Nicole Martin is the executive director of Trauma Healing at the American Bible Society. Before this role, she served as their Director of U.S. Ministry. She is a former management consultant with Deloitte Consulting and served as executive minister at The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Martin is the author of “Made to Lead: Empowering Women for Leadership” and “Leaning In, Letting Go: A Lenten Devotional.” She holds degrees from Vanderbilt University, Princeton Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where she teaches courses in Ministry and Leadership Development.
This is a difficult time for our country and world. Many — some who may not even know it — are experiencing trauma. Nicole Martin assesses our current context as an opportunity for the Church to be the place of healing our world so desperately needs. She shares how the Trauma Healing Institute has been equipping pastors and laypeople to facilitate Trauma Healing groups and to experience God’s healing power in their lives and the lives of others.
NAE President Walter Kim hosts Today’s Conversation, where you’ll hear Nicole explain:
- How she has seen Bible engagement lead to healing;
- Why Christian leaders need to come to terms with their own trauma;
- What steps the Trauma Healing Institute pursues in the healing process; and
- How a better understanding of trauma helps us in the challenging issues of race.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter:We’re in a season where emotions are running high with COVID, racial unrest, economic distress. Do you think we’re about to see a collective mental health breakdown? Are people going to be okay coming out of this?
Nicole: People will be ok. I think there is a certain humanistic resilience that we have seen across numerous global and national incidences. Whether that is looking at the trauma of warfare across the world, whether that’s looking at the yellow fever in the United States centuries ago, or whether that’s even looking at individuals and families and communities that have made it through traumatic events.
The strength of human nature says, “Yes, we will make it through.” The question is: How will we be on the other side of this? Will we be more in tune to God and to the lives of other, or less in tuned?
What I’ve observed even in my own experience is that trauma and crisis can sometimes cause us to go inward. We used to call it when a college student wouldn’t show up to class because something ridiculous had happened — they’d lost homework or didn’t study or whatever — we would call that “turtling.” It’s like when the turtle pokes its head in its shell.
Sometimes trauma and crisis can cause people to turtle. To turn in on themselves, to poke their head back in the shell, and to ignore the things happening around. It’s a protective mode. But for the believer in Christ, the question should be: When trauma happens, will we turtle and turn in, or will we reach out and will we become the place of healing for the world?
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- Learn about the Trauma Healing Institute.
- Attend a Trauma Healing training session.
- Listen to other relevant NAE podcasts:
Michael Carrion | How COVID Is Impacting Communities of Color
Amy Simpson | Mental Illness, Suicide and the Church
- Read the Fall 2020 Evangelicals Magazine | Today’s Crisis Has Multiplied & Exposed Trauma: How Will the Church Respond?
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union.