Beyond PTSD

I had an epiphany while doing the supper dishes. This time instead of just thinking great thoughts inside my head; I am writing it down.

I hope this will not sound horridly morbid to you, but I have to start in the muddy part to get to today’s higher ground. So bear with me. And I did not look up articles about the symptoms and cures for post traumatic stress disorder. I think we, PTSD and I, have been well enough acquainted to speak for ourselves without the help of experts. Besides some things do not need the over-blow-ment of research and statistics.

Elv and I have been through church struggles and people conflicts a few times. I hate to bring up the past so I won’t go into details. That’s not necessary for this thing that I discovered anyway. But there it is, people conflicts are messy and ouchy and they can drag on long after the carnage is decomposed and gone. How well we know. I think I’ve finally figured out what can actually bring healing and hope to people’s hearts. I know, this is not new news. But it seems like I should say it “aloud”.

I went through various stages of PTSD. I did the bad health part in my own dramatic way. That was not a fun step, but it’s done and I’m on the other side of that. One of the places that I got bogged in was believing that I had pulled the trigger or was at least partially responsible for every smoking gun. Not a good feeling. I believed this so well that I felt I needed to forgive myself for those guns. As sanity returned, I learned to ask myself questions like, “Who do you think you are anyway?” and sermons like, “You’re just a very little fish in a mighty big pond.” and “Nobody is noticing your issues.” Which gave me some much needed breathing space. It is rather freeing to realize that all of us had each our own little “hells” (lies and pain) happening inside of us and each of us thinking our own was so important. I realized anew that what we really each needed was to look up to Jesus for help.

There was one, seemingly small, inward act, equivalent to Corrie ten Boom’s decision to stretch out her hand when her persecutor asked for her forgiveness. One decision inside my heart that made the biggest difference. When I actively and sincerely decided to forgive people just as I wanted so badly to be forgiven. Only then could I get a balanced view of what really had happened and how we each need to take grace and give grace. Honestly, the scary moments of feeling targeted are getting further and further apart. Forgiveness has been by far the biggest answer to getting beyond PTSD. To forgive AS I want/need to be forgiven. Jesus prayed in the his proto-prayer, “Forgive us our debts, AS we forgive our debtors.” To say “I forgive her or him” in my heart in place of trying to solve. Say them to Jesus and ask Him to help you say them at each whispered rehearsal of your hurts. Jesus clearly hears those kinds of prayers. And He answers. I know this by experience.

Finally, having bigger fish to fry is happy and healthy for me. Gardening, writing, home making, music, and being grateful for every lovely day to live the Joy. Not to mention all the beautiful people in my life. There is so much to thank Him for.

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