This is the continuation of Motorcycle/Camry Accident and the ICU: Part 2. The accident was not a gift and I am not making light of it for anyone involved. The gift was found in the difficulty—the pain.
I assumed the cyclist’s death would be the end of my thought life fixating on the accident but the trauma of it continued to consume me and I wanted to close this chapter of life and move on. Why did this bother me so deeply? I cried every time it came to mind.
I finally decided to go visit, Terri, a Christian counselor who had helped me navigate other difficult issues in life.
Terri helped me pray my way through the events by replacing the traumatic memories with God’s healing truth; His words, which are medicinal. My heart and mind needed healing.
- He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
- I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
Please understand Terri did not heal my hurt. I asked God for help and he had Terri assist as Jesus interceded and the Holy Spirit ministered.
- The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted. He has sent me to comfort the broken hearted, to announce liberty to captives, he will give beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning, praise instead of heaviness. (Isaiah 61: 1-3, LB)
You may be asking, “How does a person communicate with God?” There is no ‘one size fits all’ for this answer since we cannot place God in a box.
- Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. Psalm 115:3
- The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Psalm 135:6
The best place to learn how God speaks is by reading the Bible and praying. A powerful way to invite the Holy Spirit to work and communicate is to pray scripture out loud.
- For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
- It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak. 2 Corinthians 4:13
God often speaks to me through prayer; as I have questions he answers them through scripture as I read it. He also answers me through Biblical teachers and pastors while they are teaching the word. They do not necessarily realize God is using them to communicate to me; although, there are times they acknowledge God prompted them to say ‘this or that’ or read a scripture reference for someone’s benefit. I revel in these moments! Sometimes God gives me knowledge in my heart, soul, mind and strength that is not from my being; it is unexplainable outside of the Holy Spirit, but it always revolves around a matter of prayer, petition and/or fasting that I have offered up to God. There are times when God catches my attention with repetition. This does not have to be something I have talked to Him about. When I hear, with in a few days, the same verse, sentence or specific theme scripturally taught by a brother or sister-in-Christ; I sit up and take note! God has spoken—to me—little ol’ me.
I knew from previous conversations with Terri that she had a terrific tool to help me center on God and His truth regarding the accident, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is used by trained therapists, through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.
This ministry would help me stay focused while Jesus healed a hurt.
- When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4
- So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 2 Peter 1:12
- He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6
The Lord helped me file this trauma away as a historical event rather than a raw emotion which is constantly on my mind. This has kept me from re-injury by similar incidents; which includes seeing a motorcycle accident while watching a TV show, watching the news or personally witnessing another accident.
I knew biblically it was acceptable to ask,
- “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
This Psalm referred to a supernatural work of deity, God, and the precedence had been set for me to ask my Heavenly Father for it. Is that not so like our God? He knows we cannot do it on our own so He offers to do it for us. I love Him!
I found my EMDR session to be a beautiful experience with the Lord. It was pure treasure. His Spirit was an overwhelming presence upon my heart, soul, mind and strength.
Terri began with a scripture and I began by thanking God for His constant grace, love and care. I acknowledged that the accident had taken over my thought life and I wanted to end this cycle. I wanted only His truth to be in me. I prayed as I followed Terri’s fingers (keeping me focused), inviting God to show me His heart, will and purpose for my involvement in praying at the accident site.
I also asked for a calmed spirit concerning the final destination of the cyclist. I acknowledged God’s sovereignty; while admitting my curiosity as to why He adamantly persisted I go pray out loud over the man.
- “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:5-8
The most important aspect of Christian EMDR for me was being in constant communication with the Lord, through prayer. God gave us the gift of prayer so we could communicate with him. To not speak would go against God’s very nature so our prayers need to leave time and room for God to correspond with us.
It was a simple process. Terri suggested I recall leaving my house with my children and remembering what I had on my schedule for the day. She gave me time to tell God about it and allowed time for the Holy Spirit to minister to me.
We used this process to continue through my memories, which were mainly from landmark to landmark, as I drove my van.
When we arrived at the memory of the Lord telling me to go pray over the injured man, He communicated in my heart, soul, mind and strength;
“Child, it was because you are obedient.”
Oh the joy that was surely vaporizing out of every pore of my body as tears flowed. God instantly flooded me with memories of obedience including the times He led me to safety, led me through meeting my future (present) husband, my futile attempts to protect my child, ending unhealthy and unsafe relationships, homeschooling our children, learning to set boundaries in relationships, accepting friendships, parenting, and continuing to homeschool our children through times of great difficulty. God led me all the way. God chose to bring these recollections to mind when he could have brought a thousand opposing remembrances fresh to my attention.
Without Him and without obeying Him I could not imagine what a mess I would be.
All of the above memories will eventually be blog entries. They all qualify under ‘Thriving Despite Difficult Circumstances’ and they are all a story in and of themselves.
I have to testify that hardly any of my acts of obedience were instant. I almost always hesitated, asked questions or complained all the way through the process whining like a little child. On occasion I was even known to kick and scream in the privacy of my bedroom or in my van.
Yep, I did. I truly am capable of such stubborn ugliness.
As I told Terri what the Lord was communicating to me I cried uncontrollably from joy mixed with remorse over my slowness to obey.
In prayer I told Him, “I’m sorry for not obeying the first time; especially since I articulate to my children the importance of obeying the first time they are told to do something.”
- So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18
“I trust You. I love You. I want to obey You. I want to be found pleasing You. You are always faithful even when I am not. Please continue to override my wants with what You know is for my best.”
“I guess I never considered that my kicking and screaming all the way was considered an act of obedience.”
“You are so patient and merciful, Father.”
Joy! Unspeakable joy!
I blew my nose several times, wiped my eyes and then allowed Terri to continue through the process to the end.
Seriously, this was the progression. When we finished and Terri asked me questions about the accident, questions which brought me to tears before beginning the therapy, they were nothing more than chronological memories with no traumatic, disturbing or depressing elements attached to them. I felt light hearted, made new, a weight lifted off my very person. That is Jesus! He can heal immediately, completely and permanently. I was never upset over the memory again, not even when we frequently passed by the very spot where the accident happened.
- You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
- But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:26-27
John 16:12-16 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
In another six months I would understand the application of this scripture in my life.
The Holy Spirit would come heavily upon me; to the point I would barely be able to hold myself upright.
In six months obedience would be my first choice. No argument.
The Holy Spirit would communicate, “This one is going to require you flat, face down. This is your spiritual heritage in the Lord; seek it.”
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My counselor was EMDR Institute trained and certified.
EMDR is used in secular psychologist’s offices but it has nothing to do with God and does not invite Him, through prayer, to heal the hurt, confusion or emptiness a person is emotionally or spiritually experiencing.
Here is my concern about doing EMDR that is not Christ centered: We know Satan is the great counterfeiter. Satan twists, turns and distorts God’s Holy Scriptures, attributes and principles to trick, deceive, steal from, kill and destroy God’s children. Having our minds focused on, or led by, anything other than God during counseling leaves our mind open to worldly interpretations, and very likely, satanic purpose. Our mind can become Satan’s battleground. Do not leave him any room!
- Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 11:18
- Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
*All scripture is NIV unless otherwise stated.
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The below excerpts are from: CHRIST-CENTERED VISUALIZATION AND EMDR IN HEALING TRAUMA. By Arlys Norcross McDonald, Ph.D. and Paula Johnston, Psy.D.
Trauma is defined by Webster as: ―a startling experience which has a lasting effect on mental life; a shock‖. It may occur to one personally, or it may be the observation of someone else experiencing a trauma. It overwhelms the senses and ability to cope. This includes many diverse situations, real or imagined, such as natural disasters, physical and emotional attacks, accidents, and losses.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a successful method for treating trauma. It rapidly and effectively releases anxiety, disturbing emotions, and negative thoughts associated with trauma.
Visualization is defined by Webster as: 1. to recall or form mental images or pictures, 4. to make perceptible to the mind or imagination.
Visualization is a therapeutic technique used as a way of fostering healing, and changing perceptions that are destructive distortions and lies. The process of visualizing a traumatic event, combined with EMDR, enables survivors to release fear and anxiety associated with the event. Spiritual truths that are visualized can bring healing and comfort that words alone cannot.
God, as our creator, knows everything about us: our complete history, present, and future. He knew us before we were even born, and saw every influence upon our life.
He alone totally comprehends our body and neurological functioning, as well as our emotions, our thinking, our actions and reactions. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and created to heal from most of life‘s assaults.
For more information on Christ-centered EMDR and to read some of the scriptures used in EMDR visit http://victormarx.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Christ-Centered-Visualization-and-EMDR-in-Healing-Trauma-final.pdf