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What is resilience? Is there a correlation between resilience and the prevalence of suicide in the military? How do you know if you’ve become resilient? Minutes after leading a session about the topic of resilience during OCF’s annual Local Leader Conference held at Spring Canyon earlier this year, Col Tim Hale, USAF (Ret.), sat down with me to address these questions and others.
Raised in a military community near Scott AFB, Tim began his own career in the Air Force after completing Air Force ROTC at St. Louis University. Throughout his decades of service, Tim’s command positions at a variety of levels, bolstered by post-retirement experiences as a cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Veteran Services and as an elder at his church, enabled him to see the importance of resilience firsthand. Tim now resides in Oklahoma, where he serves as OCF’s Area Coordinator for Central Oklahoma, Southern Kansas, and Northern Texas.
Check out the various resources mentioned throughout this episode
As you listen to this conversation with Tim, here are a few questions to ponder in your personal time, with a small group, or with a mentor
- Tim says the best time to build resilience is before a traumatic event takes place. How can you build resilience now so that you’re better prepared if and when potentially traumatic life events occur?
- Referring to Path to Resiliency, Tim reminds us that God can heal our trauma and enable us to move forward. What examples, biblical or personal, come to mind as you think of God restoring people after a traumatic event?
- Specifically, what spiritual disciplines can you cultivate now so that those habits are already established if and when traumatic experiences occur?
- Who do you consider your community to support you through trauma and recovery?
- Tim shares 2 Corinthians 1:3 as a biblical encouragement that God sustains us through trials. What scripture can you begin clinging to now that will encourage you through the hardships of life?
- Tim suggests that a self-examination of behavior in day-to-day life–even when things are good–can help assess personal resilience that will prove necessary in hardships. Reflect now on how you’re handling the “small things” during this season of life, and ask yourself if there are spiritual disciplines to pursue as you seek to develop this resilience.