When she was fourteen, radio host Susie Davis witnessed a tragic school shooting. For years afterward she lived with fear as a constant companion. Susie discusses how God used one particular instance of post-traumatic stress disorder to uncover her addiction to fear and begin the healing process.
“It was a beautiful afternoon I put the kids down for a nap and lay down on the floor to read a book, and suddenly I just started seeing pictures of what happened in the classroom that day. I was just crying, bracing against it, beating the floor, crying out.
Susie cried out and told God that she was tired of being afraid, she felt like her mind was shattering into pieces. Suddenly, a whisper of peace, a God whisper enveloped the entire room and Susie thought of the verses that her husband Will had preached on just days before…
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” – Psalm 22:1-3
In Psalm 22, David had cried out to God, the same way that Susie had. He was honest, asking God why his prayers weren’t being answered. Despite all of the turmoil and confusion David declares that God is still holy.
This God whisper from Psalm 22 crashed into the horrifying reality of Susie’s post-traumatic stress disorder experience and she wondered…
“Can you be a holy God when I saw that horrible thing and this person that I love died and this family got wrecked over what happened? How can you possibly be holy in all of this?”
Even though she couldn’t understand, she came to the realization that she had to believe that God is holy even though she can’t understand how. God interceded on her behalf when she admitted that He is holy and He could do something with her broken, messy life.
“God stepped in because he wasn’t willing to let fear take me down and he had to do it in a dramatic way and I needed to revisit those memories, I needed to regroup. I think post-traumatic stress at least in my situation was an opportunity to re-grieve what happened”
She realized that God wasn’t done healing her yet. She realized that she had suppressed her emotions following the tragedy but they hadn’t gone away. God was going to help her dredge up the fear of what happened to her so she could find freedom.
“I would not be a healthy person right now if God had not been the faithful husband that he is and broke in and just said no longer with this fear addiction, you’re mine and you’re coming back to me.”