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George G Watts

PTSD, Advent & Family Road Trips....ContentVent 2

published4 months ago
3 min read

Hi Reader,

Welcome to Living Contentment Weekly. Here are your three contentment-related thoughts for today. Something for you to: read | do | pray

Last week one of you ponted out
ContentVent
is the word I was searching for.
Content + ven from venire the latin "to come" like the French word venir. Because contentment is always coming....it's a process.
Like Advent.

ContentVent

Advent Week 2: PTSD, Advent, and family road trips

READ THIS

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

We find it especially hard to wait when what we’re experiencing is not what we want, when it's worse than normal.

It's a different kind of waiting tha waiting for your birthday as a kid. Sure you are waiting, but in the meantime you ride bikes with your friends, play space Lego, etc etc.

That waiting is:
Normal day, normal day, normal day.......BIRTHDAY-PARTY-FOR-ME DAY!

That’s not such a bad kind of waiting, because things are "normal"... then get better.

During my recovery, I had what felt like a very significant relapse in PTSD symptoms. Going backwards. But my counselor told me it was actually a good sign that additional processing, healing, progress was being made. However, I had to continue to live with the reality of not being ‘back to normal.’

This is not at all the same kind of waiting.

This feels more like:
Worse than normal, worse than normal, worse than normal ——> when does this end?

It often felt like I was once again that kid stuck in the back of the 1981 Ford Econoline van with his 4 siblings driving across the prairies to get to Grandma's house for Christmas Eve. In the pitch-black that only comes from living so far north the sun sets mid-afternoon in late December. So far from any town that there are literally no lights to be seen in any direction. Hours, upon hours, upon hours it seems.

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? What about NOW? How much longer?

Advent in some ways is the kid-waiting-for-his-birthday kind of waiting. We continue with our normal lives and know that there will be a pleasant change at the end.

Normal day, normal day, normal day, normal day.......... CHRISTMAS. {Horray!}

However, as creatures made in the image of God, we constantly long for something more than this fallen world can offer.

Things around us are broken.
Life is hard.
Bad things happen to those we love.
Addictions are real.
Racism abounds.
People starve.
Friends betray.

The miracles Jesus performed were Him pulling back the curtain to what originally was, and what will be again when He returns.

He heals a man who can’t walk - as there will be no sickness.

He multiplies bread and fish - as there will be no hunger.

He calms the storm - as there will be no fear.

He raises Lazarus from the grave - as there will be no death.

THAT is what we long for, even when we don’t realize it.

We were not created to be trapped in the back of a van in the dark.

We were meant to be at our grandmother's house, full of cousins, and relatives, and food, and drink, and presents, and singing, and laughing.

THAT is what our souls long for… and we will be restless in this waiting until we get there.

THAT is the second kind of Advent waiting.

Worse than normal, worse than normal, worse than normal ----> at some point this will end.

We know things aren't right yet...but they won't always be this way.


DO THIS

By far the most famous quotation of St Augustine’s is:

You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised. Great is your power, and of your wisdom, there is no measure. And yet we want to praise you—we who are some part of your creation.
We also carry our mortality about with us, carry the evidence of our sin and with it the proof that you thwart the proud. You arouse us so that praising you brings us joy.
For you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

In what is now Algeria, Augustine lived a life of influence, power, money, friends. When he was older, he was hit with the realization that his life was empty. He finally understood he wasn’t living in a “every-day-IS-my-birthday” life of fun, but more of a “are we there yet?” world troubled by sin.

What does this phrase mean to you?

For you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

Where does your heart feel restless?
What do you think your heart SHOULD feel restless about?


PRAY THIS

A Prayer of Augstine:

My God,
let me know and love you,
so that I may find my happiness in you.
Since I cannot fully achieve this on earth,
help me to improve daily until I may do so to the full.
Enable me to know you ever more on earth,
so that I may know you perfectly in heaven.
Enable me to love you ever more on earth,
so that I may love you perfectly in heaven.
In that way my joy may be great on earth,
and perfect with you in heaven.
O God of truth, grant me the happiness of heaven
so that my joy may be full in accord with your promise.
In the meantime let my mind dwell on that happiness,
my tongue speak of it,
my heart pine for it,
my mouth pronounce it,
my soul hunger for it,
my flesh thirst for it,
and my entire being desire it
until I enter through death in the joy of my Lord forever.
Amen.


Talk to you next week!

~George

nope. nope. nope. just no.