In every business there are partnerships and clients you don’t want. And, let’s be honest, Trauma Free World is no different. But, perhaps, our reasons might be a bit different than yours.
Case in point, a partnership we’re building right now – one we didn’t want – is with Kensington Church, a multi-site church in the Detroit, Michigan (USA) area. More specifically, Kensington’s Orion campus north of downtown Detroit.
The reason we didn’t want a partnership? The Orion Campus is located just down the road from Oxford High School, the school that experienced the U.S.’s most recent school shooting and one of the four Oxford students killed in the shooting was involved and beloved at Kensington Orion.
It’s not that we didn’t want a partnership with Kensington. They do amazing work in their community and are committed to caring for their people. They’re exactly the kind of place that knows the importance of trauma-informed care and, under more normal circumstances, a great partner for Trauma Free World.
What we didn’t want was this partnership. A partnership built on the harsh and overwhelming realities brought on by the Oxford shooting. No one wants a partnership built on something so tragic. So devastating. So senseless.
But, deep wounds like this don’t just go away. They can’t be wished away. They can’t be reasoned away or ignored. Prayer is such a helpful part of healing but, most often, it doesn’t deliver a miraculous deliverance of trauma’s effects. Healing from deep wounds like this takes dedicated work (and prayers!) of family, friends, pastors, and the greater community of helpers. This is why Trauma Free World exists – to bring trauma training to everyone, everywhere – even if we wish tragedies like the Oxford shooting weren’t the reason.
For Kensington, Trauma Free World’s role right now is helping answer parent’s questions like “How do I get my kids to share about their feelings and fears if they don’t want to talk?”
Helping kids work through things like, “I’ll never go to the bathroom at school again because someone got shot in there and there isn’t a way for me to escape from a room like that if it happens again.”
Assisting staff at the church in answering, “What really practical and specific things can we do to create a safe place for families (and staff, too) who are feeling overwhelmed?
We’ve put together some strategies for Kensington that we’ll be rolling out this month, but here’s a truth for us all. The kind of pain, loss, fear, and overwhelming stresses that Kensington is feeling aren’t limited to events like a school shooting. They are similar to what many of us are experiencing – even if the events of our lives aren’t so immediate or tragic.
The pandemic – now grinding into year three, the ongoing stresses related to racial justice, the politicization of just about any topic – demanding we “choose a side”, managing school from home, work from home . . . just about everything from home. It’s grinding us into the ground. It is literally shutting down our brains and bodies. Trauma-informed care, self care and personal wellness – they’ve never been more necessary than now.
Trauma Free World’s team remains committed to helping people be their best in the midst of it all, and in helping people be a safe and healing presence for those around them. It’s encouraging for us to know there is a growing and worldwide community committed right alongside us!
I’m also comforted by the faith I share with my new friends at Kensington Church. Comfort from the words of Jesus to his earliest followers. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In the midst of all “the trouble” you might be going through, wherever in the world you’re going through it, perhaps His words will bring comfort to you, too.