It is a combination of danger and helplessness that causes trauma. If you are in danger, the response is naturally ‘fight, flight of freeze’. If the danger is great enough, and you are helpless, you can’t fight or fly, so you just freeze. If the danger doesn’t go away, and you can’t stand it, you switch off or split up (the technical term is ‘dissociate’).
If you get ‘stuck’ in this state, you have ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ and – no surprise – you experience a lot of fear at a lot of things. Life feels dangerous, and you feel as if you can’t stop the dangers coming at you.
So, a traumatized person is always in need of finding safety instead of danger and of having some kind of control instead of helplessness. The therapists ask you to find a ‘safe place’ in your imagination, to help you to deal with the fears that arise – to get the adrenalin levels down. I can’t find a safe place in my imagination. The only safe place I can find is God, who is not in my imagination but a real safe place who does not depend on me.
In our dangerous world, I do not believe that there is another safe place. But, in Him, there is safety for eternity.
And, in our world of weak and sinful people, there is no-one else who can safely take control. I am glad that He is in control, and not me!