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Repetition Soothes the Soul

By Marlene Houk

Burke CountyMarlene Houk Burke County


Isaiah 40:1 “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.”

My friend, Michelle Medlock Adams, scattered repeated phrases throughout her little board book called, How Much Does God Love You?

During a conversation with my daughter, an elementary teacher, she helped me connect the repetition in Isaiah 40:1 and the repetition in children’s books with a simple yet profound social/ emotional principle.

In her job, my daughter interacts with about 100 children every day. Sometimes, adverse childhood experiences blindside these children. (And, many of us, like them, wade through traumatic tragedies at least once in our lives.) How do teachers access trauma-informed resources?

Educational leaders encourage teachers to learn trauma-informed strategies, and books about the trauma-informed classroom abound. When I researched the books available on Amazon, there were 12 pages of book titles. Also helpful are the school counselor, behavior specialist, social worker, and exceptional children’s teachers to help the classroom teacher recognize emotional issues and offer support to their students.

In addition to school specialists, blogs (internet articles) shed much light on understanding why traumatized children behave in certain ways when they need security and reassurance.

Jamie Finn, who blogs at,, answers questions about being trauma-informed. A follower asked her: Do children ask questions they know the answers to for attachment?

The answer is yes because their need to form healthy attachments includes felt needs for security and safety.

My jaw dropped. Isaiah 40:1 immediately came to mind. God repeats Himself when assuring His people. The idea of repetition presents a practical yet powerful way to reassure others of God’s truths to hold us steady in the storms of life.

When life falls apart everyone needs reassurance that God will comfort us. Even though we’ve heard the truth a myriad of times, our souls find security and safety in repetition.

Verses like the following underscore this principle.

  1. Psalm 23:4 “…thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
  2. Psalm 119:50 “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.”
  3. Matthew 9:22 “…Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” 
  4. 2 Corinthians 1:3 “…Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;” 

I thought of how many times God repeats the truth in the Bible and how He comforts us with these repetitions.

When we answer the same question over and over we are actually using a trauma-informed method that comforts the person we’re talking to.

I encourage you to try this when you’re answering someone upset. They may already know the Bible verses about Jesus being the light in their world or Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life. They (and we) just need to hear the truth again to be comforted.


Marlene is an author and teacher of Bible studies. She may be reached at

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Blue Ridge Christian News covers Avery County, Burke County, McDowell County, Mitchell County, Yancey County, and Madison County in North Carolina, and Christian news from around the country.