When my mother died from breast cancer, I was a mere four years old. I don’t have many memories of her that I can recall. I remember going to get her a blanket. I remember making a cake with her for my fourth birthday party. I remember my aunt and dad telling me she had died. At four years old, my cognizance wasn’t quite developed yet. I didn’t understand.
While my mind wasn’t able to hold onto those early days of my life nor to the trauma of my mother’s departure…my soul remembers all of it.
My soul remembers questioning “Where’s mama?” My soul remembers questioning “Why is grandma crying?” My soul remembers everyone being so sad and people feeling sorry for me. My soul remembers the words that people spoke over me. “Poor Tisha.” My soul remembers every detail, every lie, every pain and every sorrow.
The problem is my soul remembers…but my mind doesn’t.
Later my dad remarried and then divorced when I was eight. It was again traumatic and I got caught up in an emotional storm that was not my fault. Emotions and reactions and selfish motives by adults sent me spiraling once again into a feeling of powerlessness that hid itself in the pages of my soul.
I tried to eat to comfort myself and gained weight. I couldn’t process my pain – so I reached for comfort. I didn’t know that Jesus could hold me or that I could go to Him with my pain. So I turned to an idol of food instead. An idol that stayed with me for many more years. But it was an idol that betrayed me (as they all do).
A secret comforter found its way into the layers of my soul. Food was my friend, only that’s what the devil deceived me into believing. My idolatry had consequences. My dad told me I was getting fat… more rejection, more darkness planted in the recesses of my soul.
I was sent to live on a farm with distant family members who lived a completely different lifestyle than I was used to. It didn’t make sense to me. I had no words to explain my emotions. I never fit in, even though I tried, the farm just never made sense to me.
I was adopted into a family who already had three girls. I ended up to be a dethroned first child. Self-pity was a thick layer in the foundation of my soul. Poor Tisha.
I never really connected with my adopted dad. He was a good provider, but I wasn’t really his daughter and we both knew it. The layers of darkness that the enemy continued to compound into the pages of my soul were being deposited there and I didn’t even know it.
Lie after lie was being planted into my story.
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’ll never be normal.”
“Why can’t I just belong?”
“No one really wants me.”
“I’m a burden.”
“Life will always be a string of suffering circumstances.”
“I’ll never be beautiful.”
“God wants me to suffer.”
“I’m being rebellious if I speak up.”
“I’ll be just like my birth father if I’m not careful.”
“I’m powerless to change anything.”
Most of these lies I didn’t even realize were being planted… but my soul knew.
This twisting of my identity was exactly what the devil wanted. He wanted to confuse me about who I was in the Lord. He was trying to steal my God-given purpose and render me ineffective.
I pushed the rejection and lies into a corner of my mind and shut the door to them in order to function. But I dealt with pretty steep bouts of depression. I didn’t realize it but I was in a deep dark prison in my soul. I didn’t understand how the devil had a foothold – or more than that – how to get free from the bondage I was in.
When our minds don’t recall a specific trauma or lie, we are unable to process it, grieve it, find the truth and ultimately let it go.
One of the main reasons I could not process my trauma was because I was too young and didn’t remember. Another reason was because I was in denial and had put the trauma on lockdown in my heart. Denial is a coping mechanism that is part of the grieving process. But if we deny there’s been trauma for a long period of time there is no way to truly address it. Ultimately, we must acknowledge that there are hidden things in the pages of our soul that need to be loosed from it in order to be set free. It is the truth that sets us free. It is the denial of truth that keeps us in bondage.
I’ve met people who were violently raped – who had no way to process their pain – so they stuck it in the dark recesses of their mind trying to forget it.
But denying and forgetting the pain doesn’t work.
It must be processed. Just as if you had been shot by a bullet. The bullet of the trauma must be removed if healing is going to happen. If the bullet remains inside the body, the wound will never heal right.
But if the bullet is extracted the wound can be addressed and true healing can begin. Think about this… the bullet itself is not the wound. The bullet causes the wound but then lodges itself into our hearts. The bullet is a lie or sin inside of the wound that keeps us in constant suffering.
The devil is not stupid. He is cunning, and he has been around thousands of years to know what it takes to paralyze God’s people. There are many ways to get us to feel powerless against him. Lies, fear, witchcraft, generational curses, soul ties, idolatry, bitterness, jealousy and so on and so on.
One of the ways the devil incapacitates us is to wound us when we are young. Then he uses the opportunity while we are wounded to plant a weed in our hearts.
Until the weeds are uprooted we remain injured, and that injury can cause all kinds of havoc in our lives and to those closest to us.
In the midst of suffering, we can become bitter and full of rage. We can even rage at the Lord for allowing the suffering. The enemy knows exactly how to get us all twisted up in our souls.
He even knows how to separate our minds from our souls so we can’t seem to find out what it is we’re mad about. It’s like he’s able to put us in a prison of pain through legal footholds he has gained through sin and lies. And then he covers up the prison with a veil over our minds making us feel powerless to get free.
One of the biggest lies that the enemy has planted in our hearts is that getting free from trauma and sin has to take a long period of time. This is not true.
We can be delivered.
We can be healed and made whole.
The cross paid for it.
But we must BELIEVE it!
Steps to Wholeness:
The first step to healing from the trauma in our soul is to pray for deliverance.
You can pray the Psalm 143 to the Lord. Ask Him to find the weeds of darkness between the layers of your soul and deliver you from any weeds that are planted there.
Psalm 143 (ESV)
My Soul Thirsts for You
A Psalm of David.
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
2 Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
4 Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.
5 I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
6 I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
7 Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
11 For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.