the upper room ptsd support group meets the final wednesday of every month at 7:30pm
at the st. patrick's parish center in
rockville, md




"Why is this happening?"  

"Why did God allow this?"  

"Is there even a God?"

These are very understandable questions in the wake of trauma.  Asking why bad things happen to good people is a question that has vexed generations.  

Discerning God's will for us is difficult even in good times.  When we're enduring a trial, it's even harder.  Accepting God's will in times of trauma can be almost impossible.  It's a very human reaction to recoil against such difficulty.  Even Christ himself, when shown what was to come during the Agony of the Garden, asked that "this Cup be taken from me" — if it were God's will.

But having doubts isn't necessarily a negative—if it leads us to asking questions and opening ourselves up to God answering those doubts.

Let's consider St. Thomas—or Doubting Thomas as he's more commonly known.

When Jesus first appeared to the disciples in the Upper Room after the Resurrection, Thomas was absent from the group.  When he returned, he refused to believe that the Risen Lord had appeared to them until he put his fingers in the nail holes and his hand in his side.

The next time Christ appeared, Thomas was there.  Jesus presented himself to Thomas, who believed having seen with his own eyes.  Most of the focus from this exchange is usually on Jesus telling Thomas "blessed are those who have not seen and still believe." But let's look at how this scenario plays out again.

First off, Christ knew Thomas wasn't going to be there, right?  Jesus could have just shown up the second time when Thomas was there.  So God's plan was to use Thomas's doubt as an example for us.  But when Thomas doubted, the Lord didn't throw him out when he appeared.  Rather, he presented himself to Thomas for inspection.  He answered Thomas's doubts.  And make no mistake: despite his doubts, Thomas was there.  He didn't run away.  He made himself available for Jesus to appear that second time.

So when we doubt, when we question our faith in the wake of trauma, are we making ourselves available to hear the answers to those questions?  Are we making ourselves available to Christ so he can present Himself to us?  Through prayer?  Through the Sacraments?

We may not have all the answers.  But He does.  

Are we listening?

Do I Stay or Do I Go?

Faith Responses to Trauma