Forgetful Me

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.

(If you are new here, you can get parts of my story here and here.)

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 –

  1. Why did God let this happen to me?
  2. 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.

About Sarah Salter


  1. Quiet applause from the little gray house on the prairie, from another PTSD person, who knows you can do this. 🙂

  2. I hope you can see me next to Rick, cheering you on,
    knowing you can do this,
    believing with you …
    and for you.

  3. Well I say, you are a very good actress.. You know though, that it makes somebody like me sort of chuckle when you talk about going in to a room and forget what you went after…Because everybody blame that on age, but its not necessarily age, just too much on the shoulders, (brain). And all of us at times forget that God loves us.. The devil tries to convince us otherwise, but we know better.. Love ya sista.

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Dear Geezer – Thank you, my friend. You are loved! Stay warm. 🙂

  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Thank you, Jennifer. I see you there. 🙂

  6. You are loved girl and not just by God. Keep your chin up and keep on fighting and doing the heavy lifting.

  7. Dear Sarah, do you have any idea how many people you have accompanied and strengthened on their own journeys? I’m sure you don’t, but it is many. Your encouragement to me after my mom died meant a lot, even through cyber space. My point? I’m thinking of your Frodo reference. You have accompanied others. Let us accompany you.

    Your analogy of not remembering people’s names sometimes even if you served on the same auxilary reminded me of a conversation at Church a couple of weeks ago. I was talking to an older woman who I knew from various committees, and she sadly said in the middle of the conversation that she is sorry, but she can’t remember my name. I said “that’s okay, I can’t remember yours, either.” She laughed and we introduced ourselves again. Or the lady who I call Hon she calls me Sugar Muffin because we were kidding about not remembering one another’s names. I still can’t recall her name, but the conversation sticks with me. (And you thought you were being wordy….)

  8. We are forever changed…but depending on if we turn to God or away from Him will determine HOW we are changed.
    I commented on Dusty’s blog about Job. Job took all his emotions and thoughts TO God. And God listened.
    In the midst of grieving for my dad, I was angry with God. I let Him know it and I thought I was pushing Him away, but really, my anger kept me coming back to God (though not in a good way). But God used even those horrible emotions and thoughts for my good.
    I learned God is big enough for whatever I throw at Him. I just have to make sure I’m staying “in His face” and not turning away from Him. He held me even while I tried desperately to shake loose of Him.
    He’s holding you too. Stay “in His face”. Tell Him all your pain, frustrations, fears, etc. He can handle it and it will make you feel better too.
    One thing that helped my nightmares was thinking of God singing over me as I sleep. In Zep 3:17 talks about God rejoicing over you in song. For a long time I would think of this as I drifted off to sleep, “God is rejoicing over me right now. He will sing to me as I sleep”. This helped me feel closer to Him.
    God bless.

  9. Sorry, Sarah, to offer so much advice. I have no clue what you’re feeling or going through. But I know God knows. I would erase my comment if I could. Instead, I’ll just add, “sorry, and I’m praying for you.”

  10. I love how God leads us into healing. It’s not easy, but it is beautiful. He offers something complete if we’ll trust His process. Proud of you for doing the hard work! And I did know that a lot of different types of people experience PTSD–a lot of foster kids actually. Lots of need for healing from incredible trauma. Blessings to you, friend. 🙂

  11. Sarah Salter says:

    Dusty, thank you for stepping up and helping me to keep my arms raised during the battle. You bless me!

  12. Sarah Salter says:

    Helen Joy — LOL! Great story! I’ve got a friend in NC who was so convinced my name is Pam that she still calls me Pam. And Helen, I’m more than happy to have company on this roadtrip to healing. 🙂

  13. Sarah Salter says:

    TC, you have no need at all to apologize! Those were great thoughts! Thanks for sharing them!

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