It's September 11th. I did not realize it at first; a flurry of activity has landed me in a place where I'm spending some mornings trying to figure out exactly what day it is.
I did pick up on the fact something was... different. My life in general is very different, but today seemed more different. My husband was withdrawn and jumpy. He packed up early and headed out to decompress. I tried to run errands, but ended up just having a time of rest and prayer. And when I emerged from my cocoon, it hit me. That check I wrote yesterday... it was September 10th. And today is the day that changed everything for my family and so many others. Oh. That explains a lot, actually.
During my time with our PTSD family counselor, I learned that our bodies store memories-- and not just in the mind. Our bodies physically remember anniversaries, even if we do not. Sometimes when my husband is having a difficult season, he goes to his journals from his years in Iraq and eventually finds it is the anniversary of a loss, a trauma, a heart break. I may not remember every date myself, but I do pick up on anniversaries:
The week we had two KIA notifications in one day, and three the next- all in the same close knit community. The week Roger traveled across IED riddled terrain and I ended up in the ER with a stress induced migraine. The week my husband checked into his first (inpatient) VA hospital to begin treatment for PTSD. These are my anniversaries... and my body remembers even if my mind does not.
This week will be the anniversary of unspeakable images carved into our minds and hearts. It will be the anniversary of news and fears and my husband in the garage packing his gear because he was told to 'Get ready.' This week will mark the day I took a pregnancy test a little too early because I wanted my husband to know whether or not I was expecting our second child- just in case the worst should happen.
This week holds a lot of memories for most of us who call America home, and our bodies will likely tell us something needs attention. I encourage you to listen to your body and give it what it needs. I encourage you to talk to someone who cares. I encourage you to take time out to process what needs to be worked through. To connect with God in the way that works best for you, using praise and prayer to fight the darkness that would like to overwhelm on a day such as today.
A few weeks ago, a precious sister asked me if I have discovered why our family has had to walk the sometimes difficult path we are on. I've yet to discover all the reasons, but I do know that God has never ceased to hold me as close to his heart as I will let him. Life is not easy, and the journey has taken some twists and turns I would not have chosen. But God has wrapped me in His loving arms and I can say with gratitude that I know what it is to be held.
My prayer for you is that you, too, will invite the One who loves you best to hold you close and breathe healing and wholeness into the broken places of your heart and soul. Especially on a day like today; especially in your times of remembering.
All Praise to God, the Lord our Peace.