This Is How Our Community Is Improving Mental Health

Our Mental Health Ministry provides groups, classes, and resources to help you and your loved ones along the journey. Read the story below to see how community changes lives.

My name is Perry, and I have PTSD. It took many years to finally accept, understand, and say those words. I was a Sergeant in the 1 Cavalry Division and artillery forward observer from 2006-2010. I served two tours in Iraq and experienced everything that you would imagine comes with combat.

My new life began in a bathroom stall at the Nashville VA. I was ready to drive off to nowhere and just end it all. The failure, the hurt I caused, and the darkness consumed me. This was the moment when God’s amazing grace saved me. I received a phone call from my stepdad, who I had rarely spoken to over the past few years. Normally, I wouldn’t answer his calls. This time I did.

My stepdad mentioned that God had put me on his and my mother’s hearts and wanted to get breakfast soon. Without thinking, I said that tomorrow was good, figuring that might have been the last time for me to say goodbye. Little did I know, he had cancelled a meeting that was scheduled for that morning, intentionally making time for me.

I honestly cannot even remember what we talked about the next day at breakfast. All I know is that I could feel light coming into my life but the darkness was trying to fight back. After breakfast, I drove into an empty parking lot and cried. Then, I prayed and asked God to forgive me as I was handing over my life to Him. I was done trying to be Rambo, thinking that I could control my life and produce my own happiness. Shortly after that, I told my parents that I was ready to let God lead me into the future and move back to the farm.

I found out about Reboot, a faith-based PTSD program for veterans, police, and first responders that the church offers, through Don Caldwell (Brentwood campus). He had talked to my stepdad about me going. I was very hesitant about being in a group, so my stepdad offered to attend with me as support.

My parents, Don, and Reboot honestly saved my life. I quickly overcame my fear of vulnerability and realized that this was the way to true healing. I felt God’s grace over me. During my last week there, chains were broken as I shared my testimony and confessed my sins, proclaiming to not only God but to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that I handed my life over to Him. PTSD was still there, but the control that it had over me was no more.

There are two things that I still remind myself of every day:

  1. We will be given more than we can handle but not more than God can handle as long as we hand it over to Him.
  2. He gives us so many physical tools to help us, such as therapists (who have the ability to help us comprehend ways to regain control over trauma) and medicine (to help with both our physical and mental needs).

There is hope, and there always has been. The question is are you ready to accept your brokenness and seek the healing touch of Christ?

Even if you are too scared to reach out or in denial that there is something wrong, I pray that you will talk to someone. Jesus wants you to be in community, take a step into the uncomfortable, and join a group. Open your heart to being vulnerable and feel the healing take place. God will leave the 99 for the 1—you are the 1.