I recall a young woman who shared her story of early childhood trauma. As a young adult, she was an unemployed, single-parent with a history of domestic violence and substance abuse. She was full of despair, fear, and hopelessness. Her story is not uncommon. So many have experienced early childhood trauma and are still struggling to overcome its devastating effects.
As children, we all have a basic need to feel safe and secure; these components enable us to grow and thrive. When we are in environments that are warm and nurturing, we feel empowered to dream and be hopeful about our future. Conversely, when there is abuse, trauma, neglect, or abandonment, our survival instincts are activated. We are no longer forward-focused and hopeful, we are just trying to endure day by day.
The young woman previously mentioned had lost her ability to dream. "Survival mode" kicked in early childhood and continued to be the driving force of her life as a young adult. She had experienced so much trauma that as a child she never pondered the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?". Survival had become her occupation. The idea of dream building or being hopeful and excited about the future was foreign to her.
How many of us can identify with this young woman? Well, there is hope and good news for her and for you! No matter what we may have experienced in our childhoods, that we invariably carry into adulthood, it does not negate the truth of God's word. He has good plans for us--those plans entail a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)! God is excited about the good plans he has for us. He wants us to be hopeful too. It may feel scary to embrace hope. It may feel uncomfortable to be excited about our future. So, may I encourage you to allow faith to hit your heart? Accept and acknowledge God's word (his promise) to be true for your life. No matter your history, God has good plans for your future.
Father, in the name of Jesus, we pray for those who have experienced trauma and have lost their ability to dream or have hope. We decree your word over our lives--you have good plans for us! We rest in your promises. Restore our ability to dream. Restore our ability to hope. Heal every emotional wound. We confess our brokenness, despair, hurt, and trauma before you. Thank you for the grace to overcome soul wounds (Romans 8:37). Thank you for victory. We receive it now. Amen and so be it according to your word.