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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Frnka

30 Days of Prayer for PTSD - Day 5

Stopping at red lights gives me time to truly engage with our Lord. To pray for the people around me, watch the school kids cross the street or play in the distance. I wonder what their day was like and pray that God covers them heart, mind, body and soul. I pray for blessings and the sweet person who buzzed passed me after gently trying to nudge me over. I pray for where I am headed and what’s behind me. And, I almost always pray for God to protect me, my car, and especially my tires.


I haven’t always been this way though. God has sort of molded me in this way. There was once a time in my life when I hated red lights. They slowed me down. Caused me to have to pause, sit and wait, and “Lord knows I didn’t have time for that.” I laugh as I think back to that time in my life. How little I knew then. How little I know now.


God’s brought me to a lot of red lights in my lifetime. Things that He has stopped me or protected me from. I didn’t always see it at first, but over time I came to understand that He knew what He was doing.


Tonight, we are going to talk about and try to troubleshoot moments of flashbacks. Flashbacks are one of the most common symptoms of PTSD and perhaps stir up some of the greatest anxieties and stressors in our life.


When I think of a flashback, I think of a red light, mostly because they stop you dead in your tracks. Your heart may start racing, you may start to sweat and shake, like you're stuck in idle. Unless you find a way to ground yourself and reconnect the light will change to green and you will be left at the scene.


University of Northern Colorado offers several suggestions for how to be prepared to move before the light turns green:


  1. Rub your arms and legs. Breathe in deeply and notice the world around you.

  2. Notice your body. Feel your clothes against your skin. Feel the movement of your hair, the chair you are sitting in, your feet against the floor.


And, my absolute favorite grounding strategy: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1


Sit firmly in your chair. Take a deep breath in. Then take your time and name…


5 things that you see.

4 things that you hear

3 things that you can touch (and touch them)

2 things that you can smell


Then take in:


1 slow deep breath.


Red lights can certainly slow us down. They are not something we always want to be at, but I think it’s nice to know that we don’t have to sit at them forever. Just a grounding strategy or two and in a flash we are back in the race.


Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us how to navigate and use the red lights that come in our life. Though these are not moments that we want or wish we didn’t have to experience, You show us how to navigate them with ease. Heavenly Father, where post-traumatic stress is present in the lives of those we love, we ask you to drive us closer to more peace, trust, strength and discipline. Amen.


Y’all have a beautiful day!


All My Love,


Jen


Sources for this article:


Vivyan, Carol. “Coping With Flashbacks.” Counseling Center, 2015, www.unco.edu/counseling-center/resources/.


For more information about Get Strong with Jen! click here.

To view 30 Days of Prayer for PTSD - Day 4 click here.




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