Key Verse: Psalm 62: 5-8 says, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
This could be one of the hardest articles I will write because it hits home for so many families around the world. My heart is led to speak out about the struggles of dealing with
PTSD and how I have learned to find my hope in the midst of a never ending battle.
The downs seem to come more than the ups. Blurred lines of the man I married with the man he has become. Unsure thoughts of what the right words are to comfort him and me. The worst part of living so close to someone suffering from PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is the loss of hope. Hope for what we once had as a married couple. Hope that we will have what we once called “normal”. Hope that there is recovery and no more medications needed for normal every day functions.
How do we move past the
pain and confusion of life circumstances and into the precious revelations of God’s promises?
Through the years of
heartache in dealing with the daily effects that PTSD has on my husband and our family, I have come to the realization that I need to be reminded of where my hope is found. My life has not played out as I expected. And what I started out with fourteen years ago has drastically changed. My husband has been through and seen things that no man should ever have to see and as a result his body has developed a way to cope with thoughts and sounds. This affects absolutely everything.
With David being diagnosed with PTSD, his VA doctors have decided that it is in his best interest to take certain medications to help regulate all the imbalance caused from war within his body. There is a night and day difference in my husband when he is on these medications versus off them. In the past few years I have figured out what to look for and how to speak the right way in different situations, but I am still a work in progress and not a professional in this field. I just live it every day.
So, where does my hope come from when my husband is having a hard day with his PTSD? What do I read? How do I calm myself down when I feel attacked? Where is my haven? How do I get back on track?
First, you must know that I do not count myself as a victim of this circumstance. Living with PTSD is harder for my husband than it ever will be for me to live with him. God has allowed this to enter our life and we are learning to trust in Him with each and every day of this. Second, our lives are eternally in His hands and we will never forget that. God can heal this and God will heal this in His timing or we will learn to adapt until He comes.
My hope comes from the Lord. He is all I need and when I have a hard day, I cry out to Him and He answers in so many different ways. I read Scripture to remind me of where my hope is and that I am not alone. Scriptures such as, Psalm 34: 18 that say, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 39:7, “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” Verses that include Psalm 42:5, Psalm 62: 5-8, Psalm 71:5 and Psalm 119:114 I will also write out and place where I can see those most.
If you or someone you love struggles with PTSD there is hope and others who know exactly what you are dealing with. I want to encourage you to talk to someone if you are not already, as a way to get out what
heartache is there. I would love to talk with you and encourage you through this time. PTSD comes from more than just war and each person struggles in their own way. Be the support that your loved one needs during this time.
Lord, You and You alone know the struggle and loss that each of us are going through with PTSD. Remind us that You are our HOPE. We can cry out to You and You will answer. When we need comfort, You are there. Lord, place in our path someone whom we can confide and talk to about this disorder so that we can find our peace in You. Thank You for this trial and all we will learn from this. In Your name, amen.