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God is holding us.

In the past month, certain conversations and events have triggered memories of abuse and violence in my childhood — abuse that I’ve witnessed, violence that has happened in and to my family, and the destructive force of sinful fury.  And I never noticed it before, but when something triggers these memories, even though I feel mentally fine, my body begins to shake.  And I can’t stop.

One memory.

I remember the night when my mom was nearly killed by a family friend.  She escaped and called us frantically to lock all the doors and turn off all the lights.  She told us he was coming after us, too.  She told us to hide.  And when I had to go into our dark garage to lock the back door, not knowing if he would be around the corner or trying to break in to harm us, my legs almost buckled as I ran.  But I made it.  I locked the door and hid with the cordless phone in my hand.

I was 13.

That night, as the police sat in our dining room and asked me questions, I couldn’t stop shaking.  My legs and arms and body shook uncontrollably, twitching, flailing, trembling apart from my will.

And to this day, when someone asks me about that night, when my brother and I talk about that night, when I hear someone scream in tones that remind me of my mom’s voice that night, my body shakes with similar intensity.  My mind may be fine, I may not feel emotionally distressed, but my body shakes.  And I can’t stop it.

I’m 32 now.  But even my body doesn’t forget.

Similarly, I’ve read of others who have dealt with the abuse of trauma.  Others who have suffered and deal with post traumatic stress disorder, many to a far greater degree than I have.  And they deal with similar, unexpected triggers that paralyze them again in the midst of everyday life.

Where is God during those times?

Where is He when we are shaking with the intensity of unerasable memory, incredible trauma?

This is my conclusion and growing conviction after all these years —

He is holding us.

Based on Scripture, experience, and the marriage of the two, this is what I am convinced of: His sovereign, gentle hands are holding us during the times when we tremble with the memory of trauma.

The answer is simple, but the healing process is not.  The answer is simple, but our belief in it is not.

But thank God — He isn’t done with us yet.  And until He is finished, and even then, He is holding us.

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