Everybody has a story. We have experiences and events in the past that have shaped who we are today. Trauma and abuse are far more common than any of us realize. What’s the worst things that have ever happened to you? The world tells you to minimize your pain, but that isn’t what God does. He hears you and sees you. Join Pastor Cal Jernigan today as he brings this message about abuse and trauma.
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[00:00:00] Well, good morning, everyone. Welcome, welcome. Welcome. All of you here, all of you, which are on whichever campus, all of you who are on any campus. Welcome. We also, by the way, today have a bunch of women who are up in Williams and they're experiencing this service up there. So welcome to them. And as I do every week, I want to draw.
[00:00:20] They helped me to understand who's online. So Stacy from Montana welcome Rebecca from California. Welcome, and many others of you from around the world. Thanks for being a part of us. And we're really, really glad that you're here. Hey, one thing before I get to the message, I want to just comment on, we are starting a ministry around here.
[00:00:39] That's called central young adults and it's geared for those are 18 to 35. Uh, young people. All right. And so if that's you, I wanna let you know, keep your eyes open. It's kicking off Tyler Hart, who is one of our pastors is going to head up that charge. And if you're in the 18 to 25 segment of that on September 9th on our Tempe campus, they're kicking that thing off and it's going to be a big deal as I think it's seven o'clock and I would love to have you there.
[00:01:05] And so if you're a young person in that age range, And so get there and by the way, Hey parents, if your kids are still in your basement, get them there. Okay. Because this is for them and they're going to be blessed by it. So it's going to be good. All right. So we're going to continue today in a series that we started two weeks ago is called through the valley and the whole emphasis of this.
[00:01:31] Is that you're not alone. And what we're talking about is mental health issues. Now, as soon as I say mental health issues, you might be going, why are we talking about mental health issues in church? Here's why, according to the CDC, before the pandemic, one in five of us were struggling with some sort of mental health issue, whether it was stress, depression, fear, any number of things that could be a part of that.
[00:01:54] But after, and now we're still kind of in the. Uh, it's up to 40%, according to the CDC. So four out of 10 of us are going, I'm having a really hard time. And the problem is so often that we think that if you're walking with God, you will never have any kind of mental health issue. And so we see these are mutually exclusive.
[00:02:15] So, so in other words, you can have God, or you could have a mental health issue. You can't have God and a mental health issue. And I want to say that's absolutely 100%. And so we're saying where we're acknowledging this and we want to talk about it. Um, because what happens if you think it's true and you're struggling with something and you come to church, you're going to feel like you have to come under pretense.
[00:02:37] I got gotta, I got to put a facade. I gotta put a fake face on. I got to look good. I got to act good. I'm fine. I'm good. It's awesome. Everything is awesome. But deep down inside, you know, it's not awesome. You're broken. And you're going to feel very, very alone, midst a bunch of people. And I don't want that as your pastor.
[00:02:53] I don't want that when we started this. And again, I just real quickly, you need to make sure we're tracking. I've tried hard to help you to understand something you are known by God. You're known by God two weeks ago. I put this verse up. I want to put it up again. I want us to sit on this for just a moment.
[00:03:13] Listen carefully. So I'm 1 39 1 through. Lord you have searched me and you know me, you know, when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down. You are familiar with all my ways before a word is on my tongue. You know it completely. Oh Lord. So let me, if you don't understand what that means, let me say it this way.
[00:03:38] There is nothing about your life that shocks. There is nothing about your life that surprises God, that there's nothing. He's like, well, if I, that that's not true of all the rest of us, because, you know, we, we might, if I didn't know him that I wouldn't, you know, I wouldn't have made a commitment. I wouldn't have loved you.
[00:03:58] I wouldn't have, I'm just telling you, God never says if I didn't know that he knows that. So what happens is, is we know that we got. And if we can just admit it, we're halfway there. We just got junk. We got, we got stuff that we, and what, what, what happens is, is we're, we're so afraid of one another, and this is why, because we assume if you knew my stuff, you'd reject me.
[00:04:25] You pushed me. And what forms around us is a deep, like a bubble of shame and guilt. And we were just like, yeah. So I have to. For fear that it would be utter abandonment and rejection. If you got past the, and so we go into hiding now, shame and guilt talked about them last week. I don't have time to go, go into it again.
[00:04:50] I just need to make sure you understand. They're not the same guilt. And I gave you this definition last week. Let me give it again. Guilt says I did something wrong. I did something wrong and guilt. You can deal with it. You can ask for forgiveness. You can make a man. Shame is different than guilt. Shame says, I am something that I didn't do something I am bad at something wrong and you internalize it and you start to feel inferior.
[00:05:19] You start to feel less than unworthy, afraid of exposure and all of that kind of stuff. So what's hard is to get our brain around the fact that God God knows it and he loves us. And he, he died for you. And for some of you might be miles away from an understanding, but it's the incredible truth that he died for you.
[00:05:44] And because he knows you and there's junk. So he took it upon himself to take our shame and our guilt and went to the cross because he loves us. Now, the problem that we all have with this, and let's just call it. It just sounds too good to be true. It just sounds too good to be true. So you're telling me, pastor, you're telling me that I am fully known by God and loved because we have one or the other.
[00:06:11] If I known I won't be loved. And if I'm loved, it's only because I'm not known, I'm saying true, fully known and loved. Could it be true? We need you to know that's exactly how scripture describes his relationship. Has the world mocks it. I get it. I get it. God's going. That's just true. Now last week, if you were here, I shared from the first week of our series and this is week three and last week I said, I got an email from a lady that I really appreciated and she wanted to let me know of a song.
[00:06:47] And she said it matched what you said last week. So clearly. And so I. I thought long and hard about singing it to you. Yeah, I hear the laughter. It's right. Yeah. Right there. That's. So instead of putting you through that cruel and unusual punishment, I contacted, um, some wonderful people in our church and said, Hey, is there, uh, is there any way, well, that wonderful people were Julianne and Dennis Williams and.
[00:07:22] Last minute, put it together. And we were blessed last week. Amen. Amen. So this week I got a bunch of emails and it was the weirdest thing. The song one particular song. Have you heard this song? Have you heard this as the same song? And of course me being me. Nope. I heard that song pulled it up and listened to the words and thought, oh my goodness.
[00:07:45] So got in contact with Julia. And Dennis, okay, look, I know this is like becoming like habit forming, but if I promise to stop this week, this will be the last time. Is there any way you could pull this? And being who they are, they said we'll do it. And so to reprise their performance of last weekend, would you welcome back Julianne Dennis Williams?
[00:08:11] Listen, listen to the words. Listen,
[00:09:19] it's so cute.
[00:11:22] Thank you both. That's fine. Was called, known by Torin. And it's the truth you're known and you're loved, and it's a hard one to get your brain around, so let's pray and then we're going to move forward. So God, thank you for just, uh, catching us up with the truth. And Lord, I pray that we understand it's okay to not be okay.
[00:11:44] And it's okay to wrestle with this. That's, you're not put off by that. You're not distancing herself from us. You're not going to reject us or abandoned us because we're not perfect. In fact, it's in the imperfection where you are most brilliant in our life. And so we, we just thank you for that. I pray that you would be with every one of us and God.
[00:12:02] I pray that this becomes very personal to every single person who hears my voice right now, whichever campus, whichever state God, however. However, Lord, I just pray that you use us in Jesus name. Amen. Okay. So I want to, I want to show you this book. Um, this is a book, I don't know if you know it is a book.
[00:12:27] You as a Teresa. No, it's a book. You could say it's a. It's a book of the life of a tree. It's the story of a life it's I guess more technically than a biography, you could say it's a history. I'm holding up the history of this. Now if you, if you know anything about it, you probably know that the way rings in a tree work is one ring equals one year of growth.
[00:12:52] And as the tree grows and expands, when you, when you look at it, you can count the rings and that'll tell you the life of the, of the tree. Now what's interesting is if you really understand this stuff, which is not me, but I know that if you really understand it, you can read between the lines. You can read between the lines, because if you read between the lines and you know what you're looking for, there's a lot more, you'll see, like for instance, people who know this stuff can tell you that year.
[00:13:21] Uh, that was a, that was a wet year. That year. That was a dry year. This, this is, uh, this year, that's a forest fire this over here, this is an infestation. The tree got infested. This section right here tells you that the tree was in community. This section tells you the tree was encompass. With a community with other trees around it.
[00:13:44] So it's really a kind of a fascinating story. When you start to understand what you could understand, if you just knew how to read the rings. Here's my question. If this is the story of the tree's life, what's your story. If somehow we could take your one and only life and read it diagonally, what would your rings reveal about your life?
[00:14:09] What story is what happened? You know, w w what was that all about? What, what did that tell us? I want to just drop right here, the big idea. And again, I want you to understand this. Every life here has a story, and I've said that every, every week you got a story and every life here has a past, you have a past.
[00:14:32] So let me give you the big idea, and then we'll spend our time on. I hope to make this make sense. The key to understanding you today is an understanding what happened to you in the past. Not you, you maybe have never even connected the dots as to so much of what you're doing today. And so much about what you're about today is tied into something in your past.
[00:14:58] But I just want to challenge you to think about that today. I'm going to do my best to make that happen. So I want. Ask you to forgive me for something that I'm about to do, and I'm going to get very personal. And if you've been around here around central for any amount of time, what I'm about to share most of which I've shared before, but the story has gone a little bit further and I'll explain that as I get to it.
[00:15:22] I want to tell you my story. I want to just give you a little bit, so if you'll indulge me and again, forgive me, but I want to explain to you a little bit about my family. And to explain this to you. I want to go as quick as I can. I'm just going to leave a bunch out, but just, if you'll just pay attention, you'll get a, you'll get, I'm going to show you some rings in my life.
[00:15:42] So the first thing I need you to understand is my mom and dad divorced when I was three months old is what they've told me. All right. So that's all I know. So I have a mom and I have a dad. I've never known my dad. My mom raised me. Wonderful lady. And she passed about a year and three quarters ago. And, uh, it was, uh, uh, it was a good life.
[00:16:08] And I have a sister, an older sister who lives in San Antonio, wonderful lady. And she has, she and her husband have two kids. They're grown and great young people love them. One of whom actually lives here locally and goes to our Mesa campus. And so. What I just explained to you is my family tree. As I know it up to me, that's it.
[00:16:30] That's all I got. That's all I got now, if you're, what do you mean? That's all you got. I just need you to understand. That's all I got. So let me just explain about not having a dad and why that matters. So when I don't have, I have no memory of a dad, because again, as I heard he left, when I was three months old, But he left and he never seemed interested in having a relationship.
[00:16:57] And I don't know why I just never really happened. I was never really sure growing up where he was. I didn't really know where he went because, and I know this I've said this before, and it sounds really weird in our day and age, but I was the only kid in my neighborhood who didn't have a dad. I mean, honestly it, I was, I was the outlier.
[00:17:16] I was. So it was always awkward because friends would come over and they would see my mom and my sister. Where's your dad. I didn't have a dad. So all I could do take them to, um, I would just take them to a picture, which was all, I, it was a picture of my dad who was in the air force and it was in a hallway and I go, there's my dad.
[00:17:38] It was in the Vietnam in pre-Vietnam buildup. And I just, you know, in the absence of data, you just fill in with whatever you can come up with. I dunno, he's over there. I guess. I don't know. He's fighting and my mom would never supply any details. So I don't know. I just knew I didn't have a dad. And, uh, it's just kinda the way it was right now.
[00:18:03] So what I need you right now to understand if you want to understand my rings is you got to understand, listen carefully. I never knew my dad. I never knew his parents. I never knew anyone on that side. Okay. So I did meet my mom's parents one time when I was 10 years old. That was a one-time. So I never knew my dad.
[00:18:26] I never knew my dad's family. I have never, in my lifetime to my knowledge or memory, maybe I never met a cousin. I don't have a single cousin I've ever met. No one. In fact, my name Jernigan is weird enough. I guess that is pretty rare. It's not like nobody has it, but not many people. Very seldom. Do you ever run across it?
[00:18:49] I know there are because I've seen them on the internet, but I have no idea I've never met other than my sister, when she had the name of my mom, when she had the name, the only journey guns I've ever met up until me. That's again, the point I'm trying to make here. So my sister, I felt like always had a better relationship with my father than I had because I had none and she put effort into it and he seemed more interested.
[00:19:16] All right. Nothing with me. One thing I was given by my dad, this was the only thing that my dad ever directly gave me that I, that I know of. I know I did receive other things. So at this age of my life, I still have this, which I got when I was nine. It's called the treasury of hunting. And I know you can't see it, but I promise you, and I've shown you this book before I have looked through this book, probably hundreds and hundreds of times, honestly, uh, this was the book that I would take with a flashlight and I'd be in bed.
[00:19:50] And I look at these pictures and read these stories and I belong to go hunting. I had no one to take me hunting, but I wanted to go hunting. I don't want him to go hunting like that. And so I treasured the treasury. There's my little nine year old. In the book to this day, I still treasure this book. So w why this matters is for some reason, I grew up with a love of the outdoors.
[00:20:16] I don't know why, but it was in me. So to express this, I became a boy scout. And when you're a boy scout, you go on father, son, camp outs. And the troop I was in debt. I don't know his comment. Uh, that was always a problem because, uh, I was always the orphaned kid and, and that it was always somebody is going to have to invite me to go with them.
[00:20:42] And I grew up with a lot of memories of this. These are my rings and the way I always pictured the man, or imagine the conversation to go would be something like, Hey, uh, it's your turn? And you with your kids going, Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I took them two times ago. It's your turn? No, no, no. Four times ago then it's your turn.
[00:21:05] And that's how I pictured it to go. Okay. Like you're always the last one. I love hanging out with Mike, my friends cause they had dads and I would try to let their dads, dad, me like teach me things as stupid as what I'm about to say is going to sound and I guarantee you. I know it's stupid. Trust me. Do you remember the rifleman?
[00:21:32] Do you remember Chuck Connors and Lou mark? I used to pretend I was mark and I'd watch that show. And what would Chuck Connor say to me? And I tried to learn what it'd be like to have a dad. I didn't have a dad as I wish I'd had a dad now. All right. All that story goes until I'm 29 years old and I'm married for five years at the time with Lisa, my bride and we have our first child.
[00:21:58] So at that age, Lisa and I take a picture of holding Jeremy. And when I say it took a picture, uh, you actually had to go down to Walgreens. Okay. It was a real camera I noticed, but you take a picture and it will be on a roll and you'd have to go get it developed and then you'd have to wait like a week and then you'd get a picture and you look through your pictures.
[00:22:23] You go, oh, That's a good picture. So there's a picture of us that I would, I thought it would be good to send to my mom who didn't live in the same city. So I put it, I put it in the mail. It took a week. They had it like forever. I put it on a stamp on it and send it. And my mom gets this picture and she has a reaction that I don't know about.
[00:22:46] I don't know anything about, she has a reaction and her reaction is, oh my goodness. I cannot believe how. Me. I look like my father at that age, she was taken by it without me knowing it, what she did is she put that picture in an envelope, put that picture in an envelope, send it off to North Carolina, to where my grandparents apparently lived.
[00:23:09] They opened up it and they looked at this picture of me at 29 and a little baby and my wife. And they said, oh my goodness, I cannot believe how much he looks like his father. They took the picture, walked over or drove over wherever. Now they live in the same town and they showed it to my father and he looked at it and he said, oh my goodness, I guess he is mine.
[00:23:36] After all 29 years of my life came into focus because that explains a lot.
[00:23:49] At that stage, he kind of said, Hey, I want to come into your life, which was very emotionally traumatic for me and my mom. As you can imagine, I can tell you nothing ever came of it. There's more detail, but nothing ever came of it. And that was the extent of it until nine years ago. Now I believe it was nine years ago.
[00:24:13] About a month after he died. I got, uh, notified a month later and my father died.
[00:24:23] Okay. Like, that's weird, but all right. I'm, wasn't sure what to feel about that, but I knew a chapter closed because there will now not be ever a relationship. So why am I telling you all that? So, This summer, my wife and I were doing a thing at a seminary in New York city and a thing on long island and New York city.
[00:24:49] And then we did what we often do on our summers is we rent a car, we'd go speak or do whatever we got to do somewhere way away. And then we get a car and we to just meander home. That's what we do get one way. So Mandering around the east coast on our way back to Arizona, after all that. And my wife looks at me and she says, you know what?
[00:25:09] We should do. We should go that town in North Carolina where your family's from that little town. And I looked at her and I said, no, no way, no, no chance. And she goes, why not? And I had to in on that. Why not? Why not? I don't know. Why not? I just, I don't know. I feel weird. It'd be weird. I don't know. And so we talked about it and she goes, I think we should.
[00:25:37] And you know, the holy spirit of my wife, their voice is very similar. It's really weird. So, okay. We looked it up and headed out. And so we're looking for this little town, just a little town, like Mayberry, RFD time, a little town in North Carolina. And as we're driving into North Carolina, Into this town in North Carolina, there was a billboard and I saw something on a billboard that I have never seen before in my life.
[00:26:06] It was an advertisement for a business and we stopped at the business. Cause I just sat there and just had to take this in here. Here's what the sign pointed to now that might not mean anything to you. You just need to realize I never see that name anywhere. I just never. And we pulled in the parking lot and my wife's going, let's go in and I'll go.
[00:26:27] No, no, no, nothing about that appeals to me other than just trying to figure out what's going on. But as we drove around this little town, things started popping up that were just freaky weird, like, like this, thank you very much. And discovered there's a farm. They grow journey guns on this farm, apparently because there seemed to be a bunch of.
[00:26:53] What do you do with a journey gun when they're done? You put them here. No, again, I know for most of you, this doesn't do a single thing. You just have to understand I'm having a very surreal day on this day because all of this is making my head spin going. What is happening around me here? So I decide I'm going to go find wherever it is that my dad is buried and I'm going to go locate his grave.
[00:27:22] Pray a prayer and try to, you know, heal a little bit from all of this. So, um, non Spokeo and I tried to figure out where he was buried. I do discover he's buried right next to a church, which sounds really weird if you're out west, but back on the east coast of your familiar churches have graveyards. It's kind of a weird thing, but he's buried in a graveyard.
[00:27:47] Next to a church. And so we go find the church and then we go walk the gravy. I went, how hard can this be? I mean, we just got to find the one that says journey again. And I find this, I know you probably can't read that, but that's a Jernigan Jernigan Jernigan. If you could read straight through the one, it says, Jernigan, if you go off to the right is Jernigan.
[00:28:06] This thing is full of journey guns. And I'm walking through this graveyard going, who are all these people, because this is not no other day of my life. And then finally I find this one and that's my dad's grave. And his wife is, um, is still alive. I thought not to drop in on her. I thought that could be really weird and I don't want to be responsible for her
[00:28:38] I was perfectly fine until you showed up. So I didn't. Okay. So let me explain a couple of things that came into focus for me. So I'm just telling you, this is the summer. This is the summer at this stage of my life. I'm discovering this, this summer. I discovered that I was the only son of my father. What does that matter?
[00:28:57] Well, I always thought when he married that lady, whose name is next to him, she's still alive that they had all kinds of kids. No, they didn't. No, I am the very last Jernigan in that line. No, I don't know what that does for you, but it would seem to me like that ought to mean something to my father, that the family line ends with me.
[00:29:20] If I don't have kids, it may no difference when he died nine years ago, my wife walked in, I was in my study at home and she came in. She goes, did you read his obituary? And I don't know why would I do that? And she goes, oh, you need to read his obituary. I'm going sweetie. No, she goes, read it. We read it. So reluctantly, I read his obituary and this is what it says.
[00:29:46] Uh, you know, his name and, you know, uh, passions were fishing and hunting, loved the outdoors, loved his church
[00:30:03] and I just went, what could have. What could have been nothing happened, nothing materialized, nothing to tell you about, but what could have been, what, um, wow. Am I telling you all this? Because I want you to understand if you want to know me and my story of my family, the worst thing that ever happened to me was my dad left when I was young, worst thing that ever happened to me.
[00:30:32] And if you want to understand you. You got to understand what happened to you in your past. So I have a simple question. I want to ask you and I want to get really personal. Cause I'm asking you, I'm asking you, I'm asking you, you, you, what is the worst thing that's ever happened in your life? All you got to do is just trace the pain, just follow the pain and that'll get you there.
[00:30:58] What is the worst thing that's ever happened to you in your life? What's it for you?
[00:31:06] It's true. You know that if you cut across the rings, we'd understand you better. You know, if I, if I show you this mark right here, which I know you can't see, but that right there, you can see that, right. Can you see that? There's a scar more or less? Okay. So it's not much of a scar. Thank you. Yeah, we just have it for me today.
[00:31:25] What's the problem. It's not much of a scar, but it's a scar. Yeah. So I could explain how that happened. I could tell you how that one happened, which is harder to see yet. Every scar tells a story. You think all your scars on the outside? No, no, no. You only, I see the ones on the outside. You feel the ones on the inside, they can come from your family of origin.
[00:31:49] They can come from outside your family. So if I can be really blunt and really personal, what kind of pain you've been through, what trauma has happened to you? Um, any number of ways it could have come. It could have been a physical thing where somebody physically abused you. It could, it'd be an emotional thing.
[00:32:09] Emotionally. They work to over. It could be a verbal thing, things they said, you still remember, we can't get them out of here, your head. It could be a sexual thing. John Bradshaw, the gentleman I introduced you to last week said this sexual abuse is the most shaming of all abuse. It takes less sexual abuse than any other form of abuse to induce shame.
[00:32:34] It could be a spiritual abuse. You could have grown up in a family that used religion against you, manipulated you with God. I don't know. I don't know. I just know if we could look across the rings between the lines. There's a story. When do you introduce you to a girl? That's a part of our CSM ministry and she's awesome.
[00:32:56] And she was willing to tell her story. Everyone's got a story, everyone's got a pass and she was willing to go on, tell us her story. So her name is Lorna, and I want to just encourage you to listen carefully. As she opens her heart shows you the room.
[00:33:14] So when I was about 11, I was in the woods with my friend and there was a guy, he was saying that he visited his mother because on the other side, there's this river on the other side, there's a cemetery. The guy convinced my friend to go over, to see him and I didn't want to leave my friends. So I went with my friends.
[00:33:38] And the guy sexually assaulted me and he did it to my friend too. And I knew that I just need to get out of there with my friend and, uh, we need to leave soon after I had to go to court twice. The first time I went to court, I was really. Nervous because I had to like look at the guy and basically point out yeah, that's him, which was really scary for me.
[00:34:03] I didn't want to do that, but I knew I had to, I remember people telling me I was a hero for saving my friend and being with my friend and not leaving my friend. And I was a hero of, of telling my parents, I didn't feel it. Different. When people told me that I didn't feel special, it felt big kind of numb to, I think I was more angry at God.
[00:34:32] I was really angry that he, a lot, like that happened to me and stuff, and that he didn't like stop that from happening. I felt very alone for a really long time. And I felt like I didn't want to. Live anymore. I like cut my wrist because I was like so upset and then just wanting to die.
[00:34:58] I told one of my teachers. Because I was really close with her and I just wanted someone to hear me. I just wanted someone to listen to me. We went to the principals and they called my mom and I remember my mom came to him, come get me. My dad came in from work. I remember he was like super, sadly. He was crying and I've never seen my dad cry before until then.
[00:35:23] And he came over and kneel down where I was. And stuff. And he like looked at me and like held my hand and said like, I love you so much. And if you ever feel this way, you need to come tell me, because I don't want anything bad to happen to. And I love you a couple of years later, it was in seventh grade.
[00:35:47] It was that summer going into eighth grade. We moved to Arizona to be closer to my dad's family. And I was excited, excited, because it was. Start for me when I would get to make new friends. And I would not like have this pass with me and stuff. Maybe in this like awful memories, I would start like getting memories.
[00:36:08] Wasn't happy, still. Like I was still really strong and really angry and really upset at myself. I'm really lonely.
[00:36:17] And, and, you know, I just felt like God was wanting me to go and seek him because I felt like I, like, I knew, I just couldn't like get by there without God. Like I knew it. Like I felt it. I just, I kind of prayed about it a lot.
[00:36:37] And I just prayed that he would show me some way that he did love me. So I went to see us. And I was really welcomed with open arms and they like, didn't like judge me for anything. And they were really all nice to me and stuff.
[00:37:00] yeah, it's just been a lot better. I have a better relationship with my parents now than I ever did before. And I can talk to them about anything. And even like my older sister, I have by their relationship.
[00:37:14] No matter what happens in your life. And no matter if you feel lonely or depressed or scared or unloved that you're not in that God loves you so dearly so much that he would do anything for you and forgive you for all your sins. You may know you may regret stuff in your own life. Even though I went through all of that stuff and all of that stuff happens to me and it doesn't define who I am and I think it makes me stronger.
[00:37:41] And I think. Yeah, my name's Lorna and this is my story. Well, it takes a lot of courage. Thank you, Lorna for doing that. Just so you guys were aware of CSM. If you ever hear CSM at central student ministries, and we have this on all of our campuses, but here's why I want you to understand this. If you have a young person or you are a young.
[00:38:07] And you're a student and your struggling with some form of abuse or some ideation of suicide wants you to understand that there's a student pastor on that campus that is trained to help you. And I plead with you. So again, if you're a student or a parent seek them out, so you might be going, okay. So stuff happened to me in the past.
[00:38:29] It it's no big deal. In fact, I don't even remember what it is. I just want to say you, you, you remember, um, this right here is a, uh, dash cam. Okay. So it attaches to the dash of your car and it records all the time. You're driving. It's recording now listen carefully. Uh, it has a memory that just keeps rewriting itself over itself in other, nothing, nothing out of the ordinary.
[00:38:57] Tapes over tapes, over tapes, over tapes, over tapes, not the right word, but records over and over. It just uses the same memory. But interestingly enough, if there's an impact to the vehicle, the time before, the time during, and the time immediately after is permanently, then shot over flash drive. That's inside the camera and you'll have a record of it.
[00:39:20] Now you go, that's pretty cool technology. Let me explain your brain. Your brain writes over and writes over and right. Every normal thing that happens to you day in, day out, just rights over it. The impact of your life are these traumatic moments and you have them. Uh, how do you know you? Haven't because things trip, trip them.
[00:39:39] They trigger, you get S you get a certain light, a certain sound, a certain taste, a certain smell. You hear that song and all of a sudden, boom, you're right back in it. Is that, what's it telling you what it's telling you folks is the key to understanding you today. Isn't understanding what happened to you in your past, and you have maybe never connected the dots, but today would be a fantastic day to give it some thought.
[00:40:06] Now I'm out of time, but let me, I don't want to leave you without. Okay. What do we do with this? Let me give you, I'll do this quickly. You stay with me though to dues and about 6 0 6. I'm saying it backwards two don'ts at about 60 days. And then I just want to challenge you. So listen to me. Okay. This is important.
[00:40:24] All right. Every one of these could be a sermon by itself, just so you know, don't don't minimize your or anyone. Else's trauma. It's so easy when it comes to trauma to go. Yeah. Well, mine isn't so bad or minus. And it's really easy when you're listening to somebody telling you something that they're hurting over for you to go as, come on, big deal.
[00:40:44] Like, no, it can be a big T trauma, a little T trauma. It's not what it did to you when you hear about it. That matters is what it did to them when they lived it, that matters. And one of the things that I think Satan wants us to do when we come to churches make you feel you're so bad, or you're just not even bad enough.
[00:41:03] Like, what do you have. Don't ever minimize your anyone else's trauma. Number two, don't settle for victimhood. Let me just explain victim hood is
[00:41:19] easily choose to carry the responsibility for something that happened to us by somebody else's choice is like, I did it like I'm responsible for it because I didn't choose. I, they did. So by that definition, every one of us can be a victim. You're a victim. Every one of us, you have, you have the right to victim hood.
[00:41:42] You, you, you, you are a victim because that actually happened to you and you can literally carry that card and play it everywhere you go and make people feel horrible. Now, again, I'm not trying to play down the fact that you are a victim. What I need you to understand is. If you understand where you want to want to play the victim card.
[00:42:04] Like for me, I would want to play the victim card. Look, I amounted to nothing, but would you, what would you expect? Look at the hand I was dealt. The problem is if you play the card, you win by being nothing. That's what you got. That's what? That card one. You, you have a right to become nothing. Therefore become nothing, but you don't have a right with God to become.
[00:42:27] Because, whatever that thing is, that point of pain that's on that camera. God can do something with it. And I'm going to show you that in just a moment don't amount to nothing. It leaves you powerless and fragile. When you play the victim, what do I do? Okay. Here's a couple of dues. Surrender your pain to God.
[00:42:48] Just go, God, I'm hurting over this. God is trauma informed. These trauma prepared. He's going to go. And that's where versus like this coming to mind. So I'm one of three, 13 and 14 as a father has compassion on his children. So the Lord has compassion on those who fear him for, he knows how we are formed.
[00:43:09] He remembers that or dust first, Peter five seven cast, all your cares upon him because he cares for you. Surrender your pain to God. Second, surround yourself with people who care. The issues that I'm talking about today are deep issues. It took a long time for it to go as deep inside of you as it is.
[00:43:32] It's not going to come to the surface quickly. It's okay to get help. It's okay to go. I need somebody help me sort out this. I need somebody to listen. I need somebody to understand don't carry the weight of this alone. Every scar on your body is proof that healing can come it's proof. Eat Lincoln, come every scar on the inside healing.
[00:43:56] But you gotta be willing to seek it. I, this is my dream for the church. By the way, the church would be the kind of place where you could go when you would go. Now. No pretense here, man. This is who is this? Who I am third. Imagine a bigger story. Do this. Imagine a bigger story. Romans 8 28 says, and we know that in all things, God works for the good to those who love him.
[00:44:20] Who've been called according to his purpose. Not there all things good happen to those who love him, but that God can take whatever the bad thing that happened to you. And he can do something that is to his glory and to your benefit, because I've already told you the worst thing that ever happened to me is I grew up without a dad in the same breath, the statement, the best thing that ever happened to me, I grew up with.
[00:44:42] You call, those cannot both be true. They are both true. Growing up without a dad was a worst thing, but it turned it into the best thing because it led me to a relationship with God. And it, it caused me to become somebody that I have become. It was a worst thing that turned into the best thing because of God.
[00:45:02] See the bigger story. Imagine it for thing, except trauma as just part of the fall. What I mean part of the fall, not the season. The fault. So let's go to the Bible. And again, we have time. I just want, you got Adam and Eve. Everything's awesome with Adam and Eve, right? Until the sin enters. Once the sin enters, the relationship gets all kind of tattered and then, and then they have two kids and that wind great.
[00:45:28] If you know the story, they had two kids, one killed the first set of two sons. One kills the other one. If you just keep reading a couple of you come up to a guy named. Who literally cheated his brother. I mean, it's a long story, but the guy was a conniver. He had 12 sons, which by the way, 10 of them ganged up on one of them and sold that one off as a slave.
[00:45:55] That's traumatic. That slave becomes very powerful as a chance to get back at the other 10. You read how to read it. You can get to the life of David and just keep reading you just like to do. David's a king of Israel, all powerful king. Yeah. God's all with him, man Goliath and all of that, Phil. He has that sin with Bathsheba and then all the baby dies and he has her husband killed and he has other kids who try to perform a coup try to run them out of town to take over his kingdom.
[00:46:28] Who has a daughter who gets raped by another son? Yeah, you go, that's old Testament. Let's talk about Paul. Fantastic life of Paul. The apostle Paul wrote two-thirds of the new Testament, Paul. Oh, by the way, Paul talks about being stoned and shipper act and left her dead and hungry and thirsty. And, but Jesus, come on.
[00:46:50] Jesus. Jesus. Come on. No, don't Trump trauma in Jesus's life.
[00:46:58] Just understand trauma comes with a fall, a fifth do use your pain to help others. God doesn't play with your pain folks. He just doesn't waste your experiences. So second Corinthians one three says, praise, be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all of our trials.
[00:47:20] So that we can comfort those in any trouble with it comfort. We ourselves receive from Christ man for justice, we share abundantly in the suffering of Christ. So also our comfort of balance through Christ. You've been through it. You can help somebody through it. You've been through it. God is not going to waste that trauma.
[00:47:41] And the six do remember the key to understanding the you of today is understanding what happened to you in the past. So I'm going to finish right now. I want to make the statement that no one has ever suffered or been traumatized more than Jesus. Now you might go. That's not true. Well, let me tell you why.
[00:48:01] I would say that first, Peter two, when they heard their insults at him, he did not retaliate. When he suffered. He made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. So that we might die to sins and live for righteousness for, by his, you have been healed.
[00:48:24] He took all of the sins that you had committed and I committed and all the pain that you've suffered and I've suffered and all the shame that you've dealt with and all the shame I've dealt with and all the guilt and all the end, he took it on himself. No one, no one as facials. But he did it because of you.
[00:48:43] Now, last, last thing, I'm going to say, if you were with us over Easter, I told you the story of the survivor tree outside borough building in Oklahoma city. You remember Timothy McVeigh in the federal building. There was a tree that survived the blast. It's a great story. I want to tell you now have another, I agree.
[00:49:03] That's a true story. It's a tree in a different place. This one's at grounds. It was discovered, uh, myths, all the rubble as the buildings, you know, they're looking for them life lives and they come across this particular tree. It was a celery. Paratrooper is what it's called. And, uh, they looked at it and it was beat up and scarred and mangled and burned and twisted and beaten.
[00:49:30] And somebody looked at it and says, you know, it might just. So they pulled it out of the ground. They put it in a nursery and they tried to get it healthy again, and they got it healthy again. And then they went and they transplanted it back home. They took it back. And if you, if you go to the ground zero today, you know, it's a Memorial.
[00:49:50] And do you know that this tree is the focal point of that Memorial? In many ways. I want to show you the picture of the tree. It's right here. That's it. And you can see that there's a ring around it so that people come from all over the world because that tree survived the falling of the towers, the towers cell on that tree.
[00:50:09] And while it twisted it and beat it and mangled it abused, it didn't kill it. So it's known as a survivor tree. It looks different at different times of the year. Same tree just in bloom. Why am I closing with that? Because I want you to understand something, Jesus Christ was beaten and mangled. And I mean, all the abuse, it could be heaped on him was he found him and it looked like he was dead, dead, dead, but he rose from the dead he survived.
[00:50:49] And that tree right there, it's called the survivor tree because what they're doing. Is there taking saplings from that tree and they're sending them out around the world to any place that's facing trauma. That tree is spreading hope around the world. You can make it, you can heal. You can survive this.
[00:51:13] Yeah. I am a little sapling from Jesus Christ. That's all I am. I'm just a little sad. And I'm standing here right now, going there's hope. There's hope there's there's a future. It can be better because there was one who died for that thing that you was so quick to get rid of your, out of your past. If you could, he died for you.
[00:51:42] He loves you on, by the way, he knows all about it. So I'm going to ask, I'm going to pray and I'm going to ask you to just, just sit here. Okay. Wherever you are, just sit don't, don't get up and go. Just set. And the worship team is just going to come and let's just sit in this moment. So father meet us right now, as you do meet us right now, go whatever that is in our past, whatever that pain is, whatever that thing we just would love to hide from God, help us to realize that you're there.
[00:52:13] And that, um, your desire is that, uh, as you survived what they did to you, we, we can survive this and we will be a little saplings of hope, uh, bringing all kinds of wonderful news to people who are hurting, who think there's no life left. So help us father in this, I pray in Jesus name. Amen.