May 15, 2011 ~ After searching and researching and asking questions of everyone and every entity I could find, in an effort to figure out how to live through the daily struggles I faced watching my son, a disabled combat veteran, learn to live with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I found that it all really came down to trusting God and walking in faith.
The most important thing that I’ve learned in the past year is that I just can’t do this by myself. I tried to do it that way until the day that I reached a crisis too big for anyone to handle. My wounded warrior was 600 miles away, suffering a life-threatening crisis, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I’ve never been more scared in my life and I have never felt so hopeless. It was, as always, at that point that I called on the Lord to step in and help. This time, however, it was different. I was relying on Him on a deeper level than ever before. I can’t really explain how this felt. I’ve had plenty of experiences where I thought I was in THE most difficult place and there was NO way out, or at least that is what I thought……. until this day arrived.
I wasn’t just going through the motions of asking God to help me. I was begging as if my every breath depended on His help. There was NO WAY OUT, and yet, somehow, God did provide the open door. It was at that moment that I realized that I had learned the difference between thinking God could help me and believing God would help me. If you are confused by what I am saying, then you probably just THINK God can help you. If you are chuckling to yourself and nodding your head in agreement, then you BELIEVE God can help you and you have lived through an experience that has taught you the difference.
The beauty of learning the difference between thinking God will help and KNOWING God will help is that when you figure it out, a burden so big is lifted that you will feel like a totally new person, even if your life still seems to be full of turmoil. I’ve grown up going to church, and have heard the Bible stories about Paul for a lifetime. Paul tells us to rejoice in all circumstances, even the dark times. I could never quite wrap my mind around anyone being joyful about living in prison, and to be honest, that would be a stretch for me, but I have learned to trust that God knows best. Paul’s teachings make a lot of sense to me now. God knows what I can handle. He knows my limits. I trust that He will never give me more than I can handle and with everything He allows to happen in my life, He will also allow me to learn a valuable lesson, if I am willing.
So each day, in all circumstances, I ask the Lord to show me the blessing in the situation and to show me what He wants me to learn. It’s a true joy to see a blessing in the midst of a difficult experience. In the past I had always focused on how badly things were going during a trying time. Now that I’ve focused on finding the blessing, it is so much easier to get through a difficult situation when I know I’ve received a gift from the experience.
Asking God to teach me a lesson was pretty hard to take, at first, because it involved acknowledging my mistakes. My natural reaction is always going to be to place blame anywhere but on myself. Once I realized that acknowledging my mistakes lifted a burden and spared me from doing the same stupid things over and over, I began to see the blessings multiply. Wisdom is indeed a gift, one which I just recently discovered was mine for the taking if I was willing to see it for what it’s worth.
If you take nothing else from reading this today, remember, even if you find yourself living through the very worst situation you can imagine, God is there with you. He will give you what you need to make it through the trial. He will teach you something valuable and He will bless you in a mighty way.