What book or e-book would I recommend to my readers this week is the challenge for Welcome to My World? That is a tough question to answer as I have read at least five excellent books this past month in doing the research for my focus articles on Spiritual Wounding, Generational Trauma, and Child Abuse for April.
Healing Spiritual Wounds
I will tell you a bit about each of them, and you can decide if you want to read any. “Healing Spiritual Wounds,” by Carol Howard Merrit. Merrit shares her own story of living in a home where abusive parental practices took place following the teachings of their fundamentalist church. I followed her story through the process of her anger, grief, and shame to reconnecting with God and finding her healing in His love. Sadly, what she writes about has been common practice in many fundamentalist church groups.
Another more practical book was Sacred Wounds by Theresa B Pasquale. This book deals with this sensitive subject, spiritual wounding, and trauma. She has shed a lot of light on the subject, which is close to her heart. She is professionally qualified to write on this subject, and anyone who has had to deal with spiritual abuse or trauma will find the book most helpful with examples from life. People coping with or helping people through their issues with religion and church would find the insight most beneficial. To know where to back off and where to support. Spiritual abuse had a lasting effect on people’s lives and how they can deal with their problems when their concept of God has been corrupted. If you need help for releasing some of these wounds, God has gifted some people to help you, I am happy to share this article by Justina Ford on being Confidently Visible Despite Spiritual Wounding.
Healing Power Through Spirit Born Emotions
For people who want to find ways to connect to God and heal from this type of trauma, a beneficial book with many different angles to approach healing is “Unleashing Healing Power through Spirit-Born Emotions” by Mark Virkler and Charity Kayembe. One of the most exciting things in one of his approaches is that God speaks through images. As an artist, I have always found that I have been closer to God visually. This was in significant conflict with my upbringing when it was only The Word, which quite often, to be truthful, I did not understand! This book shows the numerous ways in which we can communicate with our Creator, which is really quite liberating.
What is the Bible and How Do we Understand it?
Life has certainly moved on since I was a child. Technology has changed so much of how we view the world that was not available to our forebears. The millennial generation thinks and experiences the world in ways that we never could. They also have many questions about the Bible and the Church, so my church here in Washington DC is doing a seminar on hermeneutics. We used the book by Dennis R Edwards, “What is the Bible and How Do We Understand it?” His books on radical faith and the Jesus Way certainly shed a lot of light on many of the problems we have in applying Bible passages to modern life and made so much sense in light of the previous books mentioned.
The Body Keeps the Score
My research converged with listening to a weeklong series of lectures on Dealing with Trauma by a team from the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine. Their scientific experience verified what I had been learning from the above books but made the picture a lot clearer in the case of the developing child’s brain. Children are helpless to escape from traumatic or ongoing trauma, developing their own mechanisms, which become a learned behavior in their bodies. “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk is an excellent resource for learning about this.
Deconstructing Old Beliefs
There are other good resources for counseling from Spiritual Abuse. Church as Refuge is leading the movement to bring this to light and bring healing to those who have been taught a theology that had made them doubt their relationship with God. Listen to a short video excerpt by Rev Megan Cox of “Give Her Wings” or check out the website if you know of someone who might need this kind of help.
Memory and Dream Artwork
In January, I signed up to attend classes for Memory and Dreamwork in Drawing with a lecturer at the Royal School of Drawing in London for May. In the very first lesson, I had chosen a nightmare of vegetables chasing me I had had as a small child to work with. Everything fell into place with the eating and stomach problems I had experienced when I looked through the lens of what I had just been reading and listening to! My recent work with the elderly who had dementia made me acutely aware that unresolved trauma can severely impact you in old age. I wanted to deal with any issues that might arise if I got dementia, hence my research. By the same token, I wanted to bring this awareness to the forefront to help point people in the right direction to get the help they might need before it is too late.
I could not choose just one book because one book would not cover the scope of this vast subject with so many facets, as everyone is unique. These books are a good starting point for people interested in the topic or who know someone who is struggling with any aspect of PTSD. Soaked in prayer as to which one will be most helpful in moving you forward. It is also crucial to seek counsel to find therapists who are specialists in PTSD with the spiritual aspect. Being able to reconnect to God is part of the healing process.
It is crucial to seek counsel to find therapists who are specialists in PSDT with the spiritual aspect. Being able to reconnect to God is part of the healing process.
What are your thoughts on PSDT and trauma? Do you think they are original sin? Do you believe that the church can help or harm in the healing of people who have PSDT?
Thank you for the recommendation of the books, and also making clear what abuse and trauma is, and how it affects us.
I’m impressed you’ve read five books this month and it’s only the 10th.
It was the prior month up to then! That would be too much like speed reading!
Thanks for the short blurb on five different books. You ask for my thoughts on PSTD. Problem is, before I can answer that I need to know what PSTD stands for. I looked for the answer in your post but can’t find it. Am I just switched off? (Very possible!) However, in view of the letters almost certainly stand for a disorder – and the three other letters COULD be Post Stress Traumatic … how am I doing? And that would make it the same as PTSD – then no, I definitely don’t see this as original sin. And as far as the church helping, that totally depends on having the qualitifed people available to help. I believe so much harm is done at the hands of well-meaning Christians who take upon themselves the role of counsellor – with no training or experience.
Thank you so much for your input and putting me right with PTSD, I think I must have been suffering dyslexia at the time. I will edit when I can get into my account again! Yes, you are right about untrained people in the church doing more harm than good.