From Trauma to Peace
Mrs. Claudia Kornaros
This testimony is a "behind the scenes" look at her ministry session.
"My eyes were closed, my hand was raised as high into the air as I could possibly raise it, hoping and praying that it was the Lord's will that Dr. Smith would choose me for the next Theophostic prayer demonstration. Because of what I had just been through, I knew that everything in me cried out for a touch of truth from God. I heard Dr. Smith say, "Ok, I'm going to choose that lady right there." Disappointed, I didn't even open up my eyes. I knew he had not chosen me because if he had chosen me he would have said, "I am going to choose that "little girl" right there." Because that was exactly how I felt at that moment. When I opened my eyes to see Dr. Smith's eyes staring right back at me, I could not believe it. Then he said again, "I choose you" as he pointed right at me. I asked, "Me?" as I pointed to myself in disbelief that he could really mean me. Yes! He did choose me and gratitude FILLED my heart as I whispered to the Lord, "Thank you". I knew this issue was between the Lord and me, Dr. Smith would only be the one to mediate for us. You see, we (the Lord and I) had a major issue going on right then, and I seriously needed to have the Lord's perspective on what I had just endured 6 days prior. I walked up to the stage, trembling with the weight of the emotions that were already spilling from my broken heart.
As I sat there, the emotions began moving through me, gaining momentum as they slowly rose up from the deepest part of my heart. I could sense the intensity of the emotions and was trying to maintain some control over them. I could barely speak as the emotions grew. I could hear myself begin to explain to Dr. Smith that those emotions of grief and sadness were connected to the recent trauma of walking into the living room and finding my little (not even 3 year old) boy hanging, lifeless and purple, feet dangling 8" inches off the ground with the window blind cord wrapped around his neck. He had jumped off the couch and had entangled himself in the cord. I honestly believed that my child was dead in that moment. However, God spared his little life. Even though I was able to revive him, it was now six days later and I had become consumed with intense grief and sadness.
I had to search my heart as to why the intense grief was there, but it eventually became clear as I sat there and allowed myself to feel. I finally owned and acknowledged what was at the root of this intense feeling as I spoke out, "I was afraid that he had died. I feared that by the time I got to him, he was already gone." The fear that had consumed me for 6 days was now out in the open. The grief consumed me as it continued to rise to the surface, determined to be acknowledged. I did not have the strength to put the grief into a nice, neat little, presentable package. I didn't know what was going to happen as the emotion began to envelop me. I could feel the "groaning coming from my soul." Then I heard the words from Dr. Smith, "Are you willing to embrace the thought that he died. You didn't get to him on time, and by the time you got there, Isaac was already gone." In that moment, Dr. Smith gave me permission to face and embrace the perceived loss of my child. As I chose to do so the pain erupted and I could hear myself groaning and sobbing. It moved so forcefully over me that it took all my strength to stay in my seat and to keep me from falling to the floor under its weight. As I wept, I paid close attention to the images that entered my mind, I saw the scenes that I had previously imagined earlier that week but had tried to avoid. This time I allowed myself to fully embrace my greatest fears as if they were real. I watched myself try to revive my son using CPR, it wasn't working, I could see myself shouting while kneeling over him, "NOOOOOO, Please not yet, he is still so little." He needs me, and we need him. Lord, please don't take him from me." Then the next scene; I was looking into his open casket. He looked like he was sleeping with his blanket and his two favorite little stuffed puppies. The puppies always had to be placed in just the "right way," tucked tightly under each arm before we kissed him good night. My thoughts were screaming in my head, "is this what I would have done if he had truly died?" I allowed myself to embrace this thinking and once again my grief OVERWHELMED me. What I had feared most was right before my eyes. I do not know how long I cried or how this grief escaped my control but in the depths of my grief, I heard, far off in the distance Dr. Smith ask, "Claudia, are you open to hearing what the Lord has to say?"
When a lie is believed it will feel true.
Suddenly I realized that he was asking me if I wanted to know the truth. "Truth? I felt that what I was experiencing was the truth. Could there be another truth? If there was another truth then, what I was experiencing was NOT truth." How could that be when the pain was SO real and my perceived truth was in the process of breaking my heart? I was open to hearing from the Lord. I was immediately taken back in my thoughts to the original memory of finding Isaac hanging from the cord. I began feeling the same emotion that I experienced when I saw him for the first time. The dread began to come over me like a tsunami. I could see it coming and was preparing to be drowned in another wave of consuming grief. This time, I heard the Lord's calm, very matter- of-fact voice, gentle yet firm, "I did not come to take him home that day. It was never my intention to take him home. I allowed this to happen exactly as it happened." My Lord had just spoken truth to the lie that I had believed. He spoke to my storm, 'Peace, be still' and with those words of truth, the pain was GONE. Truth had set me free.
Instant, immediate peace flooded my soul. My son did not die because it was NOT the Lord's intention to take him home that day. His truth brought peace. His presence brought awe. He allowed me to see His concern, that I might understand what His true intention was. The Lord deeply wanted me to understand His intention because He knew I had misunderstood Him. WOW! The fear that my child had already died was gone. My fear was not founded on anything except my assumption - a lie.
Single memories can contain many different lies, each with their own corresponding emotion.
I went back in the memory, noticing that the fear of his death was GONE, incredible, and then I felt panic rush at me like a freight train. It hit so hard that my heart began racing, I thought everyone could hear my heart beating through the microphone…. I was anxious and nervous. "I feel panic." The panic grew, my heart raced. I waited, and then I saw it, the gripping panic that locked onto me was the fear that if I had not been right there at that exact moment, Isaac would have died. I had believed that it was by "chance" that I was right there. Had I not been there, he would have died. Flooded with deep emotional pain I told Dr. Smith, "The panic is tied to the fact that if I had not been right there, Isaac would have died." Dr. Smith continued by asking me, "Would you be willing to embrace the fact that if you had not been "right there," your son would have died? As I chose to do this more grief, more pain and tremendous panic enveloped me as I embraced it. Then Dr. Smith asked me, "Lord, what is the truth that you want Claudia to know about the fact that she believes that if she had not been right there, Isaac would have died? Strangely, I was immediately taken up over my home, seeing a panoramic view of our home with no roof on it. I could see into every room. I saw myself in the garage doing laundry (which I was doing all that morning) and then I saw the Lord's hands, huge, wrinkly, and old, like the beautiful hands of a grandfather. Those hands were the Lord's hands, as the way I think they would look. I watched His hands gently scoop me up from the garage, as if I were a tiny, fragile little bird, and very tenderly placed me into the kitchen. I heard Him say, so sweetly and just above a whisper, "Claudia, I need you in the kitchen right now. You will need to be close to Isaac because of what he is about to do." I cannot describe the joy that flooded my heart. God placed me in the kitchen at the exact moment I needed to be there. It was then I realized that it wasn't by "chance" that I just happened to be in there.
The timing of everything that happened was perfectly orchestrated by the hand of my loving Father. I saw how seconds before Isaac jumped off the couch; the house became quiet, SO incredibly quiet. Three loud and lively children were stilled by what I saw to be the Spirit of God lean into the home and put his pointer finger over His mouth and simply said "SSHHHHH". The house and all that were in it stood still. I was standing in the kitchen preparing lunch, placing the chicken nuggets on the plate, ready to put them into the microwave oven. I remembered that a few chicken nuggets had slipped off the plate as I went to place them into the microwave. It was in that moment that what I perceived to be Jesus was now standing next to me, and He was the One who had simply pushed a few nuggets off the plate with His hand. I had to stop and pick them up, and arrange them back on the plate. It was in that extra 3 seconds of quietness that I was able to hear Isaac's whisper for help, "I stuck". The Lord was showing me that if I had turned the microwave oven on when I first intended to, the noise would have drowned out my little boy's last cry for help. I would have continued to put lunch together while I thought they would be quietly playing, coloring or reading.
With this new realization, I was filled with peace. I sat in awe as I began to understand how intricately and delicately this day was planned. I believe that His hand orchestrated it, down to every last detail. I would never, ever think again, if I had not been there (by chance), Isaac would have died." The lie was replaced with the actual truth of what happened. Joy flooded my heart as I wept with a deep sense of relief.
After the accident, I had learned that it takes only 4 minutes for a child to die by strangulation. In one day, I had become a frantic mother, running to find my children every 3 minutes to make sure each of them were safe. I did not believe I could ever be at complete peace again regarding my children's safety. It was amazing that peace was restored instantly to my soul. Although, I knew I needed to be wise about their safety, the Lord showed me it really is His job and His delight to watch over them and protect them.
Then Dr. Smith asked me to look back in the memory to see if there was anything else that felt unresolved for me. I went back in the memory, looking and waiting for the next wave of emotion. In the memory, I saw my little girl (Elisabeth-4) coloring at the coffee table, Isaac silently hanging 4 feet behind her; my first born son (Michael-7) on the couch 1 foot from Isaac, staring in complete confusion as to why Isaac was turning purple, unable to comprehend the danger. I also saw Isaacs face, dark purple, eyes completely glazed over, and hanging still, very calm, very peaceful. I waited and watched. Then it hit me, this time a deep sense of sorrow and dread that I was not able to protect my children. I saw how vulnerable and exposed they were to danger. I did not and could not protect them. When this thought entered my mind I thought I was going to be sick. The sorrow caused me to feel physically ill. I told Dr. Smith, "I have so much sorrow that I was not able to protect my children."
Principle number one: My current situation is rarely the primary source of my emotional pain.
As I focused on this sadness I found myself in a childhood memory totally unrelated to my son's near death experience. I saw myself in my bedroom of the house we lived in when I was a little girl. The memory that I saw was familiar to me. I was 9 years old. I was on the floor kneeling over my little sister who was 7 at that time, and she was having a full-blown asthma attack. My parents had gone out for the evening after they put all of us to bed. I saw myself over her, panicking because she was barely getting any breath. I felt such sorrow that I was unable to help her. I was helpless. The helpless feeling had to do with the belief that there was something lacking in me, which limited me from knowing what to do to help her. I had nothing to draw from to help me know what to do in this situation. I felt so helpless and alone. Later I realized that in that situation what I was feeling was not due to me (something lacking), but rather the absence of a parent. I had no one to give me guidance in the situation. In that place of aloneness and helplessness I heard Dr. Smith ask the Lord, "Lord Jesus, what is it that you want her to know?" I heard Him clearly say, "You were a child, and children are not equipped to know what to do in these situations" When I heard this truth great relief filled me. I could not have possibly known what to do because I was so young. I had no experience to draw from. I continued to watch the memory, except this time Jesus was in my room standing over us, watching me kneeling over my sister. I saw Him bending down and whispering so sweetly and calmly into my ear, "Claudia, why don't you go and get your neighbor?" In that moment I remembered when that thought come into my mind that day so many years ago. I thought it had originated in my own thoughts, but I realized that it was Jesus that spoke to me. He was there. He stepped into the role of a parent and told me what to do. I said to Dr. Smith, "Jesus was there. He told me to go and get my neighbor (a firefighter), and that was what I did. But it was Jesus who told me to do that. It was not my idea. Jesus stepped into the role of a parent."
When this childhood memory was completely calm and peaceful I returned to the place where my son had nearly died. Once again, I saw myself in the kitchen preparing lunch. I saw what I perceive to be Jesus standing behind my left shoulder, in the same place that he stood in my bedroom in the previous memory. I saw Him lean over and whisper in to my ear (the exact same way as before, so sweetly and calmly), "Claudia, why don't you go check on the boys". Up until that moment I had believed that the thought to "go check on the boys" originated within me. I believe it was Jesus standing in the role of a parent, whispering instructions to me. Immediately I was filled with peace and gratitude. He is my Father, always whispering, guiding and directing me. I am not capable of protecting my children, but He will use me at times to assist him in doing that.
Though sorrow is usually truth based there are times that it is a mixture of both truth and lies.
We moved to find the next emotion which I stated as "I have a sense of sorrow that I am going to mess up my kids." Dr. Smith asked the Lord, "Lord, what is the truth that you want Claudia to know regarding the fact she believes that she is going to mess up her kids?" I heard the Lord (with a smile) say something like, "That is why I brought Theophostic Ministry to you, and it's the tool you will use to help them when you mess them up!" This was a needed moment of comic relief. I was finally able to really laugh, and I did! Jesus knew I would cause my kids heartache, and that was why He provided me with a tool to undo the mess. I was able to see that my children would grow to be healthy and whole and that I would teach them to recognize His voice. I sensed His delight at that. It was as if He was impressing this into my heart saying, "Yes, I have you home schooling your children, but the education I am really interested in is that you teach them how to hear Me and to know My voice!" WOW! I felt the Lord's sense of humor and His lightheartedness about my children. He did not have the "dread" that I had whenever it came to the education of my kids. He was about the business of home schooling them also, but not in math, history, science, but in the "ways of the Lord". His curriculum was His Word. OH my goodness, this was incredible!!!
Focusing on the message rather than the messenger leads to freedom.
Shortly following this I heard a voice/thought that came into my mind: It said, "You are so stupid to believe all this." Instead of doing any "warfare" Dr. Smith simply had me focus on the emotion that this thought stirred up in me. It took a few minutes to see what was coming up, but it seemed to be something that I had felt over many years of my life. I had been laughed at so many times for believing people who were "just kidding". I had trusted easily and initially had no reason to doubt what people would say. I found myself in many situations in which I was ridiculed for being "gullible" and was told many times "You are so stupid for believing me". Once I reported this Dr. Smith asked the Lord again, "Lord, what is it that you want Claudia to know about that? I heard from the Lord, as clear as day; "I gave you the gift of child-like faith and innocence. It was a gift to you from Me." Dr. Smith had me feel the thought again to see how it made me feel. I could still hear the words, as though they are coming at me, but they stopped out in front of me and did not penetrate. I waited a bit and then I saw that Jesus was standing in front of me. He had tucked me behind His back, and He was absorbing the pain from those hurtful statements." Wow!!
Next I felt sorrow for the fact that I was overwhelmed with how to Mother my children. However, the Lord also dealt with that. I sensed Him saying that He was going to show me how to mother my children. He would show me how to mother them in the same way that I teach my children how to wash their hands. I could see myself standing at the bathroom sink with my child tucked just in front of me, as I take her hands in mine and run them under the water and teach her how to wash them. It was so tender as the Lord allowed me to see Him standing behind me with His arms wrapped around me, (my hands in His), as He showed me how to love and care for my little ones. I felt so secure, so loved I could sense His patience with me as I slowly learned from Him.
I went back again looking all through the memory looking for anything that was not at perfect peace. All I felt was peace and calm. I searched again through the entire memory. I STILL felt peace. Then I went (in my mind) to the most traumatic moment of the memory. I saw myself walk out of the kitchen, turn the corner to see Isaac, for the first time, hanging there, limp, lifeless, eyes glazed over and purple. (I thought to myself, "Ok if I am going to feel anything, this is the moment that will cause me the most pain.") I saw Isaac hanging there, and I was so caught off guard because my memory now included seeing Jesus kneeling in front of Isaac, holding him, gently brushing his hair to one side, and whispering to him 'It's OK Isaac, you are going to be alright. Your mommy is coming.". I began to weep as I explained to Dr. Smith what I saw. I was so filled with gratitude. I felt and feel so grateful that Jesus is there."
What happened next was such a physical experience. I heard the Lord say, "You have mothered your children in sorrow and from now on you will mother them in joy!" I suddenly realized that I was completely covered by a dark gray cloud of sadness. I had lived under this cloud of sorrow all through the years of my parenting. I remembered when my first son was born; I suffered from an entire year of depression. I could not understand why I was so depressed because I had wanted to have children ALL my life, and I had a wonderful supportive husband. I would often feel so sorry for my child and my future children as well, that they would get me for a mother. A mother who did not know what she was doing, completely incapable of raising children. Basically, I felt my children got the "short stick" when the Lord chose me to be their mother. But in this moment I saw the Lord simply wipe it away, starting at my feet moving upward towards my head. He wiped the cloud away and then waving His hand down, He placed a cloud of pure joy over me. It had the vivid colors of the rainbow.
The gray cloud was gone and with the cloud of joy came this peace that I had never known. It was very heavy and pressed down on me, all over me, to the point that I could not move. When my session was over I did not know if I was going to be able to get up out of my chair or step off the stage. The peace was so physically heavy. It was a peace for the present and the future. My fears had dissipated in the peace, I knew that the Lord would teach me from here on out, and that was all that I needed to know.
Since this session the Lord has continued to reveal things to me. I have had waves of emotions come regarding this memory but no pain. I even noticed when coming home that evening that the area next to the couch, where I found Isaac hanging, didn't bother me. How could it when now I was able to see Jesus there with him too! Up until then, I could not walk by that place without feeling nauseous at the sight of picturing Isaac hanging there, all alone. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to know your truth.