A Soldier’s Fearful Battle to Survive

++++I am very excited to announce we have a new guest blogger. Michael Thorin is joining us each month on the third Sunday of each month. He has some inspiring thoughts and ideas to share. His first post is about PTSD, and how he found his way out of the fog of this world. 

_____________________________________________________________

I am so honored to be with you each day sharing hope. The outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. There are over 50 new subscribers a day. The site just past 106,000 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

+ WE HAVE A WINNER IN OUR PROMOTION.  THE PERSON WHO HAS THE 105,00O REGISTRATION WILL WIN SOME NICE PRIZES. 

We are starting a new promotion tonight. The person who is our 110,000 followers will win some great prizes. As you can see it goes fast. Don‘t miss out. 

_____________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. We need to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more updates about the new book.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

“Where Were You? Where Are You? Where Are You Going?”

This will be written from my perspective on how I chose to cope with PTSD, and how my decisions brought me from a wrecked marriage, anger and depression to a life full of love, joy, and comfort.

Where Was I?

First off, I served 3 months in Afghanistan as a medic for OEF, and then a year and a half in Iraq as a scout. I was assigned to a gun truck platoon performing convoy security and route recon operations on the most dangerous roads in Iraq.

This time was spent dodging bullets, getting hit by IED’s, and essentially being targeted over 90% of the time. I saw things and did things that had no effect on me at the time. I was simply numb to what was going on around me. I had become callous as my family was back home growing more and more emotional, while I lost my emotions to a darkness to the fog of war, and its’ effect on my body, mind and soul.

Where Am I?

Yesterday I was preparing a devotional, and I was hit with a wave of emotions. The devotional is simply related to the effects of PTSD, and how the VA approaches its treatment of PTSD. My wife had forced me to receive treatment in 2014, or she was taking the kids and leaving me.

Something snapped. Since I had gotten home at the end of 2006, I was miserable. Worse, I made my wife and daughters lives painful and miserable as well. I received treatment and still could not get rid of the nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, lack of trust, and my inability to feel any semblance of emotion. I was essentially a zombie with an attitude and a short fuse.

I was broken.

During my time of PTSD counselling, I found one thing very interesting; the counselors could provide self-help techniques for me, but they could not offer me what I needed: redemption and forgiveness.

What I found interesting was that all of the techniques could bring you back from the bad, but could never help you resolve the bad. While I was receiving tips, I was not receiving forgiveness, and this is what I believe to be the root of the problem.

One of my biggest problems was my inability to feel emotions for what I had been through. I thought I should feel guilty, but I didn’t. I thought I should be upset, but I wasn’t.

What kind of a person was I? Where are my emotions and why does nothing in my family concern me?

I was no longer worthy of my family’s love, and I was determined to drive everything I loved away from me, because no one could understand what I was going through. I began having fits of rage and anger.

I needed forgiveness, pure and simple. I needed to know I was still worth something, and that I wasn’t too far gone to become human again. The only way I could feel forgiven was to seek forgiveness from a higher power. The second person I needed forgiveness from was myself, and then my family. I needed to right my wrongs there and then, or I would not be able to go on with my future in peace.

My choice was relying on my Christian faith and realizing that I was worth so much that Christ had hung on the cross, beaten and torn, for me. I was worth forgiveness, and I believe I cried for an hour when that finally hit me.

Where Am I Going?

While I was fumbling through some pictures to prepare the devotional on PTSD I spoke about earlier, I found one that made me stop and thank God for the miracles he worked, and how blessed I was to have not taken the “easy” way out and gave myself a chance at life, a chance to be as close to normal as possible, and that was the answer.

I was no longer beyond saving. I was no longer worthless. I was no longer the guy that could not rectify what he had seen and done with what he was “supposed” to be. I was finally human again, and not an emotionless robot.

This picture made me realize the importance of forgiveness and redemption; they are invaluable tools in the fight against PTSD and veteran suicides.

I hung in and persevered through my faith, and continue to grow and see miracles and blessings in my life, and the lives of those I care about and love. Had I given up, I would have never experienced the miracles of seeing my daughters grow, and then give us two beautiful grandchildren.

My miracle is that I am still here to enjoy my family, and had I given up in the dark days, I would have never been around to see the brilliance of these good days. As I sit here writing this blog I can’t help but shudder at the thought of my never getting a chance to see these two miracles.

Asking for forgiveness is not that hard, accepting that we have received forgiveness is another matter. I found that my comfort in Christ was the only reason I can write this blog. It is simply a miracle. Reach out and find forgiveness, and you should also forgive yourself. It makes life work, or at least it has not failed me yet.

Where do you want to go with your future, and who will you rely on to get there?

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Theodore Roosevelt

_________________________________________________

Michael Thorin

Fultonale, Alabama

 

 

 

 

Share This Post
Share

I Hate My Dad

For one of our promotions you have to have subscribed and have a valid email address for us to connect with, to award you your prizes. 

We are growing very fast. Thanks to all of you who have been joining us.  

We are staring a new promotion. The next winner will be the one that gets us to 83,000. We just past 80,560. It will go fast as we have been averaging close to 60 new subscribers a day. There are nice prizes, so don’t miss out. Subscribe today. Just click on the icon right after the title to do that.

____________________________________________________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, has written a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It will be reaching out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides ever day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics. Doug sent off his mini proposal to an agent who is very interested in his concept. We will update you when we hear more.

____________________________________________________________________________

One of the greatest feelings I have is to be with family. I am at my happiest when I am able to laugh and enjoy talking with my children and grandchildren. This evening I will be going to watch my beautiful granddaughter Anna perform in a hip hop type dance contest.

Being with family is very important in our world today. So many homes are broken up from divorce, or a loss of a love one.

Think about your own situation. Are you close with your family? Do you have some family members you are having difficulty with?

This old retired teacher is going to give you an assignment. Write a list of all your family, including brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, spouses, mother and father.

Leave space between each one so you can write your feelings about each of them. Do not hold back. If you are having a problem with your brother write it down and say why. If you dearly love your mom, write it down and say why.

Do this through the whole list. Then put it away and think about it over night.

The next day get it back out and see what you can do to correct the difficult spots, and also see why you are getting along so well with other members.

Draw wisdom from the successful ones to help you smooth over the problem areas.

Trust me, this could be one of the hardest things you will ever be assigned. It may be hard to see your feelings for someone. It may hurt you by reading what you have wrote.

However, if you really open up your mind to what you see and do something to correct it, it may also be the biggest blessing you ever could have.

Healed wounds, forgiven hearts, new positive relationships. All these things could happen. I know it happened to  me with one of my close family members.

Don’t let another day go by without you doing this assignment. There are no grades. There isn’t even a pass/fail grade, It is just a me-myself-and I set-up. Only you will know what you write and only you can follow through.

God is the one that will know your thoughts. Do something to please Him, and He will give you much more in return than you could imagine.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

 

 

Share This Post
Share

We Are All Under Construction

For one of our promotions you have to have subscribed and have a valid email address for us to connect with, to award you your prizes. 

We are growing very fast. Thanks to all of you who have been joining us.  

We just finished another promotion with great prizes involved. We just passed 80,000 subscribers. This is a huge milestone for us.  
We have notified the winning of the prizes for the person who is our 80,000th subscriber.  This promotion went fast. We have many new subscribers each day.
We are starting a new promotion with new prizes. The next promotion will be when we reach 85,000. This seems like a far away deal, but we are getting over 60 new subscribers a day. It will go fast.
So don’t wait. Subscribe today. Just click on the icon right after the title to do that.
_________________________________________________________________________
It is so good to have our guest bloggers back in the fold after our recent shut down. Tonight it is Jeannie Pallett, preparing is for the new year. Thank you Jeannie.
____________________________________________________________________________________
Under Construction
This is my first post for 2016 and as I think about this past year, I am aware of so many changes.  Heart changes especially.  I think of how God has never left our side or ceased in His thoughts about us.  His good plans are continually unfolding and He has been faithful to help us find our way through the wilderness into the pleasant place He has prepared for us.
He has placed us right where we are for purposes that are solely His and my heart needs to continually yield to His so I might know and walk fully in in those purposes.  It is the will of God alone that will give true meaning to our lives and they will be fruit bearing too.  And aren’t we all wanting to bear fruit if we are His children?  The gifts He has given us, the special and particular way He has created and shaped us are gifts we dare not squander.  He places us in specific areas and connects us with people whose hearts He unites ours with and He then moves in us so our giftings flow.
We have seen this very thing as a result of our recent move.  He has amazed us in the preparations He has made for us in our neighbourhood and connecting us right away with His sons and daughters.  He presented us with a choice too.  Would we attend the same ‘stream’ of church or would we be willing to go where He lead us?  It’s true, we attended three churches whose denomination we have been involved with over the years, but in not one did we have the sense that we belonged.
We chose the new and unfamiliar because we were not blind to the leading of the Lord.  Though the church and people be unfamiliar, we have known we have been placed for purpose and our hearts have already been forged in unity with some precious believers who love God with a depth that blesses my heart.
I am under construction and seeking to love God with all my heart.  The same way our physical home is under construction as it is being renovated, so God is making changes in my heart.  He does not want me to stay the same, He wants to beautify me with the fullness of His salvation, just like we want to beautify our home.  We saw good bones in our home, and today I am sensing God is saying there is life in our bones and He wants to breathe the beauty of His new life into us; into me.  The foundation and walls are good and strong, they are well built  but there are still some touch ups necessary.
Are you aware of any changes God is wanting to make in your heart’s home?  Is He perhaps leading you in a way you have not been before?  If we have been to a place before, we do not need to be lead, and since God is always wanting and ready to do that ‘new thing’ should we not be always holding His hand and asking Him for eyes to behold the new?
Asking Him for eyes to see and a heart that loves Him more in the new year.
Blessing you, I wish you all a new year filled with His promises unfolding.
Love Jeannie
Share This Post
Share

Taking Steps in Faith Can Change a Life

Thanks to all of you who have been subscribing to our site. It has been tremendous. We just passed 66,300 subscribers. We look forward to many more of you joining us in the future. Our goal is to reach 70,000 by the end of the year.

Why is this happening? We provide daily words of encouragement and hope. Many of you come here to find help with anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, self-doubt, hopelessness and the many other usual suspects.

Help us to keep growing by subscribing yourself if you haven’t already. You can do this by clicking on the icon right after the title to do that.

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Growing in Boldness and Grace

Do you ever feel really passionately about trying something new, but lack the courage to step out and try it?

Or maybe you have always wanted to travel?

Its like the feeling you get before you talk to your first crush. You have anticipated the moment for so long that when the moment finally comes your heart begins to beat louder than ever before!

When we begin to walk a new trail in life we can experience several things, and depending on the road you are taking it will be either a good feeling or a bad one. That because God speaks to the heart of man, and councils him in the ways of God. If you make bad decisions you will feel guilt, shame, remorse, anger, frustration, anxiety… etc. But if you you make good decisions you will be experiencing the love, and joy that God pours out as a blessing to those who are walking in obedience to His will.

Sometimes when we first begin to step out in faith and make the decision to love with grace and boldness we will feel a sense of stress or anxiety. Its completely normal to feel that way, and that is a good thing! You will feel very uncomfortable when you begin to follow God’s voice, but don’t worry, the reason God sent the Holy Spirit is to be our comforter.

When we do what God tells us to do things will become uncomfortable, that is why God sent the Holy Spirit, our Comforter.

When I first began to step out in faith I decided to take a big step. I felt like God was leading me to leave my job that paid well and had great bonuses to spend my summer at camp teaching kids about Jesus. I wrestled over the decision for a few weeks, but finally it came to the point where I couldn’t ignore the voice of God anymore, I had to go to camp.

I quite my job and two days later I left for camp! I was really nervous, and really excited, something inside me felt like fireworks going off. I was taking a step of faith and I couldn’t wait to see how God would bless me throughout the summer.

God showed up in ways I never could have imagined, I made almost no money during the summer, but that didn’t prevent God from blessing me. After I got back from the summer I found out that my parents had received a huge financial blessing which they decided to use to buy me a car and my books for school.

I believe God loves me and cares for me. When I walk in His ways it gets Him excited and he pours out blessings on me. Those same blessing are just waiting for you, all you have to do is trust in Jesus with everything in your life. He loves you and He wants to take care of you. Trust Him and don’t be afraid to step out in faith and follow His lead. It will be the best decision you ever make.

I hope you are encouraged, and remember:

Everything in this world will someday fade away, but Love never ends.

Taylor Wilkins
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Area Representative Salem Oregon

+ Support Taylor Wilkins, who is now a minister through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. (FCA) His dedication to young people is being a true servant of God.You can help him reach out to young people by going to the below link and donating to his mission:

 

Share This Post
Share