Embracing the Trauma of 2020

It seems like God took off the training wheels this year. Or even more–took off the training wheels from the bike we didn’t even realize had training wheels.

To say that 2020 has rocked us is an understatement. Whether it is because of social distancing feeling like emotional distancing, health worries, economic ramifications of this year, social and civic unrest, the inability to gather as we once were, especially with our religious communities, mental health concerns, relationship concerns, or frankly, all of those together, we have all had a rough year.

Many of us realized that our reliance on Sunday services to sustain our faith was a weakness that Covid uncovered. It has been a time of reckoning for many of us. Do we truly seek God when it’s not scheduled or created for us each week?

As I have pondered what I might share with you this month, as this will be my last post and we will have a fresh batch of writers for next year, I have reflected on what writing here has brought me.

When I was asked by Kay to contribute I was beyond flattered. It felt real and impactful and just so exciting to share my testimony of Christ every month with you all. It also forced me to be sure I was seeking Him on my own so that I might share His goodness more readily with you.

It forced me to look the trauma of this year in the face and see Him in every part of it. Even this month.

My first post last January told of a powerful experience I had in prayer. It changed me. I had a similar one this month.

Just as I did then, this month I prayed in my car. It is the place I can let go the most and be sure I won’t be interrupted by my cute little ones. It is also where I can let loose all my feelings and worries and pains for God to take. Which often sounds easy, but is not always. It requires breaking the dam of our emotions and letting them out–feeling them–in order to both process and give them to Christ.

Some might even relate this to trauma work, or the processing of traumatic events to heal from them.

As we all know, we have all experienced difficulty this year, and whether or not you consider yours trauma, to work through them with Christ will always bring healing.

As I knelt awkwardly in the passenger side of my car, pleading with God, sharing with him my worries, some verbal, others unable to utter, I honestly said,

“I don’t know what to do!”

And I said this over and over for a while. It felt overwhelming how illequipped I felt.

But as I calmed, I hear God say to me,

“But I do.”

**cue crying emoji**

Faith is hard. It takes courage and strength and trusting in the unseen and often misunderstood ways of God. But I know that faith is what makes way for the miracles. When we have faith that God truly does know what we do not and that it is a far better path than we could imagine, He will guide us and qualify us for those marvelous blessings.

I have never been one to complain that there are not enough women in the scriptures, not enough stories, or not enough authors. It hasn’t been until these last few months that I have thirsted for scripture to show me what it looks like for a woman of faith to be tried by fire. To know how she deals with it, how she hurts, and how she gets up again. We have the accounts of Job and Joseph and Nephi and Paul. Where are the women? The roles of wife and mother and just female bring their own unique trials to both life and discipleship, and I wanted them! I needed to know who else had been where I was, who else could understand!

President Nelson told us that this prophecy from Spencer W. Kimball had been fulfilled – that we were the women that he foresaw!

“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives … Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.”

“A Plea to My Sisters” October 2015 General Conference
Original Prophesy: “The Role of Righteous Women” October 1979 General Conference

I used to think that this prophecy was all about baptismal numbers–the numerical increase. What has struck me as of late is the spiritual growth because of the women of the church and the way in which they are both righteous and articulate.

I have been looking for a book of scripture to capture my need for female voices of faith, when all along they were right here.

You want to hear from women who have overcome much by relying on Jesus Christ?

They are right here. They are all over the place.

Read this blog. Follow faithful women on Instagram. Find them in Facebook Groups. Read their books. Hear their stories. Share their voices.

They are not only drawing others to the church, but most importantly, drawing others to Christ.

We could fill volumes and volumes of scripture with the righteous female voices of today. We need to look to each other as we all collectively look to Christ. We can strengthen each other. And draw closer to Christ together.

“Jesus knows how you feel. He knows what it feels like to be you. He knows you. And He wants to help. He is there, always present and never moving–a pillar of strength and wisdom, grace and goodness, love and mercy–waiting for us to get close enough to lean on Him.”

Michelle Wilson, “Leaning on Jesus” pg.21

In a year when the trauma of all sorts has been abounding, when I have leaned into it and let it out onto the altar of prayer, fasting, study, and worship, Jesus Christ has shown up for me every time. He takes my hurt and shows me the way. He may not relieve all my pain, but He has shown me how to get through it and to find purpose in the pain of 2020 and beyond.

We may not want trauma, but we want the Jesus that we can find in the midst of it.

Jesus Christ is my person. He is always there, no matter what. He has never let me down. He makes me stronger. He makes me better. He makes me who I am. And if I have to wade through some hard things to be more like Him, I will do it. Because with Him there is always joy.

If you are struggling today, I implore you to pray. Any prayer. A little one, an angry one, a quiet one, a loud one. Just pray. When we lean into Jesus and His saving power He will show up. Always.

Because He knows you and loves you. I know it.

Seek Him.

He is waiting.

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