Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World


Written by: on April 17, 2023

In his bestselling book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, the author discusses the impact of trauma on the body. His groundbreaking research details the impact of trauma on the body. He writes,

Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think… For real change to take place, the body needs to learn that the danger has passed and to live in the reality of the present. Our search to understand trauma has led us to think differently not only about the structure of the mind but also about the process by which it heals. [1]

I purchased this book over a year ago as part of my research on mental health for my NPO. I chose mental health as my area of research because of my own journey. I want to share with you excerpts from journals, poems I have written, and stories of my own trauma journey. My experience highlights how trauma affects the body, how living in a state of trauma can cause anything to feel like a life or death situation. My journey shows how we can heal from trauma and the importance of God in the healing process. I openly share about my struggles in the hope of letting someone know they are not alone in their struggles, in the hope of reducing the negative stigma surrounding mental health, and in the hope of being an inspiration to others.

Six years ago today, I entered a six-week residential treatment program for suicidal depression. Just days before, I was on the floor of my closet holding a bottle of Norco and thinking about taking every last pill and ending my life. I am so grateful I reached out to a friend of mine and did not take those pills. My time in the residential program and the partial hospitalization program I was in before and afterward changed my life.


In a public post on Facebook, I shared my story. I talked about the trauma I experienced as a child and how it has impacted me. You can read the rest of the post and the comments here, but here is an excerpt from that post:

Most of my issues stem from childhood feelings of rejection, abandonment, isolation, lack of validation, and a lack of affection. According to my psychiatrist, these feelings create far more trauma than abuse. My parents were far from perfect, but they did the best they could with what they had. They simply were not able to give me what I needed. I love them and I will always be grateful that my mother chose to keep me – I was an “oops” baby. I am thankful that they loved me to the best of their ability.[2]

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, was my first day in a partial hospitalization program. In one session, we were asked to express how we were feeling at the time. I wrote this poem:


Thoughts swirl in an unending torrent…

     no beginning and no end

I feel lost and alone, trapped in the

     darkness of my mind

Every choice, every decision, every action

     seems to point to failure

What is the point of my life

     What good have I done?

Is anyone better for my existence?

Would they be better off without me?

The smallest task is overwhelming,

     the simplest conversation too much to bear

I want my life to mean something,

     yet I fear that it is pointless…

Is there any hope for me?

     I feel so alone…

Will anybody notice…

                     … if I just disappear? [3]

While I was in the residential program, I attended regular therapy sessions. My therapist introduced me to a new tool called Brainspotting. I think this experience highlights how we store trauma in our brain. I wrote the following passage in my journal from that day:


TO MY YOUNGER SELF – April 30, 2017

[One of the tools we used in therapy is called Brainspotting. This therapy allows you to access traumatic memories and feelings in such a way that your brain can heal parts of itself. It was incredible to go through a memory and feel the emotions of the moment – fear, anger, depression, anxiety – and then feel those emotions fade away as my brain healed.

For most of my life, I have felt like I was on the outside looking in – nearby, but never part of the crowd. I had friends, but always questioned whether or not they really liked me. I never felt like I belonged. Working on this emotion in brainspotting, I went back to my childhood and a time where I felt isolated and alone. I spoke to my inner child and assured her that everything would be okay. That day was the first time in my life where I said to myself, “I love you” and actually meant it and believed it. I wrote about what I would say to my younger self, if given the opportunity.]

I know you are frightened

     and you feel so alone

Trapped in the isolation

     of your mind

I know that you do not

     know how to handle

These overwhelming feelings

     that encompass you

The darkness feels threatening

     and you do not feel safe

I know that you wonder

     if anybody cares

If they know that you are lying

     so alone and scared
I want to tell you something

     listen close, my dear

It is okay to cry

     it is okay to feel afraid

But I want you to know

     that you are not alone

And remember this

     your feelings do not define you

I am here with you

     and God is watching over you

I want to remind you

     of some important Truths

You, my dear, are lovely,

     beautiful beyond compare

You are a priceless treasure

     uniquely created for a purpose

Darling, you are not alone

     I am right here with you

When you feel this way

     know that God is carrying you

And sweetheart, most importantly

     I want you to know
You are accepted just as you are

You are loved just as you are
You are redeemed just as you are

There is nothing you have to do

     nothing you can do
To earn acceptance, love, redemption

     God already paid the price[4]

Journal Entry – May 20, 2017

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

Yesterday, I had a moment where I felt myself getting triggered – I could feel my heart begin to speed up and my body begin to tighten, I started to feel nauseous. But I was able to recognize it, breathe through it, and watch it, feel it just melt away. It felt so wonderful and empowering. I feel like I have come so far.

I am learning that discomfort does indeed pass. I can sit in it. I can make it through. I feel so light, so free… like I have carried the weight of the world my entire life and I have finally let go of it… I have finally set aside the things that are not mine to carry – the lies I

have believed, the burdens that are not mine, the shame of never feeling good enough or feeling like I belong.



On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, I graduated from my program. I wrote this poem that morning to describe my journey.


In the midst of darkness, of never-ending midnight

I had no hope for dawn
I thought this night would never end

And I wanted this shadow to envelope me,

To release me from my pain

But my will to live was stronger
Than my desire to die
I struggled and fought against the darkness

I cried out in my agony and despair
And to my surprise, someone heard me

Tenacity took over and I embraced change

At first, my steps were shaky, tentative
I stumbled and fell over and over again
I thought I would never find my way out

Of the torment of my mind

But with each stumble, with each fall
I learned and grew stronger
I found courage to face another day
In the words of my friends, the embrace of my loved ones

And the arms of my loving Father

Each triumph propelled me forward

Gave me hope to face another day

And slowly, the darkness lifted
I could see the colors of dawn

Begin to spread across my life

As I step into this new dawn
Eager to leave the darkness behind I

 know that the shadow always waits

Ready to try and pull me back down

Into that eternal blackness

But now, I am prepared
I know how to navigate the night

How to push back the darkness
I am assured that I am never alone

And that dawn always comes

The brilliant colors of a new day

Surround and envelope me now
I feel the warmth of the sun, of the Son

Life and vitality await as I finally take hold

Of the knowledge that I am loved

I see my destiny before me

Shining in the brightness of the dawn

The possibilities are endless
As I embrace life and love and joy

And I am at peace[6]


I am still a work in progress. I still get triggered and I still struggle. However, in the midst of my struggles, I am better equipped. I know my feelings are temporary. I know that I can make it through the uncomfortable moment. Van Der Kolk writes, “Trauma constantly confronts us with our facility and with man’s inhumanity to man but also with our extraordinary resilience.”[7] The human body is an amazing creation of God. I have found the resilience, the adaptability through help and hard work. We are a world going through post traumatic stress and I know so many people who are struggling, who do not know how to respond. I will continue to do my part, to do my research, share my story, and be a voice of hope.

Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

* If you are interested in reading more about my journey, here is a PDF of my poems and journal entries from that time:

My Journey Out Of Darkness

[1] Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.  (New York, Penguin Books, 2014), pg. 21.

[2] Becca Marie Hald, Facebook Post, June 6, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.hald/posts/pfbid0TrN1tuQpyaDN4oZpnTxeZdhcFSccXvcAv3TTK1oTzGrDpLXrtTgh4VrnSEX37HLil

[3] Becca Hald, Disappear: Poem. March 28, 2017.

[4] Becca Hald, To My Younger Self: Journal Entry and Poem. April 30, 2017.

[5] Becca Hald, May 20, 2017: Journal Entry. May 20, 2017.

[6] Becca Hald, Dawn: Poem. July 11, 2017.

[7] Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.  (New York, Penguin Books, 2014), pg. 358.

About the Author


Becca Hald

Becca is an ordained Foursquare minister, serving as the Online Community Pastor at Shepherd's House Church. She has over twenty-five years of leadership experience both inside and outside the church. Becca has served her community in many capacities ranging from Administrative Assistant and Children’s Ministry Director to Secretary and President of multiple school organizations. She and her husband, Andrew have been married for over 25 years. They have two adult children, Drew and Evelyn. Her great passion is to equip others, to raise awareness about mental health, and to help reduce the negative stigma surrounding mental health issues. In her free time, she loves going to Disneyland, reading, sewing, and making cards.

8 responses to “DISAPPEAR to DAWN And Beyond”

  1. Becca,

    I am so glad that we have been able to get to know each other and that you are in our cohort reminding us how important the mental health conversation is. Thank you for sharing your journey and your story with us!
    I really appreciate when you say, “I’m still a work in progress.” This is so true for all of us and so important to remember. We get in. rush to “be finished” to “be complete”, to “be better” but it is a work in progress, a journey, a story being written every day. Thank you!

  2. Becca,

    Thank you for sharing your story and journey with us. I look forward to reading your NPO. God Bless.

  3. Becca – This was a precious post to me. I’ve been through a similar dark night of the soul and understand your passion for sharing your story so that others may know they are not alone. I’m excited to read more about brainspotting and potentially incorporating into my NPO on resilience. Thank you!

    • mm Becca Hald says:

      Thank you Laura. Psalm 23:4 reminds us “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;” Even though – David does not question that we will walk through the darkest valley, he reminds us that God goes there with us. I find this so comforting.

      Brainspotting was such a unique experience. It continually amazes me what we are learning about the brain. I am glad to be able to contribute to your research.

  4. Alana Hayes says:


    What an amazing post. I enjoyed reading your original FB post and going through each one of the comments stating that YOU ARE LOVED.

    Thank you for sharing your journey! Im proud of your courage! It just may save someone’s life!

    • mm Becca Hald says:

      Thank you Alana. I think what really showed me how much I had grown when I wrote that post was my ability to ignore the negative comments from my mother and sister. I remember thinking about what I should do – do I reply, delete the comment, or ignore it. I decided to just ignore it and my friend Vikki challenged them. I did not have to say anything. I know that not too long before that time I would have missed out on every positive comment and only seen those few negative ones. I am grateful for my journey and my growth. I am grateful for the reminders that I am loved.

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