Importance of Addressing Emotional Trauma

Some years ago, in my search for healing from the effects of childhood trauma, I began seeing a Christian counselor.  At first, condemning thoughts confused me. As a child, I knew that talking about the violence in our home was forbidden.  I wondered, was I dishonoring my parents by talking about it in the privacy of a counselor’s office?

Knowing people who’d grown up in similar situations and who seemed to be doing well increased my self-condemnation.  I thought that my need to see a counselor meant I was weak or that there was something terribly wrong with me.  What I didn’t know then was that I’d minimized the harm of childhood trauma, something many people do.

In spite of these condemning thoughts, I continued counseling.  My life was so dysfunctional I felt I had no choice. Then one day, I had an epiphany that gave me the permission I needed to continue the work of healing. Though the epiphany was specific to my childhood growing up in the Christian church, it brings truth to all people who need to give themselves permission to seek healing from trauma.

This was my epiphany:  In our church, if someone was hit by a train and recovering in the hospital, people would send flowers, come to visit, bring meals to the family, offer to babysit, help with shopping and cleaning, and pray for healing.  If the accident victim needed ongoing physical therapy or more surgeries, people would not question the need for continued help.  Because they understood that healing from physical trauma takes time, they would not think the person was being selfish or weak. Support would be generously given.

In contrast, if a person had been “hit by a train” emotionally (by some traumatic life event – domestic violence, being raped, being bullied, sexual abuse) the need for help was either ignored or viewed with suspicion.  As the traumatized person stumbled toward healing, they experienced impatience from those who wondered what was wrong with their spiritual lives. There were no flowers, no meals, no offers of help, and few offers of prayer. Those who experienced an emotional train-wreck were told to focus on serving those less fortunate to help put their own suffering into perspective.

With this epiphany, I saw how easily people understand the need to heal from physical trauma, yet how the need to heal from emotional trauma is at best misunderstood, and at worst, judged as frivolous and selfish.

Putting this subject in the context of the Bible and Christianity, I see that just as God cares about the health of our bodies, He cares about the health of our hearts and emotions. When we hurt, He hurts.  Like a good dad, He wants to help make things better.


We see one of Jesus’ purposes in coming stated in Isaiah 61:1a: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted.”  (KJV)

Though I memorized this verse as a child, because I’d minimized the damage that had been done, I didn’t think it applied to me. When I realized my heart was broken, I invited Jesus to begin healing me.  He has, and His care for my heart has changed my life.  When the healing work is painful or takes longer than I would like, knowing I can trust Jesus’ care for my heart has given me courage to continue moving forward.

Seeking healing from the effects of childhood trauma has been one of the most important things I’ve ever done. It has made everything better.

In future blog posts, I will write about some specific areas in my life that have been healed.

If your life has been impacted by trauma, I encourage you to consider seeking healing.  If you have minimized the effects of trauma and have believed that seeking healing means you are weak or that something is wrong with you, I encourage you to begin to acknowledge the damage that has been done, and to seek healing.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Please let me know if you have questions, or if you have stories to share about the importance of healing in your life.

If you found value in this post, please subscribe by joining the mailing list at the top of this blog.  If you have friends who might benefit from reading about this topic, please share this post and my website with them.  Thank you.


Tri-State Christian Television Interview

“God works in mysterious ways!”

That quote raced through my mind as I read the email stating that Tri-State Christian Television (TCT-TV) wanted to interview me.  Rereading the email, as my mind slowed down, I thought, “God really does work in mysterious ways – only He could have orchestrated something like this.”

Two weeks later, Tom Nolan from TCT-TV called via Zoom for the interview.  His questions focused on my life as it relates to my book The Riven Tree.

He asked about the violence in my childhood that resulted in a distorted view of God’s expectations.  He asked about God’s healing in my life, and about the vision that prompted me to write my book.

Throughout the interview as Mr. Nolan and I talked, I wondered who might watch the show and if my experience would resonate with them. As I responded to questions, I prayed that my words would give viewers hope to believe that just as God had healed my heart, He could heal theirs as well.

When my book flashed on the screen behind Mr. Nolan, I thought about the vision that prompted me to write the book.  I hoped the words I’d so carefully penned would reach those who needed to hear it.

The interview aired on July 10th, and has been uploaded to my YouTube channel, The Riven Tree. Information about accessing the YouTube channel is provided at the end of this blog.

Two things to keep in mind as you watch the interview:

* When you click the YouTube link, the program begins with Mr. Nolan giving news of the world and information about TCT-TV.  After approximately six minutes, my interview begins.

*Once the interview starts, the sound during the first two questions is not stellar, though you will likely be able to understand me.  By the third question, I am easily heard and understood.

To watch the interview, go to and type The Riven Tree in the search bar.  The third channel down from the top is my channel with the video title, “TCT TV interview with Robby Kautz.”

After watching the interview, if you have thoughts or questions, please let me know.  I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading this blog, and thank you in advance for watching the interview.


Why I wrote “The Riven Tree”

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

I wrote The Riven Tree because I received a vision that healed a deep wound in my heart and changed my life, and I wanted to share it with others whose lives have been harmed by trauma.

This is the full story.

In 2004 while attending a silent retreat in Burlingame, California, God gave me a vision of two trees.  One tree stood tall and beautiful. The other tree’s growth was twisted and awkward.  Through this vision, God tenderly showed me how He saw my growth from childhood.

I grew up in a home ruled by domestic violence, and decisions I made about staying safe as a child created dysfunction in my adult life.  I knew I was different than others and believed there was something wrong with me.  As a result, I worked to do more, and to be more, in an attempt be seen as a person of value.

Prior to receiving the vision, I’d sought healing through Christian counseling, attending a co-dependency group, researching trauma and recovery, and praying for healing.

Receiving the vision of the two trees changed my life.  Instantly, I went from seeing myself as a misfit and awkward, to seeing myself as God saw me.  The vision also gave me new understanding, as, for the first time, I was able to internalize how the violence in my childhood shaped my growth.

Two months after receiving the vision, in a chapel service at the Christian high school where I taught, I told about the vision and its effect on my life.  The next day, a fellow teacher and friend said to me, “God didn’t give you that vision just for you.  You need to write a children’s book.”  I smiled in disbelief at the thought.  Yet, my friend’s words echoed in my mind when I met people who might benefit from such a book.  Three months later, her words echoed in my heart when another friend’s son gave the eulogy at his father’s memorial service: “Whatever God is calling you to do, do it now.  Don’t wait!”

I wondered, was this a call from God, or just a whim on my part? I prayed, “God, if you want me to write this book, I’m willing – I just need to know it’s your will.”

One day while praying for direction, I sensed God urging me to reread an old prayer journal.  Finding the journal, I read the words I’d written seven years before: “I want God to give me a definite call like He did to the apostle Paul.  I want it to be unmistakable and certain.”  In that moment, God’s Spirit spoke to my heart, “I have given you a definite call like I did for the apostle Paul.  I want you to write this book.”

Life has done much to distract me over the years, but God’s call faithfully drew me back to my writing desk.  Writing and publishing the book took much longer than I could have imagined, but I never doubted God had called me to the task.

There is one other reason I wrote this bookAfter receiving the vision, I looked back at the trauma in my childhood and the decisions that created such a mess of my life.  I saw how those decisions harmed my role-modeling as a mother, and as a result, how my children now bore the consequences of my brokenness.  I believe the message of the vision has the power to bring healing to others whose lives have been affected by trauma.  If that happens, their lives will be changed as well as the lives of future generations.  I have come to believe what my friend said – God didn’t give me the vision just for me, I needed to write a book.

One day, my husband saw me searching the thesaurus for a word.  He asked, “Why did you choose writing when it’s so hard for you?”  Without hesitation, I replied, “I didn’t choose writing, it chose me.”

Thought questions for “The Riven Tree”

I have created a packet of “Thought Questions” for those who purchase The Riven Tree.  These questions have been designed to give readers the opportunity to consider the book’s message in light of their own life-story.

If you would like a copy of these questions, click the “Contact” tab and type in your contact information.  Request a copy of the Thought Questions packet in the “Message” box, and I will email them to you in an attached file.

Welcome to My New Blog!

Welcome. My name is Robby Kautz, author of The Riven Tree. I’m so happy to have you as a visitor to my blog about my new book. This project is very special to me, and I hope to share some of that excitement with you here.

I’ll be using this blog to interact with you about The Riven Tree, expanding on some of the topics in it and posting on some of the ideas related to my book. This is a great place for you to get to know me, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you, too. What did you think of The Riven Tree? What questions do you have for me? How do you relate to my book?

I’ll be returning here frequently with new posts and responses to feedback from you. Until next time, tell me a little bit about yourself.