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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Do You Feel Like a Failure?

We have a winner! We past 83,000. The winner will be notified, and we will start a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 86,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We are now at 83,575.

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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Do you suffer from chronic bad hair days? Does it seem like everything that can go wrong does? Do you hid from the world to avoid failing in front of it again?

Many of us have been there. We would rather stay in bed than face the day. It is hard enough to exist when we see what is happen around us, and then we are suppose to try to compete?

If you are like me and have had a past of running from the world, let me share some insights I have learned because I turned to God, and He showed me the paths to take:

Draw Near

We should stay close to God at all times, no matter where we are. He is with us constantly. We just need to realize that, and lean on Him when we are feeling lost. He cares for us. He even loves each and every one of us, warts and all. He made us in His own image. That shows He will be there for us whenever we need Him.

Hold Fast

Never let go of Hope. That is the theme of this blog, and that is what I strive for. I have been called the hope whisper by some of my author friends. I am honored, but in reality we all should be hope whispers. We all should be examples to others who are lost and fighting depression.

Be Encouraged

It is very important to surround ourselves with positive people. We should interact with other Christians at our churches. Mingle with your neighbors. Live off of their friendliness, and support. Stay close to family members who are the pillars of your strength.

If you feel like a failure, run to God, and He let you know you are a person of worth. You are a person He has plans for. He knows you better than any other person.

You may feel you are such a sinner that you aren’t worthy of God’s love. Never more do you need to say, “My sin is too much, or I am not worthy!” God knows your history. He knows what you have done. He only wants you to admit to Him that you have sinned, and ask Him for forgiveness, and your life book is clean of all sin. You are starting fresh with Him.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Forgiveness Refused

What is going through the mind of Judas? Why does Judas continue with his sin? Why doesn’t he seek a way out, a reversal, redemption…why? Because, he believes in the lie that he is not worthy of redemption, He feels this before the death of Jesus, He feels this after the death of Jesus and he becomes a man scorned. His name is synonymous with betrayal of the worst kind. We think of Judas as a man without hope, who had no chance, who was simply caught by the hand of fate. But to believe that is to believe the lie. Judas could have turned to Jesus Christ at any time, He could have turned that night at the table – or at any time after. The blood of Jesus covers any, and all, sin. 

Have you ever thought of how different things would be if Judas had asked for forgiveness, if Judas had been able to see through the lie? Probably nine out of ten churches would have Judas Iscariot in their name. Judas would probably be the most popular name for baby boys. The name of Judas would be held in high honor. Every town in America would have a Judas Iscariot boulevard. Colleges and Seminaries would bear his name, “Judas Iscariot Theological Seminary”, “The University of Judas Iscariot”. Even day care centers would jump in on the action, “Iscariot Children’s Academy”. He for sure would have been the most powerful of all the disciples in terms of witness and preaching. Imagine, meeting the man who betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ, who would stand before you – forgiven. How powerful is that? People would flock to hear him. People would weep in astonishment at his witness. Judas would be the rock star of the twelve, the most studied, the most celebrated and the most loved….but, instead, he is loathed and despised. He believes in a lie – he believes that he is not redeemable. What a waste of such great potential.

You are worthy of redemption. You are worthy of the blood of the lamb. You are worthy of the bread of life. Don’t you ever forget – you are worthy. 

We are worthy, but not because of what we have done, we are worthy, but not because of our birth, we are worthy, but not because of some spirituality we can produce – no, we are worthy, because Jesus Christ has deemed us worthy, and by acceptance of Him as God, Lord and Savior we are promise a covenant of redemption

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If you Could go back and Start Your Life Over What Would you do?

Before I share the post for tonight, I want to hold my good friend Michael Clark up in prayer. It was his night to post, and he is very ill. Pray for his recovery so that we can all be blessed again by his wonderful and inspirational articles. He is hoping to be back for Wednesday night.

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I was at a writer’s conference all day today. I was able to put my book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World, in their book store to be ordered through a pre-order form. It was an exciting moment for me. The book is full of postings I have done here on this blog. It also reaches out to those who suffer from self-doubt, fear, anxiety, depression, or hopelessness. You can pre-order as well by going to www.winepresspublishing.com and clicking on the “book store,” icon at the top. Then put, “Sign of Hope,” in the search area at the top. that will take you right to my home page on the site.

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Why do people shy away from serving God? What is it that makes them feel they are not worthy of serving Him.?

So many people today come short of making a commitment to serve God because they don’t feel they have what it takes to do the job. They will go to church. They will help in the church, but if they feel God prodding them to take on a new adventure they shy away, and act as if they have a hearing problem.

What causes us to be that way? Why can’t we trust God to led us and guide us?

God is larger than anything you will face. God loves us so much He made us in His own image. God never makes mistakes, so He made you for a purpose.

You don’t have to be talented. You don’t have to be smart. You don’t even have to be a perfect Christian. Was Peter a perfect Christian? No. Was Jonah a perfect Christian? No. Was Paul a perfect Christian? No. Paul was killing Christians before Jesus struck him blind one day.

No matter what you state of mind or abilities are, God will use you for His purpose. There was a survey that went out and the question was:

If you could go back and do your whole life over again, what would you do? The number one answer??? I would take more chances.

Do you have that dream you have put on hold, because you can’t see how it will work out right? Have there been times when you thought of something that was a great idea, but you let it die? Always wanted to go to the mission field, but there would too much that you had to leave behind?

God allows U turns. Turn around now and take that chance. Take more chances, and let God work in your life to achieve more than you could every dream up in your life. be ready to be amazed, and very busy if you et God show you some paths He wants you to take, and you take them.

Stop having pity parties. Step up to the plate, and hit a home run for God. He is there beside you all the way. It makes Him very happy when you accomplish something you worked so hard on.

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