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. 

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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. 

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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.

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“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

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Michael Thorin

Fultonale, Alabama

 

 

 

 

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My Grace is Sufficient for You-God

We just started a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 90,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes very fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We will get there pretty fast. We just passed 87,560.

If you haven’t already subscribed please do by clicking on the icon right after the title of this post.

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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. Be looking for more details about the new book.

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There  is a smell of newness as I step outside onto my back patio. They are laying new bark dust this morning and the smell of the hemlock bark dust is an aroma of the outdoors brought to your home.

We all would like newness to come into our lives. The stench of past storms and trials has left us withering into the ground in despair.

We need the freshness, and beautiful aroma of God’s love, and comfort. Through His caring and grace, we are lifted up out of the muck and mire, and can smell the blessing of this world from a different perspective.

Yes, it is hard to find good in this world on some days. Yes, we wonder if we will ever feel the warmth of love again in our lives.

I can assure you that I have found out the following:

  • Life isn’t fair.
  • There will be good days and bad days.
  • There will be raging storms, and trials.
  • Through all of this God isn’t far away.
  • He allows the storms, but helps calm them.
  • He gives us comfort and through His grace perseverance.

One of my favorite verses of the Bible is 2 Corinthians 12:8

My grace is sufficient for you. My power is greatest through weakness.

He is saying that when pain comes into our lives, His love will see us through it, because He is stronger that any storm we will ever face.

So, if you are going through some hard times. If you are fighting illness, loss of job, death in the family, divorce, or many other things, know that God knows your pain. Know that he is there for you. If He feels far away, guess who moved?

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Storms in Our lives Can Give Strength

We have a winner! We past 86,000. The winner was notified, and we have started a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 90,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes very fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We will get there pretty fast. We just passed 87,425.

If you haven’t already subscribed please do by clicking on the icon right after the title of this post.

______________________________________________________________________

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. Be looking for more details about the new book.

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It is the finals for the NBA! The first game was exciting. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors seemed to be asleep until the fourth quarter and then came alive to help put away the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The game of life can be that way. Things can look dim. Things can look like the darkness is overcoming the earth.

Then the brightness comes and changes everything.

I have been playing a game like that in my own life. I have had many times that the darkness has come, only to have the brightness come later and pull me out of the muck and mire.

If it had only happened once, I could have thought it was just luck. I could have dismissed thoughts of miracles.

However, I have had six major surgeries, including quadruple-by pass surgery, and I am still here typing this post.

I am facing possible my biggest test of my life right this week. I have been told that I may have a serious disease in my upper back. They will be doing many tests in the next few days to see what is going on.

There are two possibilities that came up from a CT scan

  • Infection of the t-5, and t-6 vertebrae.
  • Cancer in that area.

I am praying that God will allow me to have only the infection, which can be treated with “industrial strength” anti-biotics. It will still be difficult, but there is much more hope there.

Either way, I am ready to accept what ever God has in mind for me. I am not crying in my beer. I am not telling people God has failed me. I could turn my back on Him and move on.

Looking at the possibility of walking away from God during this time is not even close to being an option. I can’t grasp the thought of trying to face this world alone without God.

I will always love God, no matter what path He has for me. The most important thing for me to remember is that no matter what storms come my way, God is there to help calm them. He is there to give me comfort.

If you are going through a dark tunnel right now, be strong. Stand firm. Through your actions others will be inspired. Others will find comfort through your own troubles.

I find that when I am under a storm is when I am at my best. That is when I can reach out to others who are going through the same things. That is a healing process for me as well, because I can see the peace forming in them because of my reaching out to them.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Let Down Your Wings and Listen

We have a winner! We past 83,000. The winner was notified, and we have started a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 86,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes very fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We just passed 85,460.

If you haven’t already subscribed please do by clicking on the icon right after the title of this post.

______________________________________________________________________

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. Be looking for more details about the new book.

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Let Down Your Wings!

 

“And the living creatures kept running and returning,

like the appearance of a flash of lightning.”

(Ezek 1:14 Masoretic Text)

 

Does that sound like you? Running, returning? Running, returning? Is your day filled with kids’ sports practices or games, errands to run, committee meetings to attend, business meetings or home business functions to attend to, chores to do?

 

Do you flap your wings of busyness but don’t seem to get anywhere? Do you go in four different directions at once? Do you flit about but miss out on hearing God’s voice?

 

The above verse of scripture captured my attention lately, but these two verses drew me into deeper thinking…

 

“When they stopped, they let down their wings. And every time they stopped, there came a voice from the crystal sky above them.” (Ezek. 1:24b-25 TLB)

 

Hmmm…when they halted their fluttering, when they stood still and let down their wings, they heard God’s voice.

 

How does this apply to us?

 

With unfurled wings, we flap around in frustration. We flit about doing our own thing. We dart sideways in anxiety. If we continuously flutter our wings of busyness, we have no time for the Lord in our schedule. And we will not hear His voice.

 

Energy is wasted. Time is lost. And eventually, we will wear out if we do not slow down and hit the delete button on a few things in our lives. The saying is so true: Master time or it will master you.

 

Jesus took time to slow down and be with His Father, going off to the solitude and serenity of the mountainside or the gardens to pray. And He rested by the well.

 

Distractions are everywhere. Therefore, we need to let down our fluttering wings. Hush the world’s din and confusion. Rest our harried minds. Get quiet in the presence of the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to calm the chaos and bring peace and harmony to our frustrated souls.

 

And wait. Wait to hear the Voice of the Ages as He whispers those precious words of love, peace, comfort, and guidance to us.

 

When we sit by the well of stillness to pray, we dip into the Lord’s fount of refreshing Living Waters. As we sit, we may hear Him whisper to us…

 

“Do not rush into My presence looking at your watch. The busyness of life derails your attention. Let down the wings of your disquieted and busy spirit. Prepare by being still. I will be found in quietness and stillness.

 

“If My people would take time to be with Me, they would hear those soothing words of comfort and guidance for which they so desperately yearn. Therefore, be still and know.”

 

Be still and know. Be silent. Silent rearranged is listen. But it also forms the word enlist. When we are silent and listen to the Lord, we enlist His help and support.

 

Oh, how souls sadly lack when they make no time for the Lord. So much more is accomplished, with so little time expended, when one kneels in prayer…and listens!

 

Prayer: Lord, help me to make time to be with You, to block out the discord of the world, to still my spirit before I come to sit at Your feet. As I fold down my wings of busyness, I will hear Your sweet words of grace and peace. Lord, may my time be Yours. And when the world swirls around me, diverting my attention from You, may my heart be drawn back to seek the comfort of Your presence. May I be silent and listen. Amen

 

From His feet, Lynn

 

lynnmosher.com

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