Recently I blogged about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a serious condition that someone who has experienced any sort of life trauma may experience.
While PTSD may most commonly be associated with war veterans, people with any sort of trauma, including childhood disturbances, are vulnerable.
As some of you may know, my childhood included a lot of trauma. I spent the first part of my years in violence-riddled Compton, Calif. I witnessed a gang-related murder outside of my bedroom window when I was 8. This experience happened four years after my alcoholic father abandoned the family, and one year before my mom died of cancer.
After Mom’s funeral, my four siblings and I returned home to find that our stepfather had abandoned us, too. I spent the rest of my childhood going from foster home to foster home – I lived in 23 houses by the time I was 18! Some of the homes were good – other families were terribly dysfunctional.
To be candid, I don’t know if I ever suffered from PTSD as a result of my childhood trauma, but I do see how God has used that difficult season of my life. After all I went through as a child, I should be insane or in jail.
Yet, God found a way to redeem the pain of my past, and to give me a heart for others who are living in dysfunctional families or who are orphaned. Many of the challenges I encounter, whether in the office or at home, are dwarfed by what I experienced as a child and teenager. I know that if God was able to protect and care for me during those tumultuous years, He is present now.
No matter what you’re experiencing right now, I hope today’s post encourages you to keep going. God is near. He knows what you are going through, and He cares for you. You may not see how God will act on your behalf now, but I can tell you from personal experience that He will act. If you allow Him, He will not only help you bounce back, but you’ll bounce forward, stronger than before, and with a more compassionate heart.