I came across this article, “Spirituality and Suffering Through the Four Phases of Change” by Patricia A. Fennell (http://www.albanyhealthmanagement.com/GC-Spirituality-2012-paper.pdf), back in April of this year. Reader be warned – it’s a professional abstract, so its designated audience was not intended to include non-professionals outside the field of psychology. But it’s readable and informative and answers a question I’ve been struggling to put into words, let alone internalize the resulting answer. You see, I’ve been wondering how the average person’s faith is affected by trauma, especially when a person experiences a series traumas. I guess I want to know what a “normal” Christian response to trauma is and how far from the norm I fall.
There’s a lot of information available about how people cope with grief or trauma individually but I wanted to know how those things specifically affect a person’s faith and for me, personally, how it affects a person’s relationship with Christ. I think we tend to lump those things together, since, for the Christian, a relationship with Christ is the foundation of faith. However, I have found in the wake of our accident, that my core beliefs have not changed, but how I interact with Christ has been impacted.
Regardless, I thought some of you might be interested in this article because you have suffered through your own traumas or because you care deeply about someone who has had that experience. Maybe it will help someone to know that how they feel is completely normal and maybe it will help a friend or family member feel less fearful as they watch a loved one wrestle with their beliefs.
So, I hope this article blesses someone out there this Memorial Day – the day set aside to acknowledge and appreciate the ultimate sacrifice made by the men and women who protect our country and preserve our freedoms.
(Facebook Post 05/25/15)