In late June of 2009, I was working on communication equipment in my MAXXPRO while behind the wire at Delhi in the Garmsir District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan. I was the field radio operator and driver for the battalion commander of 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. Several of us were discussing the events several days prior where we took contact with enemy combatants as we recovered a disabled vehicle behind enemy lines. Then, in an instant, an explosion impacted next to my head inside my truck.
The impact shook me. In that moment, I was thinking that my head was gone. Dust and smoke went flying everywhere. Jumping out of the vehicle we were thinking we were mortared. Then, after things had calmed down it turned out that a junior Marine had negligently discharged a shotgun and it impacted right next to my head. Going to our platoon corpsman, I was given ibuprofen for the headaches that were persisting throughout the deployment.
I didn’t know anything was wrong until after returning home. While overseas I just stayed busy fighting through the pain and headaches. But after a few months at home, I knew things weren’t right, sensing that I couldn’t think straight at times. I noticed that I was unable to fully complete sentences sometimes, having the words on my mind but unable to speak them. One doctor diagnosed this as aphasia and sent me a battery of tests and an MRI. Receiving the diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) I went to different therapies.
I underwent speech and physical therapy as well as counseling for combat service-related symptoms. For several years, I prayed for healing and wrestled in prayer, deciding to pursue God’s presence and renew my mind through intensive personal and seminary studies. God granted some healing as through a prayer session I was healed of the migraines, but I still suffered from other combat-related symptoms and physical injuries.
For the healing I received, I praised God, and for the healings I did not receive, I still seek God as my dependence is completely on Him. When we receive our healing, we need to thank and follow Him (Mark 10:46-52). If we receive healing in one area but are still disabled in others we need to keep praising Him.
Healing provision is in the atonement and is a great scriptural truth (Matthew 8:16-17). Sometimes healing can be immediate or total, and at other times, it may be progressive. However, we also need to understand that some healing prayer may go unanswered. Despite this we are to still keep faith in Jesus.
When you need further healing, look to Colossians 3:1-17:
- Set your affections on things above and put to death the things of the earthly nature (vv. 1-11).
- Continue applying His character to your life, embracing mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering and love (vv. 12-14).
- Let the peace of God rule in your hearts and thank God for your healing (v. 15).
- Teach others the word of truth and testify of God’s healing while still seeking Him for further healing (v. 16).
- Know that in everything you do, do them all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God (v. 17).
I learned these principles, applying them to my life, seeing healing take place in several areas. And I have progressed in healing other parts of my mind through constant immersion in biblical studies. Scriptures words are truth and life. In the other areas that need healing, I continue to seek God as I minister His Gospel to a hurting and needy world.
If you find yourself in a similar situation to that described, I pray that you receive your healing. And continue to pursue and praise God for further healing while telling others of His grace.
This article is the first in the Combat Veteran series written by Jared Laskey who served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. Today he leads Fireborn Ministries and Destiny Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is also the co-author of Veronica’s Hero.