Back in the 1990s, researchers discovered that adverse experiences that occur during childhood physically change both our brains and the aging process of our cells. These changes dramatically affect our behavior and our health for the rest of our lives. Abuse, neglect, and toxic stress increase our risks of everything from obesity to heart attacks, depression to diabetes, addictions to cancer. In the past decade it was discovered that at least some of these changes and risks can be transmitted to the next generation.
As the healthcare and public health circles have grappled with these new facts an emphasis a troubling fact have surfaced. Identifying and treating individuals has not been shown to affect the larger outcomes. Suicides and heart attacks happen with the same frequency. Individuals are more likely to survive an event but are at even more risk going forward.
Something is needed to stem the tide. Current activity focuses on resilience, the ability to bounce back after a traumatic event. People who are resilient are much less likely to suffer poor health later on in life.
This series is focused on transforming the church into a place that models, promotes, and empowers resilience. It's a lofty goal. But once we view our lives through a trauma-informed lens it is easy to discover sources of strength that we never knew we had.