If you missed the first three installations of my PTSD Awareness series, you can find them here:
I thought up a new meaning for the PTSD acronym: when faced with this challenge, we need to ask for Patience, Trust, Strength, and Divine grace.
That was inspired by my favorite resource thus far: the book Wounded Warrior, Wounded Home by Marshele Carter Waddell. As I said last week, this is not a battle to fight alone, and I would not have a positive outlook right now if it weren’t for help I found outside myself. I read Wounded Warrior, Wounded Home during the last few weeks of Lent this year, and I began to find a spiritual meaning within the pain of PTSD. As I read, I highlighted paragraphs, made note of Biblical passages, and felt comforted when I read of other spouses who were seeing and feeling the same things as me.
If you have a loved one with PTSD, I highly recommend getting this book especially if you are coming at things from a Christian perspective. Below are some of my favorite passages:
“A warrior’s hurtful words and actions are not excused, but it helps to know that usually the soft targets are not to blame. Refusing to take your warrior’s anger personally is a key step…We can’t resolve the warrior’s issues, so that leaves one option for the here and now: identifying those things that we can affect or control and developing the inner resources to maintain a balance.” ~p. 68
“There are two types of PTSD sufferers: those who see PTSD as their new home, who have no intention of getting well or moving on, and those who are committed to passing through, who desire to get well and are teachable. The lie is that a vet and his/her family will never get out of this darkness, that his/her new, permanent address is in the valley of the shadow of PTSD. God tells us the opposite.” ~pp. 140-141
“Many Christian physicians, psychologists, social workers, and ministers believe that PTSD is not only a mental wound, but equally, or even more so, a spiritual wound as well. Trauma of any kind can cause a fissure in the soul of a man or woman.” ~p. 148
But one passage that resonated in my heart the most was this:
“Jesus knows a warrior’s heart and can make it whole again. He also recognizes the cry of the warrior’s family. Our Warrior, who was wounded for our ultimate protection and freedom, has promised to present us perfect, complete, and spot free to our heavenly Father one day.” ~p. 27
This put a whole new face on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus for me. There were so many times that I had thought, I feel so alone with this. But I was failing to remember the One who understands it all, the One who has waged war on our behalf, and the One who can heal all wounds. What was also comforting to me was that He knows and completely understands The Warrior. I know my limitations. I know that I will never truly “get it.” I’ve read books like On Combat and On Killing, I’ve watched documentaries and movies about war, and I’ve listened to The Warrior’s stories….but those things can NEVER amount to actually experiencing the trauma.
“Passing Through Someplace Dark” is Mrs. Waddell’s new definition of the PTSD acronym; and as we do that we should pray for Patience, Trust, Strength, and Divine grace. No matter what stage of PTSD we are in, each new day is a chance to renew our strength and hope for healing.