One of the most common questions someone has went they realize they are dealing with PTSD is what is the path to healing and how long does it take? These are fair questions to ask but are they the right questions?
Someone suggested that I read Creating a healing society by Susan Lawrence. To be honest, she is a humanist by her own admission in the book on page 145. The answer to trauma is never in our humanity but in the finished work of Jesus.
In the book, she presents an idea that we can heal ourselves through come to know our humanity and as a result, we can overcome as an society. She seems to relate repentance to “remorse by service.” That people who are remorseful want to serve people that they do not end up in a similar position. This is complete humanism and a belief that we can do it without the power of the Spirit.
On page 86, she says that “trauma recovery is a process rather than a state of completion.” While I am not sure what she really mean by that; I know, from experience, that PTSD can only be addressed by the power of the Spirit and the presence of the Lord.((I am not saying someone can’t be healed of PTSD but hope is more likely))
Is there a timetable for PTSD?
According to the Veterans Administration, you can’t be healed of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.((National Center for PTSD)) (PTSD) They say it can be managed by talk therapy and meds but never truly healed. Personally, I do have concerns about people claiming healing from PTSD as it can be deadly to go off treatment.((There needs to be confirmation of any healing by Professionals)) However, I do believe it is possible. (Sorry, VA!)
However, the question remains: is there a timetable? The answer is more foundational than that. The humanistic ideal has it takes year to heal. The biblical answer is the healing in the presence of God. In short, the only true recovery from trauma is a direct manifestation of Pentecostal power. Therapist can talk to you but only the glory of the Lord will transform you. In His presence is healing. In His presence is deliverance.
The bible is full of people that had traumatic events. The reality is they all had different timetables of deliverance. While this is true, there is something in common with all of them (besides Judas). They had to come to realize that only encounter with God would set them free.
While this is what it will take, the process to get there can be different. Simply put, it is hard to put an amount of time on it. PTSD is a friend to no one. I know that it took almost three years to have the encounter that made things lift. It was not easy in the process. For others, it takes decades. For some, it does not take months. I know the pain of it all personally.
The answer to trauma is not found in the process but in the presence of the Spirit.
Is Homelessness a game changer?
Most people who are homeless, especially on the streets and in the camps deal with some level of trauma and many are clinically dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Does this make the process to having an encounter harder?
The Bible tells us of many people who had no place to live that had dramatic experiences that alter their soul. You can think of Elijah and Paul for example. Even the Savior had powerful encounters in the wilderness that empowered Him. (See Luke 4)
While the issue of homelessness does make the trauma more current, it does not mean that the direct impartation from the Spirit for healing is harder for God in any way, shape of form. He can break in right in the middle of a tent while they are doing drugs and set the person free from it all.
The important thing to understand about PTSD in the context of homelessness is that it might not (normally is not) their fault. People who assume that being homeless is their own bad choices alone need to wake up to what is really happening. Trauma is normally something that happened to them without their agreement and the homelessness is the result of that event. The drinking, the drugs, the prostitution is a way to not face the pain of the event, not the lifestyle choice.
What the homeless need is compassion, not judgement. Most people do not have the trauma event that they have no grid.
How to pray for the Traumatized
The best way to partner with them in prayer is the prayer of the Apostle Paul to the church at Ephesus. Just as much as it was real to them in 62; it is real to people struggling in 2022.
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, (Ephesians 1:17)
The Father of glory is really translated as the giver of life((patḗr – father; one who imparts life and is committed to it; a progenitor, bringing into being to pass on the potential for likeness.)) in the manifest presence((δόξα: honor, renown; glory, an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendor.)). When Paul was praying for them, he was asking for the giver of the presence of God to come and meet with the people tangibly. The physical presence of the Spirit changed everything for them and it does today for the broken in our day.
He was asking for wisdom or “divine intelligence((Greek Word is σοφία))” in the presence of the Spirit. There is things the Spirit will give you to help you address the challenges. This is what we call the gifts of knowledge and wisdom.
The revelation of the unveiling((ἀποκάλυψις: (“revelation, unveiling”) is principally used of the revelation of Jesus Christ (the Word), especially a particular (spiritual) manifestation of Christ (His will) previously unknown to the extent (because “veiled, covered”).)) of Jesus. God will reveal Himself to the those struggling and they would be transformed.