First of all I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have expressed concern for my brother, offered prayers on his behalf, for the cards and many calls. Your support and continued prayers are very appreciated. If you are a little in the dark about what is going on you can catch up here and here. I’ve written a bit more about him but these two posts give you the big picture. (If you want to know more, type “brother” in the search box on my page.)
My brother will finally be here this week!!! My husband will make the drive to Ft. Bragg and bring my baby brother home…I am so blessed to be married to my husband. I kinda feel like I am sending my Knight in Shining Armor to rescue my wounded brother from the jaws of death. I know that sounds a little (ok more than a little) dramatic…but that is how I feel about my brother’s situation. My brother should be in a hospital receiving treatment for his PTSD…instead the military is just discharging him. I’ve got a tremendous amount of anger inside of me over my brother’s treatment from the military…so much that it is best I not share more than that for now. The way our politicians (can’t really use the word “leaders” anymore…that would imply some level of care for citizens) are treating our soldiers is just wrong…
Anyway…my brother will be here at the end of the week!! I am excited to have him here with my family. I know the best place for him right now is with us. Here he can rest and heal until he is well and strong. Looking back I can see how Jesus was preparing our family to receive my brother…Wow! My Lord provides! Please, please keep my brother (and all soldiers and veterans) in your prayers.
Last year I struggled with my childhood abuse. I really just wanted to bury my past and leave it there. I blogged about some of it through the Made to Crave study I did with Future Flying Saucers. I started the study to lose weight and begin a healthier lifestyle. Jesus chose to use the study to show me my need to forgive and surrender my pain to Him. I was quite content to ignore my pain and keep it all to myself…buried in my black-hole. No matter how hard I tried I could not bury my blackhole…it defined me. My pain was slowly killing me.
Some time has passed now. I am free of my past. I am no longer defined by my past. I have forgiven and am no longer bitter or angry. I live forgiven and cherish my newfound redemptive joy in Jesus. But toward the end of my struggles I asked the Lord why did I have to go through all of this…why was it so important that I forgive and surrender this past? I had this sense of urgency through the entire process that I must find a place of healing and peace with this constant pain.
Now as the days approach for my brother’s arrival in my home…I understand. If I was still nursing unsurrendered wounds I would be useless to him. Though I cannot understand his pain I can be a rock for him in his storm. My brother needs a strong shelter, a place of refuge and healing. Our home and open hearts are ready for him. Sometimes we go out into the world to minister to God’s people and sometimes his wounded come into our very own homes. I feel completely inadequate for the task before me…but my God is with me…He is my rock and strong shelter.
No running, no hiding…only embracing my Nineveh.
Several of you have left me notes asking about my brother. He is ok at the moment. I worry over him every day and call him several days a week. He is in the process of getting out of the military and that takes a while. He could be out a bit sooner but he is pushing to get diagnosed and treated for his problems. He has PTSD and is being treated for it but the military will not give him the diagnosis for PTSD. As far as the military is concerned the VA can deal with him. They just want to kick soldiers like him suffering with PTSD out. CAll me picky, but I believe he should be treated for his problems caused by his service to our country before getting kicked to the curb. It can take years going through the VA to get diagnosed and treated for PTSD!! No wonder we have homeless veterans and a high suicide rate among soldiers and veterans!!!
I am sick with grief the way the military is treating our soldiers. My brother has PTSD because he is an American hero. He has been deployed several times. He served in Kosovo. And he has served in Iraq and Afghanistan several times each. The more I learn about PTSD the more heart-sick I am. How can we as a nation turn our back on these soldiers? They have sacrificed so much for us and now we just toss them aside like garbage!
My brother decided to fight for his treatment. He wasn’t going to at first but some fellow veterans came to see him. They encouraged him to fight for himself and one of them called me to tell me how to help him. I will fight for my brother. He is my baby brother and I won’t lose him to PTSD, alcohol, or our troubled childhood. He is worth fighting for and that’s the easy part…making him see that he is worth fighting for is the hard part. I won’t give up.