I wanted to quit working on my doctoral studies several times.

Besides the common challenges that come with the progression of writing, editing, and rewriting chapters, there were plenty of days when getting any words on a page were difficult. Those blank stares at a screen without words would quickly lead to motivation-killing thoughts that the work was meaningless. I was just wasting my time.

Yet many people encouraged me to stay the course and remain focused. I also recalled my days attending the US Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection course and the mindset never to quit. If you want it, do not quit. Keep moving forward and encourage those around you. Day after day, event after event. Keep going. And that is what I did on my way to becoming selected, earning the coveted Green Beret, and having the distinct privilege of serving among the warriors with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). DOL

So I kept at it with my doctoral studies. Pray. Write. Edit. Write some more. Edit again. Rewrite and pray some more. Repeat.

And after five years, closer to six because of those struggles, I successfully defended my dissertation and graduated with my professional doctorate.

Was it worth it? Is it contributing to my chosen field of educational ministry? Yes and yes!

The photo was from my introduction to Ukrainian seminary students, chaplains, pastors, and local church members interested in learning more about discipleship and posttraumatic stress caused by war. I was asked to prepare and teach supplemental topics for four seminars on developing local church disability ministries. The outline that I presented included sixteen topics from posttraumatic stress and moral injury, shaping and preparing soldiers for combat, suicide awareness and prevention, embracing available resources and treatments, finding hope and peace in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and how to facilitate posttraumatic growth from a Christian worldview. More than forty individuals have already registered and more are expected to sign up before the first seminar this year.

So do not give up on your doctoral studies! Keep pressing forward and do not quit! Fight through the discouragement as the real value and purpose may be revealed in ways you never expected!

#posttraumaticstressdisorder #combat #educationalministry #discipleship #hope #moralinjury #professionaldoctorate #dontquit #posttraumaticgrowth #forthechurch