I attended a conference for school today – working with victims of trauma.  What a powerful message I heard, I couldn’t begin to do justice to it in a blog post.  But the main take-home point is one question:

“What happened to you?”

A simple question to ask, but not such a simple question to be asked. Because answering this one question opens all the hurt, all the pain, all the abuse you may have lived through.

As I listened to the speakers, my mind kept going back to the need for a safe place for women to share their stories of hurt and pain.  I kept thinking about the importance of beginning to heal this pain before the baby is born, before experiencing labor. And sadly, I kept thinking about how uninviting a church can feel for a trauma victim.

So, dear reader, I challenge you to ask this question of yourself today.  Journal your answers and begin to let God heal the hurt.

But even more so, I challenge you to ask this of the women you work with.  If we are creative enough, maybe we could design ministries for women that begin to deal with the trauma while we help them prepare for a new baby, It’s just a thought I wanted to share.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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