By The Rev’d. Joseph K. Acton
“After the Trauma, The Battle Begins. Post Trauma Healing.”
Fr. Nigel Mumford has managed to provide a very helpful and unique kind of book called After the Trauma the Battle Begins: Post Trauma Healing. It is both a study and spiritual reflection on PTSD, providing both clinical and historical understanding of this condition. His book is timely in the wake of the Iraqi and Afghan war veterans returning home and our becoming more aware of the level of trauma with which they are dealing. After the Trauma is also a very personal reflection on Mumford’s own experience of trauma and subsequent healing. But perhaps what was most meaningful, was the way he has woven these themes together into a spiritual odyssey, providing insight into God’s wonderfully mysterious work of healing for all of us. It is a book not only for PTSD survivors and their loved ones, but for anyone who has experienced trauma, adversity, loss, fear and desires healing.
There is so much practical help in this book. He provides compassionate encouragement, not only to PTSD sufferers, but to over eaters, the depressed, the anxious, and the doubter. He speaks eloquently of the way words can become “grenades” and illustrates various kinds of interpersonal “terrorism.” While the book speaks a great deal about war, it continues to apply spiritual principles to our own very personal everyday battles.
I am moved by the generosity of this book, as Mumford shares with us the discord and chaos of his personal life as a traumatized Marine, his many near death experiences, and his own “Dark Night” of the soul. Issues of guilt, fear, regret, obsession, are all lifted up into the transforming presence of Christ. Each strand of story telling, each confessed failing, each practical answer, leads to what in the end could be called a Litany of Gratitude, for here is a man who has felt the pain of wounds and the joy of healing. His words clearly focuss the reader on the wounds of Christ, “by which we are healed.”
Finally the book speaks with the authority of a man who had been so close to death he had received last rites three times! Mumford has overcome death most recently by coming out of a coma and what was the final stage of the H1N1 virus. I, along with thousands of others, prayed for Mumford as we heard his condition was going from bad to worse. It is an incredible witness to all of us that today that Nigel Mumford lives and writes, speaks and heals in the name of Jesus. And so with the authority of a modern Lazarus, and the gentle compassion of a lover of Jesus and servant of the Gospel, Mumford has provided a must read for all of us who seek to overcome trauma and adversity, and live in the victory and power of Jesus Christ. Thank you, Fr. Nigel Mumford, for this wonderful book!
The Rev’d. Joseph K. Acton
Desert Call Ministries, Inc.
Pastor, ACTS Church Hemet, CA
The book is available at www.nigelmumford.com
So many people ask me in frustration,
“WHAT IS GOD’S WILL FOR ME? Can you help me discern it?”
As if I have some all-knowing answer!
Here are some Bible verses for those of us seeking God’s will in our lives.
All are from the NIV. My personal favorite is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18*
I pray that this might help you, as you give your frustration to God.
Be at peace, dear soul.
If you have a project in mind, perhaps start it by praying to God,
“Stop me if You don’t want me to do this, and bless me if You do.”
If there are several things you think God is calling you to do, write them down,
pray over them, then offer up your list to God saying,
“What would You like to bless on my list?”
Put the list in your Bible and then be proactive . . .
This might just change your life!
Remember Grandma Moses. She began her life in her eighties! It’s never too late!
Stop your winging and go for it.
I really pray that this might help you.
Please let me know how it does.
Fr. Nigel Mumford+
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Moses answered his father-in-law, “. . .the people come to me to seek God’s will.”
[Jesus said,] “Whoever does God’s will is My brother and My sister and mother.”
. . . so that I [Paul] may come to you with joy by the will of God, and in your company be refreshed.
1 Thessalonians 4:3
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.
* 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 2:15-16
For it is God’s will that by doing good, you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
1 Peter 3:17
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1 Peter 4:19
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
Testimony from M. Canavan
My husband and I were excited to find out that we were expecting our second child after 17 years. On December 9th 2011, while 3 months into my pregnancy I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy; which is a chronic disease of the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure. The doctor made it clear to me that I was very sick and immediately I was placed on medication for the condition. I was devastated and scared which made me have more anxiety than I could handle. I didn’t know how I was going to cope with this news.
Later that evening my mother knew how upset I was, and searching for answers reached out to my aunt Patsy, who is a retired nurse. The only thing that she could do was to offer to bring me to a healing service that Sunday evening after. Father Nigel was leading the service and noticed my distress and my aunt filled him in on the diagnosis. He brought me to the front of the service and had everyone who was attending lay hands on me and prayed for my health, and the health of my unborn baby. Father Nigel also prayed for the medication I was taking, and for my pregnancy to be full term and natural. It was an amazing feeling that rushed through me that evening.
The original cardiologist referred me to a heart failure specialist, I seen him the day after attending the healing service. The doctor explained to us about the various options that I could be dealing with, like being sent out of state for treatment, and possibly being put on a heart transplant list. He also made it clear to us that it would be better to treat me if I wasn’t pregnant; suggesting that we might want to consider terminating the pregnancy. If I was going to decide to proceed with the pregnancy then I might have to be put on bed rest and face early delivery depending on the state of my condition. By the end of the visit he noticed how upset I was and suggested running another test. That same day, one hour later, the doctor called me himself saying that he thought I could use some good news. He wasn’t sure if it was the “medication”, but the test results came back better than the first. It showed that my heart was at the low end of normal. Thank you Jesus!
We decided that we were definitely going to have this baby. I continued to go to healing services on Sundays and Tuesdays. I would pray for strength, a complete healing of my heart, and for my baby to be healthy, strong and happy. When the test results kept showing up better than the last, I thought that maybe the cardiomyopathy would be gone after the pregnancy, and I could possibly come off of the medication. But the Doctor insisted that I would be dealing with the condition, and be put on a stronger combination of medication for the rest of my life. As discouraging as it was to hear that news, Father Nigel and the community of Christ the King helped me to sustain my hope and faith.
The pregnancy went full term without any complications or bed rest, and our baby Michael Christopher was born perfectly healthy, strong & happy. He is our true miracle. The next day, my blood pressure was reading on the low side. It was not considered unhealthy, but it was low enough as to where they would not give me my heart medication. I was reluctant and told them that I had to take my medication; I took it every day religiously. They explained that they couldn’t give it to me because my blood pressure would drop even lower. I realized then that this might be a good thing. I was feeling anxious about not taking the meds and I made an appointment with my cardiologist the next day. He told me that the last test on my heart showed no sign of cardiomyopathy and I no longer needed to take any medication.
I was overwhelmed with joy and I thank Jesus everyday all day for my health and my little miracle baby Michael Christopher. I want to also thank Father Nigel for all of his guidance and healing prayers. And thanks to Lynn for her words on that first night of healing, that she sees me giving my testimony holding my baby. Those words definitely helped me to cope. Thank you to everyone that prayed for me, and to my family who were there through this difficult time. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
The Christening of Michael Christopher.
By Fr. Nigel Mumford+
I had the privilege of Christening Michael Christopher. I remember the service so well. As I was about to pour the water over his forehead, he looked at me as if he knew who I was. It was a look of love, joy and recognition. It was as if he was saying I know you!
I not only baptized him with water but with my own tears of joy. I was weeping so much I could not even see the words on the prayer book.
The view from the pulpit.
Climbing the stairs, ascending, looking over the sea of heads.
Parted in the center, was Moses here already?
Preaching the word to so many faces,
Some smiling, some sad, some quizzical, some frowning in concentration.
Some just blank… nothing, switched off or sponging up the presence?
(I pray some more)
One face peaking around the pillar! Not really wanting eye contact.
Eyes, looking, wanting to be fed. Yearning…
An ear cupped near the back. Sit closer next time man.
In the zone, such fun and joy. The presence palpable. Yes Lord.
Sometimes its lonely up there.
Where are you God?
Where am I going?
Now, tell ’em about Jesus, the words of a mentor pop up.
If I am struggling I look at the smilers.
If I am riding the wave I look at the frowners… And smile!
A distraction as someone looks at their watch.
Hang in their, my point is just around the corner. Two blocks!
How many sermons has the wall at the back actually heard?
Fishing with words as the message sits and then,
sinks into the Soul.
The takeaway delivered.
Gently, I climb down the stairs.
What just happened?
Is that what it felt like on the cross,
Without the physical pain?
Fr. Nigel Mumford+
Some time ago, I was driving across the north county listening to National Public Radio (NPR).
A close friend who once again is going through medical issues said to me today,
I’m fine in my spirit for which I completely thank God. Amazing really. After all these different bouts of suffering the refiners fire doesn’t get any cooler!
Refiners fire…..hmmmm. a friend had picture for me about gold being beaten out so finely it became gold leaf that could be finely put into the tiniest nooks & crannys…….lovely thought.
There IS a sense to suffering.
It is what we do during the suffering and what we do after the suffering that is important. Christ suffered that we might have life and life abundant. If you are suffering invite the Lord deep within the forming scar tissue. Allow your emotions to have their say with the right prayer partners. Sometimes we need to express what is going on!
The woman in the Gospel of Mark 5 touched the very hem of the robes of Christ. She expressed herself in silence and humility with an act of extreme courage.
To suffer means to endure.
If you endure something you suffer through it… you press on through the aridity and disenchantment. You press on in the depression. You press on in the pain and frustration. With Gods help. You are not alone.
Fr. Nigel Mumford+
AFTER THE TRAUMA, THE BATTLE BEGINS. Post Trauma Healing.
General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC, DL Chief of the General Staff, British Army, 2006-2009
There are few people that one meets in life who have confronted death as starkly as Nigel Mumford has, and who can then describe their experiences for the benefit of others as he had done. This book is a remarkable testament to the triumph of spiritual healing over the despair of illness- physical or mental, real or imagined, or perhaps an amalgam of all four. For Nigel Mumford these things are not theoretical, they are his practical experience and therefore his testimony is all the more authentic because he writes about what he know and promotes what he believes – nothing can be more genuine.
As terrible as the physical injuries of war or a horrific accident can be, the sufferer rarely has to explain his or her condition to others as the scars are plain to see. But more numerous and more painful are those whose injuries are invisible, and for them there is the additional challenge of persuading others of the existence of their problem, and its severity. Quite properly Nigel Mumford subtitles this book: “After the Trauma, the Battle Begins…” it is this trauma – experienced by so many over the years, but unrecognized by so many for far too long – that is the focus of this book. In the pages that follow the traces the history of our understanding of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder, describes its characteristics and its consequences and places the condition as an everyday reality both in war abroad and in the supposed peace of life at home.
Nigel Mumford’s journey of understanding, explanation and healing through the pages of theirs book is underpinned by scriptural authority and inspirational experience. The combination is effective and compelling. However, the reader is not just left with a warm feeling of hope but instead given a spiritual and practical life plan based around seven carefully argued and explained steps. So this book is both a thriller and an exercise book. From the opening chapter Nigel Mumford quotes extensively from Psalm 121. This psalm of inspiration, bidding us to “Lift up mine eyes unto the hills from where comes my help” is well known and well placed here but I would draw out a further through from within its verses. In the King James Version, the last two verses read:
“The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve they going out and they coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
How many times have prayers been offered to preserve “thy going out and coming in” on behalf of those in military combat, or even in the mundane daily round of civilian life, only to result in death, physical injure or mental scarring? How does the loving God allow these things to take place when the psalmist states that “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil”?
Nigel Mumford answerers this most critical dilemma in life through the pages of this book. The truth that he seeks to explain is that our physical bodies, though important for a while as we live our earthly lives, have no value in the grand order of things. What matters is not our physical or even mental health in this life, but the health of our soul – our inner being – that intangible part of us that is immortal for good or ill. The psalmist is unequivocal; “he (the Lord) shall preserve they soul”. It is our soul, not our bodies that really matters and a soul dedicated to the service of Almighty God is a soul that is eternally healthy, free from physical or mental injury, and it is that which will be preserved “even for evermore.”
So this book is first and last a book of hope. Towards the end, Nigel Mumford reverts to discussion of the “Welcome Home initiative,” that most important but often confusing experience of the returning veteran, He exhorts the reader: “Be well, do good works and for the sake of God, love one another.” But the homecoming that really matters is the greeting for the Christian soldier when one day, after a lifetime of service, he hears the words of St. Matthew Chapter 25, verse 21: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Now read on and be truly encouraged.
A Chance Meeting that Saved a Life.
By The Rev. Nigel Mumford+
The prayer team of “The Welcome Home Initiative” (WHI) and I were having lunch before WHI program number twelve. I saw a man sitting by himself and went up to him. I introduced myself and sat with him for a while. He was not part of the program. The combat vets were arriving later. This man told me he had come to the center for a private retreat. He said he needed to get away and be by himself. I told him we were running a program for combat vets. His eyes opened wide. He said that he was a combat vet and then told me a little about his service in Afghanistan.
I immediately invited him to have “his retreat” with us. At first he declined. I told him just to come, meet the men and women and hang out with us. If you don’t like it then return to your private retreat. After a while he agreed.
He joined in and was an integral part of the retreat. He was very quiet to begin with but made friends and joined in. It was a blessing to see him come alive. He kept thanking me for the invitation. How much is this going to cost? I assured him that the public had funded the program. I told him to thank God for his invitation to the program.
After the closing ceremony he came up to me and gingerly opened his back pack. He privately showed me a pistol. I asked him if it was unloaded. He assured me it was. He then said something that changed my life forever.
“Fr. Nigel” he said. “I had come here for a private retreat. I had planned to walk far into the woods and put the barrel of this pistol in my mouth and blow my brains out. I just could not cope with the haunting trauma of war. I don’t need to use this after all, thank you for saving my life” At this point we both had tears in our eyes…
Again he said, “Thank you for the invitation to join the Welcome Home Initiative. If you had not invited me I would be dead now. Thank you and thank God for the invitation to life. Our meeting stopped the need in me to commit suicide.”
One veteran’s life saved because of the Welcome Home initiative. Thank you God.
BY HIS WOUNDS, INC.
The official launch day of BHW is 5th September 2013
Please pray that this ministry will reach thousands of people letting them know that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That people may truly know that actually God Is still in the “business of healing.”
I have no doubt whatsoever that I am alive because of corporate prayer and this is the type of prayer that really moves mountains.
Please visit www.byhiswoundsministry.org for more information.
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A post card of our logo “The last breath, a breath that changed the world” by Kathy Delair, will be available soon.
Thank you so very much indeed for your prayer coverage.
God is BRILLIANT.
Be well, do good works, and for the sake of God, Love one another.
Much love to you in Christ,
BHW is a 501(c)(3) not for profit charity and is totally self supporting. Thank you for your contributions.