I ask myself today, as I deal with PTSD and following Christ …. How do I deal with bouts of lashing out when stress arises? And will I ever get this under control? My stress level response goes from 0 to 100. What I mean by this is, there is no difference from being in a fight to spilling milk. My brain has become wired that everything is serious and a big deal. Everything matters and everything should be perfect and when it is not, I get what I like to call, "military angry." I don't want to yell and scream at my loved ones. I don't want to hurt those around me because of the way that I was trained in the military. I have to be a better me. How do I remove the old me?
This is where my faith in Christ helps me to understand that anger holds no place in the Kingdom of God. God wants us to be loving and to remove every form of malice (Ephesians 4:31 NLT). Instead, we must be patient and not be quick tempered (Proverbs 19:11). We must learn to imitate Christ who teaches us to be patient, kind, not jealous, a person who does not brag or is arrogant or acts unbecomingly; a person who does not seek for itself and is not provoked easily (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). I must try to be the best version of myself that I can be.
I need to want to become the best husband, father, son, brother, cousin, neighbor, veteran, and friend. I need to put into action the man that I want to be. It took a lot of practice and training to become the best military version of myself. Now, its going to to take practice and training to be a better civilian version of me.
But where do we start? To do this, I pray. I pray to God to break the chains of my former self. I am no longer in the military and I no longer need to be on such high alert. I pray for God to break the stress and anger out from my life and replace it with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). If you are suffering from anger, lashing out, and stress, pray to God to break these chains. Pray for the Lord to help you heal and to be able to have joy again.
What do we do in the meantime? What do we do as God starts to make the necessary changes in your life so that you can properly heal and serve Him? Start by reading the Bible and praying. Begin to make an effort to have a relationship with God. Then muster up the courage to talk about your problems with someone close to you. If you do not have any one close to you to talk with, then I would encourage you to reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another option for you is to register for an amazing workshop from the Institute for the Healing of Memories. If you have a moment, watch this video below. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Mike Wold to discuss the impact of telling your story and how that helps with healing.
Veterans, you can also help other veterans that are going through many of the same struggles that we are going through or that we have previously gone through in our military to civilian transition. Share your testimony with Christ. Share your success stories and your failures. Please, go to www.e3-project.com/ivxp to learn more.
*Sharing your testimony online can be a powerful way to encourage other Christians and draw others to Jesus. Do not be afraid to show the world what God has done in your life!
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.