Diving Deeper into Living Waters
Last Thursday I wrote a Living Waters FB post that, in part, said...
"Living Waters isn’t just a war story. It is a life story with a war component. The entirety of AJ’s life informed how war would impact him. There are many parts of his life that can speak deeply to those who’ve never been to war.
The work he and Rev Marsh (Chaps) did together represents real concepts I developed and taught my veterans, combat, AND non-combat."
For the next several weeks, I'll blog an excerpt from the book and share a thought or two about the real-life application. Which, though fictional, is based on my work with veterans over twelve years as a VA Mental Health Chaplain.
This week, the excerpt comes from a fairly early encounter between the two men. It is AJ's second trip home to the Lowcountry. He's been out of the military for a few years by this time. They are on Marsh's dock, eating. (Those of you who've read the book will understand the significance of that)
AJ's been struggling with how his life has unfolded. In the middle of their conversation, he says, sarcastically..."Yeah. It is what it is, I suppose. Suck it up and drive on, right?" (Page 83)
Marsh offers a thoughtful response, concluding with...
"Eventually, there must come a time when you stand up to the pain inside of you. It isn't easy, I understand, but what stays inside decays inside...when you have painful stuff inside that hasn't been dealt with, it will eat at you until there's no you left."
I can't tell you the number of times I sat across from someone in my office recounting story after story of how their life had derailed or where they had self-sabotaged. Mostly because they had not done the deep dive into their painful past, with the help of a counselor, therapist, or clergy who could guide them on that journey. I cannot overstate the importance of doing so.
There is no substitute for confronting your pain; for digging deep into the dark places of your secret suffering and bringing it into the light so healing can begin.
Wishing you light and love,