We are sharing our friend Rachel’s post about how the war has affected her family. Please join us in remembering our heroes and their families today. We pray for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and for those still struggling with the wounds of war. Please reach out to a military family and let them know you appreciate all that they do to keep us free.
PTSD: Our Story
By Rachel Latham
Only those closest to us realize the road we have been on these last few years. When your country goes to war and your husband is a soldier, it invades all parts of your life. What we didn’t expect, didn’t predict, was that war would come home too. It is all the headlines in the news now–this story of PTSD and TBI (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury) and how, after more than a decade of war this story is now being told.
It is the story of thousands of military families. And it is part of our story too. But it can be a hard story–because how does one bring that up in conversation?
As a wife, I had been knocked off my feet by this, but now it is time to share this story, because we have walked far enough on this journey that I can tell you this with absolute, unshakable certainty:
God is there.
Right in the middle of it.
Right through all of it, guiding us through this storm.
And we are making it through.
When my husband came home from his second tour overseas, all that is war and ugly and PTSD came home with him. And my heart broke, because even though I was hurt, all I could see was a soldier with invisible wounds. And I didn’t know how to help, or what to do. I didn’t know how to love him enough to make it go away. I really wanted to scream at God. I took care of things while he was deployed. I was faithful to our marriage, our home, taking care of our kids. Why did this have to happen?
Why, indeed. But don’t we all question what we don’t understand?
And God whispered in my heart–fixing him is not your job. It’s mine.
God wasn’t looking for me to fix anything. God was looking for me to be faithful in the midst of it.
Being faithful in the midst of it meant tiny, everyday steps of faith and trust that God was working even when I couldn’t see it. The more that I focused on my relationship with the Lord and just loving my husband, the better things were. When my focus changed, that’s when my eyes were opened to the healing He was doing in my husband’s life.
Fixing someone else was not my burden to carry. Being faithful was. And that was the key.
So while God was working in my husband’s life, it seems He was also working in mine. I am reminded of the verse in Romans “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
It is amazing to me how we can read scripture and believe it, but something radical happens in your heart when you live it, feel it and know it. Deep in your heart. And God is working something good from this road we have traveled.
PTSD/TBI is not something that goes away. In fact, I am still learning about it. But we are doing it together and our marriage is stronger for it. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but I would say that there is truth to how challenges can strengthen you.
God is in the valley–and He is the way out of the valley.
And on this Memorial Day weekend, may we pray especially for those who are remembering losses and let us honor those memories by standing tall beside our Veterans and their families.
© Copyright, Rachel Latham. Posted at Breath of Life Women’s Ministries with permission of the author. Images courtesy of Michelle Welch. Bible scripture from King James Version.
Visit Rachel’s blog Scattered Words: Finding Quiet In The Midst