How do you heal when you’ve been hurt and traumatized by those who profess Christ—when both Christians and church seem incredibly unsafe?
In this episode of The Roys Report featuring a message from the Restore Conference, professional psychologist Dr. Philip Monroe addresses trauma, healing, and barriers to helping others going through the healing process.
Maybe you’ve experienced trauma and you feel stuck. You feel exhausted from trying to answer the “Why?” question. And though you may need human connection, all you want to do is isolate.
Or maybe you’re in a helping position. Your spouse is experiencing truma, or your friend, or someone you’re pastoring or counseling. You want to help, but everything you’ve done seems to backfire.
If any of those describe you, you are going to benefit from Dr. Monroe’s message. He addresses these issues head-on, drawing on his decades of clinical experience and biblical wisdom.
Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $25 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of "In Our Lives First: Meditations for Counselors" by Dr. Diane Langberg.
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Philip Monroe, PsyD is a psychologist who leads Langberg, Monroe & Associates, a private clinical practice in the greater Philadelphia area. He is the Taylor Visiting Professor of Counseling at Missio Seminary where he and Dr. Diane Langberg founded the Global Trauma Recovery Institute. In addition, he provides direction to the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society. His personal and professional musings may be found at philipmonroe.com.
JULIE ROYS, MARY DEMUTH, VIDEO, PHIL MONROE
JULIE ROYS 00:05
How do you heal when you’ve been hurt and traumatized by those who profess Christ when both Christians and the church seem incredibly unsafe? Welcome to The Roy’s Report, a podcast dedicated to reporting the truth and restoring the church. I’m Julie Roys. And today you’re going to hear another outstanding message from the recent Restore conference. It’s by professional psychologist, Dr. Phillip Monroe, on trauma and healing and barriers to helping others going through the healing process. Maybe you’ve experienced trauma and you feel stuck, you feel exhausted from trying to answer the why question. And though you may need human connection, all you want to do is isolate. Or maybe you’re in a helping position, your spouse is experiencing trauma or your friend or someone you’re pastoring or counseling. You want to help but everything you’ve done seems to backfire. Friends, if any of those describe you, you’re going to benefit so much from Dr. Monroe’s message. He addresses these issues head on drawing on his decades of clinical experience and biblical wisdom. I’m so excited for you to hear from Dr. Monroe. But first I want to take a minute to thank our sponsors, Judson University, and Marquardt of Barrington. Judson University is a top ranked Christian University providing a caring community and an excellent college experience. Plus, the school offers more than 60 majors great leadership opportunities and strong financial aid. Judson University is shaping lives that shaped the world. For more information, just go to Judsonu.edu. Also, if you’re looking for a quality new or used car, I highly recommend my friends at Marquardt of Barrington. Marquardt is a Buick GMC dealership where you can expect honesty, integrity and transparency. That’s because the owners there Dan and Curt Marquardt are men of character. To check them out, just go to buyacar123.com. Well, again, what you’re about to hear is a message on trauma and healing by Dr. Philip Monroe. Dr. Monroe leads the private clinical practice Langberg, Monroe and Associates. He’s also the Taylor Visiting Professor of Counseling at Missio Seminary, where he and Dr. Diane Langberg founded the Global Trauma Recovery Institute. Here’s Dr. Monroe.
PHIL MONROE 02:22
A traumatic event can last just a second or two. Or it can be that slow burn over decades. No matter the length of time, no matter the length of time. It’s not what happened, it’s the experience and the effect it has on us. That tsunami that devastates every part of our lives. Trauma doesn’t just devastate individuals, though, does it? It devastates families, communities, churches. That is what trauma does to us. And it leaves us with two enduring unwanted legacies. The inability to answer the why question. Why did this happen? Most of us who have gone through a traumatic event and have this enduring legacy experience in our lives, we are left with that haunting question. It comes out in different ways. But it’s basically trying to make sense of the insensible. What happened? What really happened? Is that really what happened? And you know, behind that question of why is almost always self-condemnation. What did I miss? What did I do? Could I have done it differently? We’re trying to make the nightmare turn out different. There’s a second enduring question that we’re left with. And that is, how do I get out of this hell? There’s got to be a way out. There’s got to be a secret door. A technology a treatment, something that will get me back to some place before this trauma happened. And for some of us, of course, it’s a lifetime. So, there’s no getting back to, but we see other people who seem to have a peace that we don’t have, and we want it. And so, we vacillate from asking the why question, to finding out where is the secret door out of this hell that we have? That is the challenge we have in recovery. You know, it’s interesting. In the church, we haven’t talked about it very much, have we? It’s only a recent thing. It sometimes begs the question why? Why haven’t we talked about trauma and its enduring legacy? It’s actually not a very rare thing. Most of us in our lifetimes, we will experience earth shattering events that change the course of our lives. So why haven’t we talked about it? Maybe it’s because we really love the redemptive redemption stories. We love the happily ever after, the get to heaven moments. And it’s a lot harder for us as individuals and as a church family, to sit with the scars and the wounds that we bear in this life. The good news, of course, is we’re all here. That means we’re talking about it. We are in unprecedented times. Thanks be to God, right? A lot of work to be done yet. A lot of work to be done yet. This gives us some hope, but we have some work. So, in this presentation, we’re spending today a little bit more on the educational side, and that’s something I love. I’m an academic, and an educator, but I recognize in this room, some of you are not necessarily here because you’re learning how to help others, but you’re trying to find some stable ground yourself. You’re more than welcome. And when we look at the last passage that I want to look at, at the end, you’ll see why. You are the future for us as a faith community. Some of you are the helpers, the allies. Maybe you’re in church ministry, maybe you’re a mental health professional. We’ll be speaking to you today, primarily. Some of you, of course, are both. Well, how are we going to proceed in this talk? I’m going to take a few minutes to go through what is trauma, move to how do we heal, and then we’re going to look at some of the challenges we have on that healing journey, right? I’m going to use very simple language. There’s a lot of wonderful writings, academic research, clinical work on trauma. I’m not going to replicate that. And there’s a reason for that today. We need simple language that we can communicate to anybody about the nature of trauma, and how we go about the healing journey. We’re not going to be simplistic; we are going to be simple. And the reason is, is we need to cut through the confusion that trauma brings in our lives. So, we’re going to talk about it rather simply. But I hope you’re left with some things that you can practically do, and things that you can know about yourself as a helper that will help us along the path. This talk is talking about barriers and challenges. But I’m going to give you a hint about what the answer is for us helpers. We helpers tend to be the biggest barrier and challenge in the process of healing. There’s a lot to know, I’m all for knowing more. There’s a lot of skill out there. I’m all for developing our skills. But you heard from Dr. Langberg. It is the character and the personhood that’s most likely going to do damage to other people, not what you know and what you can do. So, with that, I want to start with a short video. It’s about a minute long. And I want as you watch this video, just to take in, what are you noticing about not just the words that they use, but the affect of the video and what surprises you?
What do you think of when you hear the word trauma? You might think of terrible events like violence, abuse or disaster. When we hear the word trauma we often think about cause, but trauma is actually the effect of events like these. Trauma is a wound of heart and mind that causes deep suffering, that leaves us feeling overwhelmed and disconnected. And it takes a very long time to heal. It hurts every part of us, our relationships, our bodies, our thoughts, and our faith. Often trauma sends shockwaves through entire families and communities. And because suffering is part of the human experience, we are all vulnerable to trauma. But God is with everyone who suffers. God feels our pain with us, and God wants to help us heal. That is why we have hope. Whenever there is trauma, healing is always possible.
PHIL MONROE 10:29
What did you notice? What did you notice about this? I know the ending is a point, a pointer to healing. But in the beginning, what did you notice? We often, when we go through events that are traumatic, start comparing right away. This event doesn’t seem like it should have this much impact on my life, right? Or maybe it’s not as bad as what somebody else went through. How many of you have gone through terrible suffering and some friend says, at least? And whatever they say next, doesn’t matter, because it’s going to be painful, hurtful and wrong. Trauma is an experience; it leaves a lasting deep wound of the heart. And it reverberates and shatters our lives. It makes it difficult for us to connect to ourselves, connect to others who care about us, and of course connect to God. There’s no comparison in this, is there? Simple language right, to understand what is trauma? A little bit more detail, of course. What creates this experience is usually some horrific event that happens. It creates horror in us. We have found our voices have been silenced. We don’t know how to escape from it. We can’t seem to use our God given voice power, ability to make a difference in what’s happening to us. Many times, a traumatic event is like watching a car crash in slow motion. It’s happening. We can’t believe it’s happening. And it seems there’s nothing we can do to stop it. As a result of this kind of thing, we find that we are re-experiencing this event. Remember that why question? Why question we keep reliving parts of it maybe through nightmares, through intrusive thoughts, through other feelings. We keep re- experiencing. And of course, no one wants to re-experience trauma. So, what do we try to do? We try to shut it down, we numb, we try to not think about it, not feel what we’re feeling. We can numb in all sorts of ways; throw ourselves into work, we can throw ourselves into various things that will stimulate us away; can be drugs, and alcohol or sex, or anything that causes us not to have to remember. But you know, the numbing doesn’t really work very well. So, it leaves us always on alert, hyper vigilant, looking for it, expecting it. We remain in that state as if it can happen at any second. And in fact, it feels like it’s happening at any second because we are still re-experiencing it. It’s not just in our heads, our whole bodies are affected. Maybe you’ve even seen this very simple diagram to understand what happens when we are triggered into a trauma re-experiencing. Ever seen the hand/brain analogy? Your two hands are two sides of your brain, right? That brought together. But let’s look at this one lobe of your brain. Well, we have the corpus callosum. That’s the part that kind of helps you know where you are. Hopefully you know that you’re at Judson University today. Hopefully you’re thinking about what you’re going to have for lunch, and who you’re going to talk to. You’re aware of your present surroundings. Your mid brain represented by your palm is that part that is processing what’s going on. A lot of our emotional processing is in this area. And again, this is very simplistic right? Your brain stem is the part that’s really more of the reaction, you don’t have a lot of control of your autonomic parts of your body and your brain, right? Well, when you are feeling good and connected, you’re able to look around, you’re looking for people to connect to, to feel safe with, you’re actually feeling pretty good. You can make eye contact. But when a trigger happens, this part of the brain goes offline, the thinking part the processing and you’re flooded with emotion. And in that time, when you’re flooded with emotion, some of us go into fight and flight mode. It can be everything from I’m going to clean my entire house right now because I have to do something because if I stopped for a second, I’m going to fall into a pit. Others of us are running and running from people trying to isolate. If that continues, it often goes into a place where we freeze. We lock up, we fall into that pit. Later on, when we’re not feeling that and our frontal lobes and our corpus callosum comes back online, we’re able to talk about what happened. But all of that cognition, those words, don’t really help us necessarily avoid that reaction again. That’s what’s happening with us. That is what trauma is for us. And guess what? When we go through this, it leads to a couple of things. One, we feel shame. We feel as if not just that something bad happened to us; is that we are bad. We are desecrated. We are contemptible. This is what shame does to us as an enduring reaction to what’s been happening to us. The second thing that happens is spiritual struggles. You cannot have a tsunami wave strike your life in your community, and not question everything. Spiritual struggles start with the questioning, and a discontent with the answers that you once were able to come to. This is especially true in our churches, right, the answers about what we think about what God cares about or what the church cares about, or anything that has to do with our spiritual understanding. We will go through this discontent and rethinking through those things. And the question, of course, is, are our church communities’ safe places for that to happen? Are we allowed to have uncomfortable questions? Are we allowed to bring our complaints to God? To ask him where were you? Why have you abandoned me? Do the dead praise you? )Psalm 88) Rather sarcastic words, right? Are we allowed to do that? I want to say one more thing about what is trauma before we move into how do we heal and that is most of us have experienced actually two injuries, not one. There’s the first injury of the thing that happens to us that starts us in this trauma experience. The second injury was mentioned by Mary, which is when those around us who love us, tell us it’s not happening. That tell us it’s not important. Tell us to be quiet. Tell us that we must be confused. That second injury for many people is the most damaging injury. We can somehow put our heads around the fact that somebody wanted to hurt us. But it’s really hard to put it around that our whole community thinks that we should just go away and be silent. So that’s trauma. The question is, how do we begin to heal, and the hint of this healing starts with connection, reconnection. Watch this next one minute video.
MARY DEMUTH 18:17
When something terrible happens in our lives, it can cause a deep kind of suffering, called trauma. Trauma overwhelms our ability to make sense of what happened to us. So, we try to run away from it, or hide it away, or pretend we’re fine. Trauma makes us feel alone, like no one can ever understand. And no one can help us, not even God. But no matter what we’ve been through, God truly does understand. And people can help. When we open up to others and God about what happened to us, and how our trauma makes us feel, we can begin to heal. Like a physical wound, trauma takes a long time to heal, and it will leave a scar. But when we bring our trauma into the light, it does get better over time. And day by day, we can reconnect with others and with God, we can experience less suffering and more comfort, and we can find peace.
PHIL MONROE 19:19
The one thing I want you to notice in that video is the necessity of connection as part of the healing journey. We rarely can find the peace and the healing we need when we are isolated. I think that’s what draws us to a conference like this right? We need to know that somebody else also sees, somebody else has also been there. And maybe a few steps ahead of us and it gives us hope and encouragement that it’s possible to continue to write the narrative of our story, to begin again. Part of the healing journey is a reversal of the trauma experience. So, think for a moment, what does trauma bring? It usually brings confusion, chaos, isolation, horror, disorganization, ugliness into our lives. If we are going to begin the healing journey, then we need to be thinking about how do we reverse some of those experiences? Where do we find the beauty, the predictability, the order, the power, as experiences? And that’s going to be something that we need to do over and over again. A hint to those of you who are trying to help people heal, you cannot control somebody into recovery. You may have beautiful ideas for how they should function, what they should do next. Lovely, but you cannot become a dictator. A dictator is how they were hurt. A benign dictator is no better than one who had ill intentions. Brene Brown uses a term called near enemy, maybe you’ve heard this term, you know? Where we are pursuing a good thing but using a tool to get there that actually causes the damage. Control is the near enemy of healing. So, this common pattern, and I’m not going to spend much time on this, you can read Dr. Langberg’s book on counseling survivors of sexual abuse. And even if that’s not the nature of the trauma in your life, or the person you’re trying to help, it has the same pattern. To heal, we begin first by finding ground. This means finding a way to stabilize the things in our life, putting back that predictability, finding places for beauty, finding places to begin again, right? The good things that help us sleep, eat properly, right? Find a few safe people that we can relate to. That’s the beginning of the healing journey. And of course, that will continue on. But as we are then able to feel more grounded, we’re able to start processing what happened to us, talking about it, trying to understand where the narrative we were given about it is wrong and needs correction, how to re-experience life, this side of trauma. And as we go through that process, we will then start finding ways to reconnect, to step back out into our communities. Again, I’m simplifying something there. But that’s the general trajectory of the healing journey. It is a repetitious pattern. Think about this, if you blew out your knee, and you needed to start with PT, you wouldn’t get there in a day, would you? And it would hurt awfully. At first, you wouldn’t see much progress. And you’d wonder why am I going? It just hurts more. And if you have a good person leading your PT, they are going to try to minimize the pain and show you the micro growth that you’re on. You wouldn’t know though yet where it will end. Will I be able to run again? Will I be able to play basketball? Will I have full range of motion? What’s coming? I don’t know yet. But that’s part of the journey that we’re on in healing, right? So, think about this, whether you are a survivor or a helper. How do we walk together in this journey? Well, this is where we want to start talking about some of those barriers and challenges. So first, I want to talk to those of you who are on the healing journey. Again, lots of books that you can read, lots of helps out there. I’m not going to repeat those. I want to give you three simple things that are really hard to do. Number one, increase your self-compassion and your acceptance of the journey that you’re on, that you never wanted to be on. You remember that first question we asked? We asked the why question we often come back to what’s wrong with me, what am I doing wrong? There must be something about me. Self-compassion is rather foreign to most people who are going through the journey of recovery from trauma. The more you can do that, the more you accept what’s happening inside your bodies, the more that you can accept the things you can and cannot do right now, the place that you’re in. Acceptance and self-compassion of the new features in your story that you never wanted, but you’re beginning to develop, right? Again, this is what you can help with a friend, if you’re a friend, how can I help and encourage that self-compassion? It’s so easy to go to the beat up. And you know what we helpers sometimes encourage that beating up. You know, if you just dot dot dot, right? Why don’t you do this? This idea that, you know, you obviously just aren’t taking care of yourself, right? So, start with self-compassion, acceptance. Part of that acceptance is accepting the fact that you’re on a grief journey. Again, a grief journey that you never want it to be on, but you must acknowledge and go through. That means allowing those waves of grief to hit you, to recognize them, to name them for what they are. And they can come in surprising ways. You might even find them more surprising after you’ve made some healing. I think I’m better. And then one of those waves of grief hits you in the back when you’re not noticing, right? Acceptance. That’s right. This is what happens in the recovery process. The second thing I want to tell you to do is to be thinking about curiosity. Do you know when we have shame, we rarely have curiosity about ourselves, because we just want to cover up and hide. It’s people who struggle with shame, sometimes even struggle just to look themselves in the mirror. But can you begin to have curiosity about yourself? What makes things 10% better? What makes things just a little bit better? You know, a little bit better doesn’t seem like much; it might not seem like even enough, right? But if I can make 10% today, and I can do that again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, then that curiosity will actually result in fruit that helps you recover more quickly. Obviously, you need a friend to talk about that. What worked? What helped? What made that better? What took me out of that spin that I was in that spiral down and help pull the parachute? Can I find that again? Curiosity about yourself. The third thing I want to say to you about sort of this healing journey is that recognition, and this may be a little controversial, but that you’re seeking justice, which is an absolute good thing, is discrete from your healing journey. Sometimes justice seeking delays your healing journey, right? Because it puts you in places where people are going to say and do awful things to you about you. This is not to say you should not seek justice at all. Justice is something that’s deeply connected to God’s heart. It’s a good thing. But it is not the same thing as your own healing journey. And we need to separate them, because in this life, we may not see the justice that we’re looking for. And we don’t want those who already stole from us, to steal more from us by not responding well. Again, that’s conversation that you’re going to need to have with those who are walking with you. How do I navigate the seeking of justice, and my own healing? So those are some of the challenges for those of us who are on the healing journey. I want to now turn to those who are the helpers. You’ve heard me say this already. But we tend to be sometimes the biggest challenge, the biggest barrier. So, I’m going to give you three things as well, that I want you to think about, to help remove those barriers that we create. The first one is I want you to think about this as your number one job. Listen, listen, listen, listen, learn and lament. This is your number one job. It is not so much what you know, but who you are with that person that you’re journeying with. So, listen to them. They are the expert, not you. They are the expert on what’s going on inside their bodies, what’s going on in their communities, what’s going on, and how they relate to the world. Listen to them. Learn. Learn what helps. Stop talking. Listen. You know, sometimes we see that it’s really hard for us to listen and not say stuff. I used to train counselors regularly. And we would give them a 10-minute time to just start listening to somebody in the class, one of their classmates talk about something going on their life. Many of them found that waiting 10 minutes without saying anything was like asking them to leap across the Grand Canyon. I can’t do that! I’ve got to jump in there, I’ve got to save them. Be a student of suffering, of resilience, of growth that’s happening in them. Be a student of your temptations to talk. The second thing I want you to do is like the first. Slow down. We get into a rush. We get into a rush to get to healing. It’s for good reasons. We want people to not be in pain. We want to help them. And so, we start explaining, exhorting, instructing, encouraging. But we’ve all been in that place where we are a mess, right? Where we are in confusion. And it’s sort of like that Charlie Brown where the parents are wha, wha wha, wha, wha. And it’s just words. What drives you to speak when you should listen? I want you to think about that for a minute. I’m going to give you a few seconds of silence. Think about that moment recently, where somebody was in pain, and you felt the urge to say things. What drove that? Oftentimes, what we say in that matter, in that moment, is more for ourselves than for the other person. It’s to comfort ourselves, it’s to help us ground ourselves. We think we’re speaking for them. But maybe it’s for us. Maybe it reveals that we really have an urge to be a messiah, to be a savior, to be a fixer. Sometimes that’s because we haven’t figured out how to fix stuff in our own lives. So, if I can help you have less chaos, I feel better about myself. Frankly, that’s what drives most of us to be leaders in the church. We’re trying to solve things for other people. So, it solves things for us. Sometimes, it’s because we like the feeling of being in charge. We like the power that we’re given when somebody’s really hurting and they just say, you point the way. It makes us feel special. So, listen, learn, lament, slow down. The third thing I want to tell you, as a helper has to do also with you but with the whole community. I want you to start asking the questions about what in our communities are we erecting as barriers to people’s healing? The first barrier that I want to identify is actually something you might think oh, no, I don’t have that problem. Prosperity theology. Now we know about what some people call prosperity theology. If you tithe a little bit, you’ll get a whole lot of money back. We have many other kinds of prosperity theologies. If you do these things, you will have a more peaceful life. Do you know Psalm 23? It’s a favorite right? We should know it. We know from wading through the valley of the shadow of death to still waters, isn’t that lovely? a table spread before you with a feast. Do you know what’s in that Psalm? Enemies who want to kill you! They got spears behind you! Imagine this, you’re having a nice feast. Great food looks behind you. Oh, bow and arrow spears. Those people want to kill me. Right? So, guess what? One of our theologies is we don’t do well with understanding what life looks like in the struggle. What does faith look like when you’re full of fear and panic? We often think well, if you’re full of fear and panic, then you’re not having faith. I don’t agree. What does faithful living look like in the midst of despair? A third of our psalms are lament psalms that bring these messy, difficult questions to God and say, you need to answer this. Where were you? Why did you abandon me? Psalm 89, you broke your promise to me. Things that we often say, you shouldn’t be talking that way to God, that’s complaining. Seems like God invites our complaints. Does our faith community allow for that kind of community lament? When’s the last time your community has done a public corporate lament? I asked this question last week at another community of faith or conference where there was quite a few represented, they did a poll. It was kind of interesting technology. I think I had about 130 responses, and about eight people said their church had ever had a lament service. And these were all church leaders. We don’t know how to do this. All right? When’s the last time your congregation even talked about trauma and the enduring effect on people? When’s the last time it studied what repentance really looks like for those who have harmed others? When was the last time it studied the Scriptures about what forgiveness really looks like and what it isn’t? When’s the last time we talked about God’s heart for injustice. And not just the ones out there that are in some other country or in some other community, but here in our community. When’s the last time we talked about what a shepherd of the sheep should look and sound like and be like? As Dr. Langberg says, it’s not feeding on the sheep. So, if you’re interested in going further with helping your community to start these conversations, those two videos that you saw, and a number of other free resources are on a website that you can download and play in your own community and have these conversations. TRAUMAHEALINGBASICS.ORG, is where you can get them. There is a guide to how to lament, how to ask some basic helpful questions to someone suffering, how to examine converse about what trauma is, and how we heal. They’re free. There’s a few different languages but mainly English. I would encourage you to go there, TRAUMAHEALINGBASICS.ORG. Free for you. They’re made by the Trauma Healing Institute, and I’m not selling anything, I don’t get any benefit from you doing that. So, I want to conclude here with just a final word to those of you who are saying okay, so there’s healing out there. There’s some things that we can do. We need better guides along the way helpers. But it’s so discouraging because the journey is so long. I want to tell you two things about God’s heart for you. And they both come from some passages in the Old Testament. The first one is to point you to what’s going to happen in this life or the next. It comes from Malachi and I’m going to read it to you now. The Lord of Heaven’s army says, The Day of Judgment is coming burning like a furnace. On that day, the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed, roots, branches, and all. But for you who fear my name, the Son of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings, and you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out of the pasture. On the day when I act you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet, says the Lord of Heaven’s armies. God’s heart is making this right. It will happen. You will be free. Healing is coming. As we wait for that day, I want you to remember there’s something that he’s calling you to do as well. And this I want you to go to Isaiah 61. You might be well familiar with Isaiah 61. Isaiah 61 is that you know, passage where Jesus actually quotes this in the gospels, of course, as in his ministry when He says, The Sovereign Lord is upon me, anointed me to bring the good news right? to the poor sent me to come for the brokenhearted proclaim, that captured will be released and prisoners will be freed, to tell those who have mourned, that the Lord’s favor has come. You’re familiar with this, you know, the exchange, beauty and replace of ashes, oaks of righteousness. He’s going to do these things. But look at verse four, we often stop at the end of verse three, because it seems like the ending point. They (You) will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing the cities destroyed long ago. They (You) will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. If there is a resurrection and redemption of our church, it’s not going to come from the healthy. Those who will rebuild the church, are those who have gone through the healing journey. It is you. If we’re going to have something good built, it is those who know, who bear the scars, like our Savior bears the scars of trauma, rebuilding the city. There’s work for all of us to do. Thank you for your courage in coming, for showing up, not giving up. May you have encouraging conversations, reminders of hope to know that you’re not alone. You have not been forgotten. And that healing is possible. Thank you.
MARY DEMUTH 42:00
Thank you so much, Dr. Monroe, we really appreciate your words. And especially that idea at the end, of those who are going to rebuild are the broken ones, the ones who have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. I kind of just happened to think that maybe in this room, we are seeing the seedbed of revival. But it’s not as he said, going to come from the top, it’s going to come from the grassroots warriors and brave folks like you. So, I’m humbled to even just be a part of this gathering. Another thing I thought of when he was talking was, and he definitely shared this point. But what wounds you is what heals you. Many of you have a relational wound based on what you have experienced, right? You’ve been wounded in negative community. And I really, really wish that God would change the pathway back to healing because what I would like to do when I’ve been hurt by somebody is to isolate myself, and to if this is what community is like, then I’m never going to be around those yahoo’s again, right? I’m not going to do that. So, I isolate. But isolation breeds contempt, isolation, you will never heal in isolation. So, when you’ve been wounded in negative, horrible, horrific community, I don’t know why, but the Lord says, I want to restore you through safe, beautiful, amazing community. I was talking to some folks last night, who are here in this room. And they were talking about how the most Christ like and most amazing friends that they have made because of this wound that they have. And it was such a conundrum. Because, you know, you don’t want that wound in the first place. But that wound has allowed you to find safe people who truly genuinely follow are scarred and loving and amazing savior. And so, there are some benefits there. And I would just encourage you while you’re here to test some waters of some safe folks, and to begin that tiny journey and I don’t say to just rush right in and I’m one of those rush right in sometimes but don’t rush right in. Test the waters. See someone be trustworthy and faithful and they are going to be what is a part of your healing journey.
JULIE ROYS 44:29
Well, that’s Mary DeMuth, an author and host of The Restore conference, following Dr. Philip Monroe’s message on trauma and healing. And you heard Mary allude to a conversation she had the night before the conference with some abuse survivors. I happened to be with Mary at a dinner the night before Restore with about eight or nine abuse survivors, and it was just an amazing experience. There were people there who maybe only knew each other from Twitter, or maybe an article they had read. And yet, there was this incredible bond and love and impact that they had had on one another, and it was just really a taste of heaven. And so, I just want to encourage you as Phil did as Mary did, there is beautiful Christian community and often it is with those who have likewise been hurt or wounded in some way. But there is hope and there is healing in Christ. Well, thanks so much for listening to The Roys Report, a podcast dedicated to reporting the truth and restoring the church. I’m Julie Roys. And if you’d like to connect with me online, just go to Julieroys.com. Also, just a reminder to subscribe to The Roys Report on Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify or YouTube. That way you’ll never miss an episode. And while you’re at it, I’d really appreciate it if you’d help us spread the word about the podcast by leaving a review. Again, thanks so much for joining me today. I hope you have a great day and God bless.
1 thought on “Phil Monroe: Trauma and Healing”
I thought his words were very insightful and helpful both for the listener and the reporter.
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