I was in biology class when the 6.8-magnitude Nisqually earthquake happened in 2001. Living in WA state, we’d been trained for this kind of thing, and we’d practiced…a lot.
1️⃣ Stop. Drop. Cover.
2️⃣ Get under your desks or situate yourself in a door frame.
3️⃣ Then once the shaking stops, evacuate the building and get to the furthest grassy area (away from concrete and buildings)
Now, I already had some trauma around these drills.
Trauma 1️⃣ – in first grade, I broke my ankle, and on my first day back to school we had a fire drill. I had to go from one end of campus all the way to the other end – in front of all the other students – hobbling along on my crutches until I finally made it just in time to turn around and return back to our classroom.
Trauma 2️⃣ – a few years later we had threats of an active shooter on campus, and had to lock ourselves in the classroom and shut all the blinds and cower up against the wall.
Trauma 3️⃣ – now here I find myself in biology class, and it’s seemingly out of nowhere that there’s a rumble, the floor starts rolling (craziest experience to see that happen), and the whole building is shaking. We’re all stunned a bit until reality clicks and we do our “stop, drop, and cover” drill in a complete panic.
We collected ourselves once the shaking and rolling stopped, and we (calmly??) ran outside to the grassy knoll and were all a buzz until we went back in. That was that. Earthquake was over, so back to normal life. Right?
The trauma happened, so off we go. It’s in the past. I acknowledge it happened, and now it’s time to move on. Right?
Traumas 4️⃣5️⃣6️⃣7️⃣8️⃣9️⃣, etc… – anytime ANYthing shook, made a rumbling noise, or even hinted that it might, I was sent into a whirlwind of adrenaline being pumped through my body, paired with a gripping fear of “here we go again” ?
I was paralysed by this, because it didn’t matter if the elevator moved at just the wrong pace, or if I tripped and didn’t quite catch myself so my feet felt like they were slipping out from under me, or if the loading dock at my work started making its noise – I couldn’t focus, I got cold sweats, and I imagined the worst.
And it sucked. It was daily, for years. It passed quickly (thankfully), but it was sneaky and came at the most inopportune times. Rearing its ugly head just enough to let me know it was there, watching, ready to pounce – but never enough to actually be the true trauma again.
It was devastating. Frustrating. Annoying. And I didn’t know what to do about it, figuring it was just something I was gonna have to get used to. So, I did. I got used to it. I figured out how to just grit my teeth through it and clench my fists until the panic passed, and went about my life. I thought I was good.
I “was good” until I took a class to be trained as a Community Emergency Response Team member. It was a cool class, and filled with tons of valuable information and skills, but it triggered the (unhealed) trauma. Big time. I was confronted with all of the facts about natural disasters, their likelihood, how to identify people as dead so you could move on to help victims that were likely to survive, etc. and it was awful! I mean, in theory it was great, but at the time it was the most stressful part of my whole week (and it was months long), and all day leading up to it I was a ball of nerves with a knotted stomach and a tension headache.
That’s no way to live. It was awful.
Unhealed trauma can be a real bugger – but the good news is you don’t have to continue living with it!
I’d like to share with you a miracle God did in my life.
Among many healings He has done in my life, this one stands out to me though because
I know how long I suffered with it.
I know how illogical it was, but I couldn’t shake it on my own.
I know how debilitated I felt by it.
And then one day it was gone.
Now, God has a way of doing miracles in my life that are subtle, until they’re not. I’ve experienced radical healing in an instant that was obvious right away, but I’ve noticed that He often will perform the miracle discreetly (where I don’t even notice) and then He’ll bring it to my attention when I didn’t react how I normally would have.
He healed me from depression, and while it wasn’t a radical, in-an-instant experience, I had the revelation one day in my kitchen that “oh my gosh. I’m no longer living with depression.” and it was life changing.
? That’s what happened to me with this miracle. I didn’t realize it the moment I was healed, but was able to see it clearly when we had an earthquake a couple of years ago here in San Diego. I was out on my evening walk, and all of the sudden heard a lot of hubbub around, and everyone was talking about an earthquake, that had literally *just* happened.
But I didn’t feel it. At all.
Everyone was talking about it the next day, and I just couldn’t believe it.
This thing that had plagued me for YEARS was now no longer even a blip on my seismograph.
And again, we just had an earthquake this week (magnitude 4.6) and again, I wouldn’t have even known about it if others weren’t talking about it, because I didn’t feel it at all!
Folks, that’s freedom. That’s a MIRACLE of God.
Not only does He remove the trauma, but He restores so above and beyond that I don’t even feel the thing that caused the trauma in the first place.
Miracles come in all shapes and sizes, and God works in all manner of ways, so yours may not look like this. But give God credit when He moves! He’s good, and He’s mighty to save – and so often that doesn’t look like what we imagined it to look like. But that doesn’t mean He’s not moving on our behalf!
Allow your miracle to look different than you envisioned ? You may be surprised to see how many have already happened when you look for what’s God’s done vs. seeing only that which looks exactly how you think it should.