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Trauma Transformation

Lightning. Flames. Smoke. Sirens. Ash. The summer I was going into second grade, my life was forever changed. The weather was hot and dry. One night, it began thundering without rainfall, and a lightning bolt struck the field across from my house. A spark turned into a flame, which grew into a monstrous fire. The air was heavy with thick, black smoke. It appeared as if it were storming outside because of the smoke; however, when my dad opened the door, he smelt the acrid scent and knew it was a fire. Hand in hand, my family rushed out the back door. We could not see more than a foot in front of us because the fog of smoke was so thick. In school, we learned about what to do in case of a fire. At the moment, all was forgotten. As my dad opened the truck door so we could pile in his vehicle and escape, his arm hairs were singed off because of the blazing burn of the flames. We thanked God for safety and prayed the firefighters would fan the flames. We prayed angels would surround us and our house. I have poetry about this experience:

One spark grew into a flame

And my life was forever changed.

I would never be the same.

Lungs filled with smoke

Could. Not. Breathe.

Only cough and choke

As the fire continued to grow

Along with my doubts

Would the firemen be too slow?

Would we make it out?

The Lord answered my family's prayers. However, instead of being in awe of the miracles of God, I was tormented with trepidation. Anxiety remained in my mind along with the remains of ash in my yard. The fire brought forth immense fear. I was traumatized. Every night, I had vivid nightmares about my family burning.

Lying awake night after night

Dreams of darkness, where is the light?

Paralyzed in terror

with my mind full of nightmares.

No longer naive, innocent, and free.

Burdened with the weight of anxiety

Nightmares of hearing my family’s helpless screams.

As their bodies turned to ashes

In all of my dreams.

The definition of trauma is a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing (Center for Anxiety Disorders). After the fire, my siblings were not deeply affected. Trauma responses look different for everyone, and what traumatizes one person may not affect another. Some of you reading this may have been through a situation you may not consider as detrimental as a natural disaster or loss. Remember, every person goes through their own traumatic experiences. We are all beautifully broken. We all need healing. In my opinion, the first step in healing from trauma is realizing you need to heal.

Although I was too young to understand trauma, I am so thankful for my mom, who showed me the only way to heal was to rely on the Healer, Christ. She instructed me to read Psalms 91 and pray before I went to sleep. I still have the same Bible I did at this time, and the page is worn out, but the words are written on my heart. I urge you to read this entire chapter in the Bible. One verse states, “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection” (4).

Every night I did this, the nightmares went away. I never knew how powerful the word of God was until this experience. The word of God is alive and powerful. It can transform your trauma. My mom also made me a shoebox to place my worries. I felt as if a weight was taken off my shoulders as I gave my fears to the Lord. I believe therapy is a great way to help with emotional healing as well. Although, the only thing that will ever bring true healing is the power of Christ. Over time, I no longer was paralyzed with fear when someone lit a candle, and I learned to live in freedom instead of fear. This is another example of how my perspective was transformed from pitiful to powerful, and so I wrote new poetry.

Lord, you make beauty out of ash.

Even when my heart is in pieces, and I don’t know if I can mend.

I don’t understand, I can’t comprehend

Why you allow bad things to happen.

Although I am blind and cannot see;

Your protection covers me.

In the midst of great fear,

I know you are near.

I no longer have to fear the night

Because you cover me in light.

Admin. “What Is Trauma.” Center for Treatment of Anxiety & Mood Disorders, 2 Sept. 2022,


"He has made everything beautiful in its time."

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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