Friday, October 26, 2012

Faith, Hope, and Love can heal a wounded Veteran

I've been suffering for a long time now. I remember first going to the Philadelphia VA Medical Center in December of 2005. Something was wrong but I just couldn't pinpoint what it was. Almost seven years later I still can't say exactly what is wrong with me. I've been told I have a Traumatic Brain Injury; Post-Traumatic Stress; migraine headaches; depression and anxiety. Life has been an ebb and tide sort of series of ups and downs. So many good things have come to pass, including the birth of my son Matthew, but nothing has been powerful enough to literally SNAP ME OUT OF MY FUNK!

My hope is that is all about to change. I've wondered how I lost the kind of focus I had during combat operations. I seemed to have lost hope in all that I've aspired to be as a man, a father, and a husband. I've wondered why I've drifted away from my faith. I've certainly wondered why I can't quite feel the love in my life and experience the level of happiness I deserve. What I think I've lost is a combination of Faith, Hope, and Love. These three powerful forces are described in the Bible in 1st Corinthians, section 13, "these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." The entire chapter is powerful. I was on a plane the other day writing about life and the thought came to me about this chapter. I continued to write about how I can turn back towards my faith. I can begin to pray Psalm 91 each morning as I did every day in combat. I can thank God for my life and my family. I can hope for a brighter future. I can hope for all that is good and healthy in my life and family to only increase. Finally, I can love myself again. I had lost that. I know now that I have to love myself before I can fully love others. I have to love my life before I can truly live it. I can be ready for love to enter my life through my family and friends and the blessings of people like my Uncle Ed who is dying of cancer. I saw Uncle Ed while in Florida and we had precious times together. My child played on the floor while Uncle Ed sat back and watched him in wonder. It could very well be the last time we would see Uncle Ed alive and we did the right thing... we cherished every moment of it. We talked of serious things, but more importantly, we smiled and laughed as well.

So it is time to turn a corner. I would invite anyone who has suffered the way I have to turn it with me. Let's see each other, face to face, with the greatest potential for having Faith, Hope, and Love in our lives once again. I'm smiling now just thinking about the possibilities. Just writing this short passage has lifted me up another notch. I want to be responsible for lifting others up and being cheerful about life. Life is too short to waste. My father lived to be 67. Uncle Ed is now 67. That is just too young to die. So I can make it possible for my father to live again in me. I can carry the legacy of love my Uncle Ed sowed. I can be a source of Faith, Hope, and Love. Think about it and give it a try. Read 1st Corinthians 13 and Psalm 91. We are never alone when we have God in our hearts. For the first time in a long time I have a lasting sense that things are going to be alright. This is a life changing moment for me and I can only hope you too can feel the gravity of it. Life is short and now is the time to turn it around, TO FINALLY SNAP OUT OF IT!

So God Bless me and God Bless you if this passage has reached your heart. For whatever good I can do while I'm alive and truly living, I can be so very proud of that!