I remember the day I thought my “triggers” were over. It had been two years and I thought to myself, surely that is the last trigger I will have. I was ecstatic.
Shortly after, I had another trigger and currently I find myself in a season filled with a lot of triggers.
I could give you the dictionary definition of trigger if you are not familiar with the term, however I prefer my definition because this is exactly how I experience one.
It comes out of the blue, when you least expect it. You are just going about your day and BAM all of a sudden something happens, you are not sure what, but you go back in time to that awful memory running through your mind. It is as if you go back to when that memory wasn’t a memory at all it was when that awful memory happened for the very first time.
After the tears and shaking you try to trace back the trigger. You wonder was it the smell, the way the word was spoken, the feeling, the touch. Sometimes you know, sometimes you don’t. Then you tell yourself I am never going to do this or that ever again because if that is what may have caused this trigger, I never want it to cause another trigger.
You avoid any and everything that may cause a trigger.
But, in this season God is not letting me avoid anything. He is lovingly and gently allowing me to face these triggers and stop the avoiding game I have played for so long.
I trace back the roots of the avoiding game and every time will come up with one thing: fear. I am simply scared of triggers.
The reason for the fear is because triggers are the only moments of my life when I truly feel separated from God. To say this is the worst feeling is an understatement. It is a horrifying thought.
But the truth of the matter is that feeling, that thought is a big fat lie. In fact, I actually have nothing to be afraid of.
God’s Word says so:
…“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you…
The price that God paid? Jesus, His only Son, being separated from God while His beaten and bloody body hung on a cross so that mine never had to be and so that I never ever will be separated by God.
Just writing those words fills my eyes with tears. I will never know the weight of each word I just typed. Only God, only Jesus will.
All I know is that God promises me that no matter what comes my way He will never leave me, never forsake me. Jesus was separated so that I never need to be. This is amazing love. And it is this love that carries me through each and every trigger I face in this life.
I am learning so much about triggers. I am seeing them no longer through the lenses of fear but rather through the lenses of truth.
As I avoid the “avoiding game” I see so clearly that God is with me in each and every trigger. This knowledge removes the fear and allows me to confidently embrace life freely hand in hand with God.
On a personal note: one of the main things in life I chose to avoid for years was men. I was sure they would cause heartache and a bundle of triggers so I avoided them. I still had a desire for one to be mine one day but that desire was not strong enough for me to actually risk opening up my heart to one. I came face to face with this fear of mine the day I met my now boyfriend. I was so distracted by my fear of kayaking (which is what we were about to do together on our first date) that I forgot about my fear of actually meeting a man with the intent of letting him know my heart.
Being with this man has not meant no triggers, quite the contrary, it has meant lots of triggers. I am learning one thing: I would not have it any other way. After avoiding the “avoiding game” I find myself embracing God in each trigger that comes my way instead of embracing fear. How thankful I am for a man on earth who loves me through each one and a God in Heaven who not only loves me through each one but sees me through and knows how each one will be used for His good and for His glory.
Thank you Jesus!