Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect threats. Hypervigilance is also accompanied by a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jesus lived His life on earth in self-sacrifice, not self-protection. However, Jesus had a Father He trusted completely would bring about only good. And Jesus was and is God.
For children who have been abused, especially by their parents, they cannot trust completely that good will come. They have suffered as a result of great evil. And they discovered they had no control.
Jesus knows how difficult it is for those who have been abused to trust Him. He knows they have not had the rock solid foundation that He has. Their lives were built on sinking sand. He sees the exhaustion that comes from hypervigilence, and He grieves with them. He longs to give those who have suffered as a result of abuse rest for their souls.
But how can one surrender to a God he cannot see who calls Himself our Father when since the beginning of their lives their own father has brought only evil? How can one surrender when the one who was supposed to lead them to God, led them astray?
I cannot answer this question, but I do know it takes a miracle.
Scripture tells us that Jesus will not break a bruised reed, nor will He put out a smoking flax. So what does He do for these hurting ones? Scripture says He came to bind up our brokenness and bring healing into our lives. Scripture says He is a Father to the Fatherless and He promises to restore the years the locust have eaten.
But often times for an abuse victim these are merely words on a page. They are afraid to hope. They are afraid to trust. And surrendering to anyone seems most irrational. Their lives are spent in hypervigilence, looking for the next person who will harm them, expecting someone else to betray them. They are exhausted and life can often feel like merely surviving from one day to the next.
Why do I keep hoping after all that I have seen? Why do I want to trust and surrender to God when every part of my brain shouts don’t do it, it is not safe?
Because I know that I cannot protect myself. I know that on my own there is no hope.
So I’m asking Him to give me the grace to trust Him, to believe the good, and to surrender to Him.
Faith is a gift that only comes from Him. I cannot concoct it on my own. Yet Jesus said if we have faith even the size of a mustard seed we can do great things.
My faith feels even smaller than that most days. I ask God to make something happen and the answer I get is silence. I wonder how long I will have to sit and wonder how long. I wonder how long I will watch depression overwhelm my husband before something changes. Why does it take Him so long to do something?
The very fact that I’m asking Him reveals faith. I’m backed up against the wall with these circumstances and I’ve chosen to look to Him and that is a miracle.
So because I know His faith is in me I will keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking – because that’s what He says to do.
God, give us hope for our lives and direction, restoration and peace, a desire to sacrifice for others rather than self-protect, and mercy instead of serving one another out of obligation. Bind up the evil one who saturates our minds with lies and reveal to us the truth that sets us free. In Jesus name, amen.