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“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…”Philippians 3:10
PTSD and other trauma based mental disorders have long been a source of alienation and shame to those who have experienced trauma around the world and throughout human history. It seems that though the source of our trauma might end, the ghosts of our past remain and throughout our life, our past issues continue to haunt us. This can also affect loved ones. While they want desperately to be there for the person who has been hurt, they find themselves at a loss for words and with a lack of understanding of how to comfort and help this person who has become a stranger to them through what they have suffered.But what if our trauma didn’t have to create shame and isolation? What if the things that have wounded us could be a source of unity and strength, drawing us into a community of fellow sufferers where our wounds could heal collectively and where we could find that our past pain has provided us with more empathy and compassion than we could have without it?
These are the questions that propel the writing of “The Fellowship Of Suffering”. Where concepts of psychology and theology coalesce to help show people a way out of isolated suffering to a place of collective healing. Throughout history, and still to this day in more tribal communities, people who go through suffering find that it brings them closer to those who have suffered around them. Far from isolating them, they find a deeper connection to others through what they have been through. That while the sources of trauma might be different, the experience of trauma is universal, and for those who understand this, they enter into what some authors have called, “the brotherhood of pain” or as the apostle Paul put it, “The Fellowship Of Suffering.”. It is through this understanding that we can begin to heal from our fractured past. While the pain of our past might not ever fully vanish, we can find freedom from the negative side effects and damaging coping mechanisms that we have acquired and even find glorious hope as we discover how our pain can bring about deeper intimacy with God and our fellow man.Written partly from my experience as a combat vet, but also from my experiences as a biblical counselor, this is a book both for those seeking healing from past trauma, but also for those who want to learn how to better help those around them who have been damaged by their past.
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