarily be a bad thing. I am waiting to see what God is calling me to through this very specific and new time in my life.
God is there through the storms, but He is in the calm too.
He might sound like quiet mornings and a soft breeze. And feel like the hot sun on your back. Other times He might sound like laughter or feel like a hug from a friend or like soft grass beneath your feet.
Maybe we need only to be still. And in that stillness rest in the thought that He is God. The stillness might very well be the biggest blessing yet.
Maybe we don't need to find Him in the calm after all...maybe He IS the calm after the storm.