Trauma.  Hurt.  Acute moral injury.  Anger.  Brokenness.  Disillusionment.

Where is Jesus in the midst of these things?

While I know that the only way to overcome moral injury is through forgiveness, forgiveness does not vaporize the trauma itself.

As Christians, we must come to grips with the fact that many of us have been broken in a way that cannot be fully repaired. No amount of Bible study, prayer, pursuit of healing, or even granting forgiveness to those who caused the suffering can fix the experience of our trauma. 

But Jesus…

In Jesus there is forgiveness for our sin if we will receive it. In Jesus there is peace if we we will pursue it. And in Jesus there is hope if we will grasp for it. Yet as we faithfully do these things, the trauma remains even though we are loved by Creator God; a God who is known by many names including the God of Peace and the God who Heals. 

In some cases, because of the trauma, people are broken in ways that cannot be repaired; only managed. 

In these cases, God does not erase the trauma from our memories. Instead the love of Jesus experienced in our lives mixes with the trauma to help us manage it and redefine outcomes in spite of it. Though the trauma has impacted and even defined us, it does have to control us. In and through Jesus Christ, God gives us the ultimate power to redefine the impact trauma has. Indeed,  what the enemy meant for evil, God can now use for good. 

How do I know this to be true? Because when the demons of our trauma rise, the blood of Jesus flows. Because when God grants eternal peace and hope in midst of pain, we can make the choice to turn that pain into something beautiful that honors the Lord, blesses others, and forces our gaze from a traumatic look backward toward Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. That Jesus, who experienced the greatest of traumas, for the joy set before Him endured the cross and despised the shame (the ultimate in life defining traumas) and now sits at the right hand of God, NOT that we forget our traumas, but that we do not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3)! 

It’s really true: when some things cannot be fixed, in Christ they can be managed—for God’s glory and our good.