Disclaimer:In the first testimony on this page, I give prominent mention to spiritual warfare and demonic oppression or attack. However, I am not suggesting a 'one-size-fits' all solution for P.T.S.D. sufferers. Healing of mind and spirit is multi-faceted and is not at all simplistic, predictive, or formulatic.
of Dreams - God Heals Trauma
P.T.S.D. part 1
Although outbursts of anger were rare for me, my symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (e.g., depression, anxiety, hypervigilance, rage, flashbacks, intrusive memories, amnesias, numbing, nightmares, recurrent dreams), spanned the course of about fifteen years. There is not space enough here to describe either all the pain and sufferings, or the self-realizations and self-education that was gleaned from a variety of sources. Fortunately for me, by the time the psychiatric community even identified the fact that traumas besides war combat traumas could preceed P.T.S.D., I had already long understood this to be true because I had deduced it myself. Because of this, I had already made some progress in my recovery simply because I had some idea of what I was dealing with.
Indeed, what happened to me at a young adult is now known to be one of "the most common precipitating events for PTSD in women" in the DSM-IV. (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for of Mental Disorders) Furthermore, women are "more likely than men to meet criteria for lifetime and current PTSD..." As I have learned more about it, I indeed consider it a miracle that I am recovered to the extent that I am. Significant parts of that recovery were initiated by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and so this particular section of the "God Heals Trauma" series relates some of those moments. Because this series focuses on dreams, it specifically relates how God used dreams. It cannot cover everything of course because that would be a very long, personal, testimony.
However, before I begin, I would like to say that people experience healing in many different ways. It could be by prayer, dreams or visions, or talking to people. Talking to people is a big one, as long as they are helpful to your condition and not harmful. It was tragic that I had to stop talking to people for as long as I did for my own protection. This began because the first people I spoke to who, people whom I should have been able to trust, were ignorant, surprisingly inappropriate and blameful, even though they had living evidence (a confession) that my case was true. Their 'anti'-support caused extreme destruction in my young life which again, I do not have the space to tell here.
God intervened by giving someone a 'word of knowledge' and this rescued me from death. This one supportive person helped begin to reverse the damage. Over-all though, I found that people's statements of unbelief or condemnation are hindrances to the Lord's work. To battle that along with the original problem can be overwhelming indeed. I knew that if I joined them in either their unbelief or their condemnation, I would likely succumb to despair. I decided that I wanted God's first best and not His second best. I decided that God was big enough to do anything (Luke 18:27), and that my 'anything' (healing and wholeness), was not beyond His reach or against His purposes.
My young daughter's dream: The Dream about Jesus and the Wolves
By the early-1980's the Lord had already accomplished some 'miraculous' healings to my heart. However, I had no real concept just how much healing still remained. Although my husband would go to church with me, he was not really following the Lord at the time. In fact he would display so much sarcasm on the way home after church, that I why he bothered to go. He also got quite angry if he saw me reading the Bible. Without him knowing it, I begged church elders to have some friendly contact with my husband and they did. Afterwards, there was temporary relief from his generally angry disposition, but my husband soon returned to his outbursts.Important note: I am not ignorant about deliverance from demons. At only 19-20 years old and even younger, the Lord called me into an active deliverance ministry which at times included evangelism and praying for the 'baptism' of the Holy Spirit. These testimonies as well as other, more personal testimonies of my own troubles, are not included here on this website at this time. In my 25 plus years of experience as a Christian, the "Spirit-filled" Charismatic experience in I.C. churches has taken a nose-dive. Loving one another and competent counseling and care have been replaced with unBiblical 'goofy' spiritual hype. Since I am quite confident that a loving, healing community of caring Christians would have both prevented the development of P.T.S.D. and sped up recovery from it by a number of years, I will remain focused on that in these testimonies..
Over a decade later, the Lord showed him that he was very angry over how church elders had treated both of us before our marriage. He hated all things church and Bible because he wanted no reminders of this painful time in our lives. Once he acknowledged his anger (the truth shall set you free) and forgave, he began following the Lord again. Prior to that, neither of us ever thought of early church abuse as being a factor. You must remember that although there was spiritual abuse then as well as now, it was not acknowledged or talked about.
In the mean time, pressured from all sides, I suffered from extreme, almost torturous, depression. I was no longer the person I used to be at all. The only thing I could mutter in prayer was "God please help me." Eventually I realized that I was also angry about the fact that I was tormented. I just wanted to leave it all behind but could not. Eventually, I did seek help from an elder in the church whom the Lord's Spirit indicated to me that I should go to.
After this elder had prayed for me there was some significant release, but the depression returned about a year later. However at a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert, the Holy Spirit lifted off a heavy weight of depression as Anne Herring prayed for the audience members. Because of that, my husband and I were able to go through the birth of our first daughter while I was no longer depressed and able to function well.
Perhaps because I felt so much better, I reasoned that I would do well from then on. Unfortunately this was not the case. Previous events had caused great damage to my mind that I was completely unaware of. Soon my troubles began again after something happened that sent me into a frightening downward spiral.
Suddenly, there I was, a young mother of a one-and-a- half-year old daughter, who felt like she was going over the edge. I knew that what I was having was probably called 'flashbacks', but did not know I was suffering from my first major incident of post traumatic stress disorder. I paced the floor until at least 3 a.m. every night, and sometimes all night long.
When I started burning objects that held bad memories for me in the middle of the night, my husband got real scared. He got up in the middle of the night and asked me about it. I told him I was angry and this was the best way I could express it. I assured him I would not burn the house down. He then wondered if he should call a psychiatrist. I asked him to please give me a little more time. "I am going to beat this," I said, with a determined glare that probably scared him all the more. I told him that I was afraid of the side-effects of medications and besides, we really could not afford for me to get 'treatment' anyhow.
My big concern then was taking care of my young daughter and what effect this may have on her. My herculean efforts to act 'normal' during the day for her sake, led to most of the difficulties popping up again at night while I was alone. I knew my daughter was a very sound sleeper as a baby and if I could be quiet enough then I might not wake her. Each morning though, I would find her out of her bed (we were poor and so her mattress was on the floor) and near the closed door of her room, asleep. Concerned, I told myself that if this continued or got worse, then I suppose I may have no option but to tell my husband to go ahead and call a psychiatrist and let them hospitalize me.
I do not recall how long this went on because the days melded into a long string of horrible nightmares and distress. Suddenly though, it all went away. When it all dissipated, my mind cleared. I was amazed that I did not even think to ask for help from that particular church elder I had gotten help from before. This was the only person I trusted because I had told him once what happened and he showed genuine compassion. He had prayed over me then and did not seek to blame me for the past like others had before. Why wouldn't I even think to call upon someone like that again?
I realized that obviously I had been so locked into my thoughts and struggle that I was literally unable to think straight. This was my first realization that this was very serious on a purely mental basis. From then on it was not a question of how many months it would be before I was back to 'normal', or how many years it would be, but IF I could ever be the joyful person I once was. Remembering what it was like to not have a mother, I lived for my children and hoped I could hang on through at least most of their years growing up. This was how horrible my life had become, most of the time.
My daughter was only one and a half years old at the time of this incident, and pre-verbal then (she had not learned to talk yet). Later when she was three years old, she walked into the babysitter's house and pointed to a picture of a new Jesus there. She said, "Jesus! Jesus!" My babysitter, a Catholic, told me about it because she wondered where Michelle had seen a picture of Jesus. The odd thing was that Michelle had never seen a picture of Jesus before. We had no pictures or picture books of Jesus at our house, and when I checked the nursery at our church and talked to the nursery staff the next day, they also said they were quite certain Michelle had never seen a picture of Jesus. There weren't many books for very young children with pictures of Jesus, back then.
Michelle continued to happily talk about seeing Jesus. I thought she meant the picture at her babysitter's house. Puzzled, I sat down and asked Michelle, "Where did you see Jesus before?" "At night," she said. "Really?" "Yeah," she said, "Mommy was having trouble. The wolves came in to hurt Mommy every night. It was really bad. There were lots and lots of wolves. I climbed out of my bed every night to get to the door to fight the wolves, but I was too little to open the door, so I would fall asleep again. Then I had a dream. Jesus came into my room. He told me not to worry. He said that Mommy was too sick to fight the wolves, so He would do it for her. Then he chased the wolves all away and Mommy was okay again."
Well, I was stunned. It sounded all too accurate. I wondered how could she remember something from when she was one and a half years old. So I decided to gently test her. I said, "When did you have this dream about Jesus?" "A long time ago. When I was little," she said. Well it was amusing to hear a three year old say, "when I was little." Still, I wanted to make sure I was not accepting this too easily. I waited a few days and asked Michelle again. She told me the exact same thing. I waited a week and asked her. Again, the story remained the same, down to every detail.
Then I came up with another way to check. Most people think children make things up out of their imagination anyhow, so I asked the babysitter. This babysitter had watched Michelle ever since she was a baby. I asked her if Michelle had ever told her about a dream about wolves or about Jesus. She said, "Yes, that's why I asked you if Michelle had seen a picture of Jesus. When she saw the picture, she told me that she had a dream where Jesus fought the wolves that were attacking her Mommy. I thought she was making it up. But I never have read her The Little Red Riding Hood story. Did you?" No, I hadn't, and neither had anyone else. We never had the T.V. on much except for the news, and Michelle's world was only of her babysitter, myself, and the church nursery. "Well it was really odd," she said, "because Michelle said she had this dream when she was one year's old, and that was how she knew what Jesus looked like."
Jesus By The Water
In 1987, I had an open-vision/visitation between Jesus and myself. At the time I had been weeping again (this was a daily, occurance for me for the first five years and then sometimes daily for about the next ten years), and I wondered if I would ever be healed. Jesus told me that I was actually near the 'healing waters' (I briefly saw this) and all I had to do was drink. Then He sang a childhood song I heard just once at a Christian camp (my parents made a mistake once sending me there) I liked the song and had not remembered all the words, but He sang them to me very clearly (Come to the waters, stand by My side...I know you are weeping you won't be denied...) Then as He faded away He said, "Are you willing to serve me without power?" I answered yes, puzzled about both the question and the meaning. He said, "Then you shall. For a time..."This section (God As 'Therapist') is part of "Diary of Dreams" which is part of our Prophet 'Un'School
The next year was almost completely hellish. I was attacked on every front. I won't go into the specifics of all that converged upon me at once, both inside and out, or how severe it got, but if I thought it was 'dry' before, this was even 'dryer'!
At the end of this year I almost died after giving birth in 1988. When I was sent home I could barely crawl up and down the stairs (all bedrooms were on the top two floors of our townhouses, so I had to navigate stairs). My husband had to take a second job so we could afford to send our two oldest young children (not the baby) to a home day care setting for a few months. This was indeed quite a stressful time for us. However, the Lord gave me another vision in which there was significant victory over the devil's tactics. This vision was very long and is not included on the website because it would do little good for others to read about it except to reveal Satan's character in a very real way, which is represented well enough in the Bible.
My next testimony, P.T.S.D. part 2 , testifies how God began to address mental damage by trauma, with "The Dream of the Injured Women."-Teri Lee Earl
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."
"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one
who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will
receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because
he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. And if anyone
gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because
he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his
|To HarvestNET Reformation page||To HarvestNET 'Prophet school'|