Embrace your faith. Your first reaction may be to ask how or why God would ever allow such a thing to happen. We live in a fallen world, and it certainly isn’t “God’s will” for an evil man to decide to try and make a name for himself by doing such an atrocious act. God is broken hearted Himself over such tragic events. Take the time to pray, meditate, or just be quiet.
Allow yourself time to grieve and heal. It is understandable that you have to be in control of your emotions while on your job. You wouldn’t be able to do your job effectively if you didn’t. However, when you are off the clock, you don’t have to cram your emotions down. Give yourself permission to cry, yell, or be emotional for a while; and then don’t feel guilty about it.
Finally, talk to a safe person. Go to your chaplain, pastor, or a trusted friend and share your heart. Remember, you don’t have to share the “gory details” but you can share how it made you feel. If you find yourself not feeling better within a few days seek help. Don’t suffer through it alone.
Horrible things happen every day. We can’t always be cushioned from the devastating blows of life. But our experiences all make us stronger. We may find that something we have gone through will enable us to help someone else who may not be as strong as we are. We may be able to help them go through a difficult life experience.
About The Author:
Chaplain Terry Morgan is an ordained minister with over 25 years of experience. He has spent over 12 years as a law enforcement chaplain. He was most recently the Senior Chaplain and Executive Director for the Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, an agency with 63 paid and volunteer chaplains. He is a Master Chaplain Level member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains, and is a member of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. He is Board Certified in Emergency Crisis Response through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. And he is a member in good standing, of the California Peer Support Association (CPSA).
Chaplain Morgan earned his Masters degree in Ministry in Public Safety, with an emphasis on Law Enforcement Chaplaincy from Trinity Biblical University and his Bachelors degree in Theology from Pacific Coast Bible College. He has taught Bible college courses, and teaches crisis counseling for chaplains. He is an expert in dealing with traumatic stress, and stress management. He has been frequently published in Officer.com magazine on a variety of topics related to law enforcement. He teaches various ministries how to help their own parishioners through critical incidents, crisis, and traumatic events, while exercising good stress management techniques and preventing compassion fatigue or burn out in their ministers.