The Healing Power of Imagination
Healing from childhood trauma is hard. There is no shortcut, no quick fix, no magic potion that removes all the pain and disruption created by abuse. When my healing journey began, in February 1987, I wanted a quick fix. I told my therapist, “I will be done by Easter.” I thought I could plow through the newly emerging memories quickly and get on with my life. My rush to heal almost cost me my life because I pushed myself to the brink of insanity. Some who knew me, including my daughter, would say I went beyond the brink. I desperately wanted to know everything and wanted to know it NOW!
While I had a personal relationship with Christ, my image of Him and His love was distorted and unrealistic.
I sometimes viewed Christ with anger and resentment for not stopping the abuse, but as I wrote in The Problem of Evil, my faith in God sustained me. I desperately wanted God to zap away my pain. With each step into the darkness, I wanted God to rescue me. I wanted to see the light he promised me when I was eleven years old. All I could see was darkness, and I longed for the light. There were glimpses of light as memories of His presence surfaced. He was there in those moments when I thought all was lost. He protected my soul. As time passed, I realized that healing was a process, a journey, not an Instagram story that would disappear in a few hours. I also developed a closer, more personal relationship with Christ.
Imagination along with reason allowed me to put the pieces of my jumbled life together.
In his essay, ‘Bluspels and Flalansferes, A Semantic Nightmare,’ Lewis defines imagination as “the organ of meaning” and reason as “the natural organ of truth.” By using the term “organ” to describe imagination and reason, Lewis provides a concrete vehicle to discuss the relationship between these important principles. By one definition, an organ can be, “a part of an organism that is typically self-contained and has a specific vital function, such as the heart or liver in humans.”  Lewis’s expands the idea by explaining that “Imagination is the organ of meaning and meaning is the antecedent condition both of truth and falsehood… Reason is the natural organ of truth…Imagination is not the cause of truth… but its condition.” In, Can You Hear Me, Now? I explain different ways that imagination aided my healing process. I drew pictures to tell my story when words failed me. I wrote poetry, and I told a story. I had dialogs with God that resembled a movie script.
Imagination brings thoughts to life. Imagination can transform a life event into a readable story that points to redemption. The Spring 2019 issue of “An Unexpected Journal” published by a group of students and alums of the Master of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University demonstrates the power and importance of imagination. My daughter, Korine Martinez, transformed the near-death experience that I shared last week on the YouTube video, Near-Death Experience-an Unexpected Conversation into a powerful fictional short story. The story, “Light in the Darkness,” is included in the current issue. The story beautifully captures the essence of my experience while telling a compelling story of redemption, hope and overcoming evil. Korine’s vivid descriptions, captivating narrative and dynamic characters bring new life and meaning to the event. Light in the darkness demonstrates the power of imagination through storytelling.
 C. S. Lewis, Selected Literary Essays, ed. Walter Hooper, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 265.
 Oxford online Dictionary, accessed 3/28/16, www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/organ).
 Lewis, Selected Literary Essays, 265.