Do you ever have one of those forgetful moments when you get up and walk into a different room and suddenly, you can’t recall why you’re there? Or you run into an old friend while you’re out at a restaurant, and you want to introduce them to your companion, but even though you volunteered together in the same auxiliary for three years, you suddenly can’t remember their name?
I’m only thirty-six, I’m not supposed to be forgetful. And what makes it worse is that I forgot a really important thing. I forgot that God loves me, wants what’s best for me, and I can trust Him to make that happen.
The cat’s out of the bag now, so I suppose I can say it aloud – last winter, I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. I thought that only members of the military who have been in combat situations have PTSD, but after a spell of panic attacks and nightmares that wouldn’t stop, plus some flirtation with thoughts of suicide, a few of my closest friends urged me to see my doctor. And it turned out that I was the only one shocked by the diagnosis.
It turns out that military combat situations aren’t the only thing that trigger PTSD. It can also be caused by repeated or extended incidents of abuse. And, well, that’s me.
There has been significant healing in my life over the past several months, but we are currently in the phase of counseling known as “the heavy lifting,” and a number of times recently, I have heard myself asking questions that make my soul and my spirit shudder –
- Why did God let this happen to me?
- Where was God when these things happened to me?
And honestly, it scared me to ask those questions, because I thought I knew the answers. But I’d forgotten. And over the past few days, specifically, God has been reminding me.
First, through Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Love Idol.
“We are all worth fighting for. On Calvary, Jesus said as much. But because Christ has us for eternity, the enemy is doing all that he can to undermine us while we’re on earth.”
A much-needed reminder that what happened to me wasn’t the work of God, but tantrums of the enemy.
And then, last night, while reading Exodus 14 (which I won’t quote here because I recognize I’m being too wordy), I was reminded that God doesn’t promise us that there will be no pain in our lives. He promises that He will be with us in the pain and will use it if we let Him.
And then, the analogy God gave me that drove it all home…
I love the Lord of the Rings movies. And last night, as I was remaking my bed from where I’d torn it apart during the previous night’s nightmares, God said to me, “Remember Frodo? No matter which road Frodo took with the ring, his enemy was coming after him. (That’s what enemies do.) But he surrounded himself with people who could help him, and he made it home. He was forever changed, but his mission was complete.”
The authors of The Cure nudge me, reminding me to trust –
“Trusting God’s character, strength, love and protection, I place the entire list of consequences and loss into His hands. This is a big decision. It’s a scary, beautiful, overwhelming moment of trust.”
This post is part of a weekly book discussion on Lynch, McNicol, and Thrall’s “The Cure.” You don’t have to read the book to participate in the discussion. If you have written a response to this week’s chapter, go visit my co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen, to link up at the widget.
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