No one questions if you have a wounded body. No one doubts that combat affected your mind. But what if combat injured your soul? What would be the symptoms of a wounded soul?
What if you were being attacked by an enemy you couldn’t see? Or even worse, what if you didn’t know you were under attack? Every day, our military families are under attack, and many of them are losing the battle against an enemy that they are blinded to or can’t seem to identify.
What would it look like to have a restored soul? Many combat veterans are feeling hopeless. They have lost all optimism, intentionality and faith. For them, life has lost its purpose and joy. The solution to despair is a restored soul, and there is only One who can restore a soul.
Making wise choices is a crucial part of healing. In order for things to start getting better, they have to stop getting worse. We need tools to make wise choices in the face of difficult situations.
Oh, to be free. Free from the lies we believe, the guilt we carry, and the underlying shame that eats at our very souls. Freedom is possible, but we must first bring truth into focus. False guilt is a trap and you can be set free.
Forgiveness doesn’t come naturally. On the contrary, unforgiveness is often our default setting. Afterall, no one teaches a child to hold a grudge. When others hurt us, we want them to learn a lesson and change. However, in most situations, those that hurt us aren’t even aware that they hurt us. Some trauma is caused by war, but other times, trauma is caused by people from our pasts. Either way, letting go of the pain is the path forward.
Grief is difficult. It triggers a set of complex emotions that seem to be more than we can handle, and the pain following loss often leaves us with more questions than answers. Each person handles grief in their own unique way. But what can we learn about grief from Jesus? Why would the Son of God grieve when he knew how everything would end?
Veterans are dying by suicide. Anti-depression medications are being prescribed at record levels. Something is wrong. Why do so many see suicide as their only option? And is there a solution to depression other than medication? It is time for the Church to recognize that it represents an alternative approach to addressing the mental health crisis in our country through the healing of spiritual wounds.
A creator creates on purpose, and what is created has great value to the creator. But combat veterans are buying into the lie that their purpose is limited to their military service. When so much of your self-worth is tied to your career, what happens when that career comes to an end?
When you’re in a valley, you can’t leap out. You can’t jump out. You must walk out of the valley. Healing from combat trauma is often merely the beginning of a long recovery process.