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.