Saturday, 27 September 2014

Dare to Dream by Susan L.

  I was chatting with someone who lives with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I made a slight mistake in telling them that we are able to recover from this illness. That's not really true. (Bear with me.) The impact of trauma, usually what causes PTSD, is far reaching. It affects us emotionally, physically and mentally. It's hard when circumstances trigger the fight/flight response. It affects our every waking moment and even when we sleep, birthing nightmare after nightmare. (I thank the Lord for medications which, for me, have mostly eliminated these symptoms.)
  What is true is it's possible to discover new ways to live in balance and harmony, where we can make our own choices about what is right for us. It's possible to uncover the truth of our identities in Christ despite the hammer blows to our innermost, precious self that caused things to be the way they are. We can reclaim innocence and the ability to trust. We don't have to go it alone.
  We are able to move forward in new and astounding ways. We can and will reach the point of believing in a future, to know we are worthy of good things. There will be a day we can hope and embrace our destiny in Christ.
  We have the ability within us to grow and appreciate who we are and actually love ourselves and others the way Jesus did. Even those who were part of the traumatic events that have crippled and stifled our lives can be regarded with love and compassion. This does not mean an acceptance of the status quo, we deserve better, much better.
  It's possible to choose to forgive and be forgiven. The Lord can change our hearts and set us free when we are willing to let Him do His work in us.
  We'll never forget the terrible events that have helped shape us but the stinger of memory will be removed. Jesus is pretty good at redemption. Surprisingly we can even become thankful for our experiences instead of being embittered and lost. We can let hate go and let the good things in to fill the void. Truth, honesty, faith, hope, love, life, laughter, desire, patience, acceptance, will sweep away the last vestiges of darkness. But most of all ,the profound knowledge of who God planned us to be at the dawn of time will enter into our soul and spirit.
  In a way the journey begins like reaching the peak of Mount Everest and sticking a flag in the snow. Only this time it's sticking a flag (or perhaps the Cross) in the mountain of emotional torment that is part of PTSD and claiming it.
  "Yes, these things have happened to me. It does not mean they have the right to steal my life. Lord, set me free in Jesus name, Amen!"
  As much as I have written this for another, it has done me good to hear it for myself. Much of this has yet to take place in my own life but, thankfully, the seeds have been planted. Nevertheless, I will dare to dream of the day I will be well and whole and no longer afraid.
  "When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Mat 19:25-26

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