Copyright © 2008-2016 Martha Trowbridge. All Rights Reserved
George Swinstead: The Angel’s Message
When I was a child, “Sleep with the Angels!” was my mother’s evening-tide farewell. At the time, these words meant nothing. Later, in my defiant young womanhood, Angels were simply a figment of the Christian imagination.
Then trauma  took hold of me. And the only thing farther from my reality than Angels was my ability to sleep peacefully.
The cruelest aspect of trauma and depression: we cannot access restful sleep.
With trauma, our agitation is non-stop, intense. If it isn’t nightmares torturing us, it’s our profound inability to relax. Or that every sound amplifies into a red-alert signal, evoking in our aching, weary bodies painful, ever-vigilant arousal. Or, that seemingly without provocation, terrifying memories ambush us.
With depression, our state of Spirit feels ‘near-death’. Endlessly agonizing feelings, memories and thoughts – swamping sadness, grief, fear that we have totally failed at life, despair, shame, helplessness, loneliness, heartbreak, hopelessness, withdrawal – as well as utter exhaustion, deprive us of sleep’s essential refreshment.
Traumatic depression is the horror-film thrashing of these two phenomena within us. Trauma’s terrifying agitation competes with depression’s ‘living deadness’.
Is it any mystery that sleep-time morphs into terror-time?
Haunted by prior cruel intrusions, rather than looking forward to bedtime, we cringe at the prospect of another endless night-of-personal-horrors. We dread what we’ll face in the morning, when rather than awakening rested, we’ll feel worse than when we went to bed.
Yet, refreshing sleep is a must – even when we are not suffering emotional and mental agonies.
What to do?
Do as my wise, saintly mother exhorted: Sleep With The Angels!
Yes, Angels of God. Angels, who, upon your sincere invoking, will lovingly assist your Spirit when you are in grave need. Kindness, patience, purity, generosity, grace, gentleness, compassion, caring, soothing, guidance, goodness, and sublime strength are their hallmarks. Experience awesome Angelic assistance, and blessedly, you will be forever transformed.
If I may share a personal Angel encounter….
One fall-out from my trauma was that I stopped driving. And the longer that I didn’t drive, the more fearful of driving I became.
After years away from the wheel, at last I got the courage to try to drive again. It was a real test: I now lived in the country, with five miles of rocky, uneven, dirt road to travel til pavement. I was miles and miles from everything — totally opposite to my forty-plus years of city life.
Soon after I resumed driving, while enroute home from a trip twenty miles away, a severe electrical storm struck, flooding the roads with torrential rain. At this point, I was comfortable driving only in sunshine, on low-traffic country roads. But there I was, on the busy interstate highway, fourteen-wheelers and arrogant SUV drivers vigorously sweeping past me, as in the right lane I traveled at 40 mph.
Today, I can chuckle about it, recalling the scene: angry drivers tailgating and blasting their horns as they sped past me. But it wasn’t funny then. What to do? With the poor visibility, pulling off to the side of the highway would probably be dangerous. Panicking would be even more dangerous.
God-Awesomely, just the day before I’d been thinking of writing about Angels, in a column. I was also thinking of my recently departed Mother, who over and over had urged me to get back to driving, so as not to be dependent on my husband, as she — who never drove — had always been on hers.
Immersed in the storm’s fury, determined to keep calm, I did what my Mother would have suggested: I called on Angels to surround my car with their pure white light, and graceful, protective, God-given powers.
And lo and behold, within a moment, I actually felt them flutter within and around my car! Through that violent storm, safely, they ushered me. It was as if I no longer had to operate my vehicle. It was glorious! Not only did I travel peacefully all the way home, I had an experience I will never forget.
That night, my Angel encounter surprised me in a second powerful way: for the first time in more than a decade, my sleep was wonderfully restful. It remained so, for scores of nights thereafter.
Angels inarguably exist. The more attuned to Angels I grew, the more wonder they worked, opening my Spirit to the reality and glory of God; God, Who in His Infinite Mercy, transmuted my life from hopeless, death-spiral trauma, into glorious rebirth.
I am delighted to have discovered Angels.
Angels are God’s Ambassadors. Embodiments of goodness, generosity, kindness. Open up your aching Spirit to their abundant, compassionate aid.
Sent from God, Angels are here for you, to help you heal; they are exquisite creatures who, upon your sincere impassioned call, by God’s Grace will encircle your suffering Spirit, caress you, care for you. Through their ministrations, they will help you to act lovingly, compassionately, wisely toward your devastated self. They will show you the path to authentic self-protection.
And here is the most precious gift of Angels: in their ministrations, Angels open the portal, inbuilt deep within your Spirit, that leads to God Himself.
For Truth be told, trauma and depression result from sin – sin committed against you, and/or sin you have committed. Opening your Spirit to communion with God, cleansing and purifying your life, heeding His commandments, committing yourself to life lived appropriately, righteously – this is the only pathway to authentic recovery.
Psychotherapy without cleansing and purification of your Spirit can not heal you. The inarguable reality is, traumatic injury to your Spirit evidences evil-doing – on the part of others, towards you, and/or on your part. Authentic healing of your Spirit can only come from re-aligning your Spirit with God, accompanied by your sincere commitment to a life lived according to God’s precepts.
Angels can be your lovely conduit to God.
Angels can give you a glimpse of life lived joyously.
Angels can place you on your path to glorious rebirth into The Woman You Were Born To Be.
At nap-time or night-time, in times of stress, in times of despair, in times of sheer exhaustion, call upon God’s Angels. Seek their uplifting! They are there for you. They have seen much. They are wise and strong, and oh so gloriously giving.
Years ago, for my mother’s last Christmas, I made her an apron. Amazingly, the fabric I chose was adorned with adorable smiling Angels, colored pink with blue and yellow trim, on a lovely parchment-color background. For the lining I chose soft yellow sateen. How beautiful that apron was! How evocative of everything that is warm, and caring, and pure, and safe!
As I sewed the apron, I had no idea my mother would die before another Christmas came round. I had no idea that my choice of Angel fabric foreshadowed the fact that soon she would be transported to her Eternal Life.
How grateful I am for what my Mother taught me as a child, when night after night, she bade me “Sleep with the Angels!”
To this very moment, half a century later, her voice echoes through my Spirit; as it does, I praise and thank God for gracing me with the wisdom of her words.
If you could imagine three qualities you would cherish in an Angel, that you would find essential to your healing process, what are they? How would you utilize each of these three qualities, to help your Spirit with wondrous resuscitation?
As You Prepare For Rebirth:
Next time you are having difficulty accessing restful sleep, sit up in bed and click on your lamp. Take a fresh piece of paper and a pencil, and freely record whatever thoughts and feelings are intruding upon your sleep-efforts.
When you feel you have recorded these things fully, close your eyes and imagine placing every one of them, one by one, into a huge burlap sack. Pull tight the sack’s drawstring closure. Close your eyes. Sigh deeply with relief. Smile. Imagine an Angel Of God hovering over your bed, reaching down to lift the sack of burdens high in the air, to carry it away. Imagine her there. Feel her kindness. Feel her caring. Feel her glorious strength. Now, holding these feelings in your heart, allow her to emit into your heart light, compassion and joy. Imagine her gracious hovering, just above your bed. Watch, as her lovely hand takes hold of your sack. Feel the sack lifting, up and away from your weary Spirit. Imagine her face — she is beaming. Imagine her purity of purpose, there with you — how totally devoted she is to you! How representative she is, of God’s enduring love for you! What color is her dress? What does she look like? Can you discern her name? What about her can you hold on to, so that next time you need her, you can immediately call upon her?
- As a victim of violence, for years I suffered what psychologists call ‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’ [PTSD], including Traumatic Depression. In my lexicon, this term is inappropriate: there is no ‘post’ when you suffer trauma’s aftermaths. Until you resolve your sufferings, your trauma lives on.