Step 4- 4 Ways To Survive Military Life With Power From Above
[Military Spouse Basic Training Series]
I’ve spent that past few weeks sharing information and logistics about how to survive military life and know what you’re doing. The Military Spouse Basic Training series has covered Tricare insurance, Surviving Deployment, and Military Moves. At this point, a few other topics rise up as valuable for military life. Topics like your career, relationships, or benefits.
However, at this time I realized that I have to include my overarching reason for being able to survive military life: my faith in Jesus Christ.
Even with all I”ve learned about the ways to make it through, I couldn’t lead a joyful, peace-filled life without God’s power helping me. He is my secret weapon power source, and I really don’t want to keep it a secret!
I know many of you may not be religious in any way and/or may not share my beliefs. Know that you’re always welcome here, no matter what. I want to encourage you to read this post and just think of it as a a way to get to know me and where I’m coming from. If that doesn’t interest you, feel free to search for a new category in the sidebar that is more to your liking. I won’t be offended. =)
Today I’m going to give you 4 ways my relationship with Jesus helps me survive military life (and life in general).
1- Peace of Mind
I have always been a worrier. For some reason I tend toward anxious thoughts. I have found great peace of mind when I give my worry over to God. It’s not that things don’t scare me or I don’t have those thoughts any more. I’ve learned (and am still learning) to give those thoughts over to God and let him handle them.
The Bible says:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Experiencing God’s peace gives me hope and confidence to face deployments, moves, orders, and other stressful situations that come my way as a military spouse.
2- Joy in Trials
It seems weird to put the words “joy” and “trials” in the same sentance. Life isn’t always joyful. I cry my share of tears when deployment starts, and I don’t always like where we’re stationed. I have bad days along with everyone else. But in those difficult moments, when I turn my heart to the Lord and get his peace (as I mentioned above), I see things in a new light.
The Bible says in James 1:2-4
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Enduring hard things builds our character. We can have hope and joy in what’s coming, even though the moment seems grim. Even during a deployment, we can focus on the good and on things we gain, even if it’s hard to.
Things like this: your relationship will grow in a way it never has before. You’ll learn new things about him and his life. You’ll get to be creative in how you communicate and show love. You’ll have experiences you may not have had if he was there. You’ll grow as a person…
The joy comes from knowing that good will result from the challenges we are going through. We can’t always see it at the time, but that’s where faith comes in.
In military life, there are times that I’m left to make family decisions on my own, without being able to bounce them off my husband. I know I’m a capable, smart and strong military wife. But there are times when I don’t know what to do. And even when I think I know, I realize there may be a perspective that I can’t see.
I turn to friends and family for wisdom, as they are a good source of support and life experience. But most importantly, I turn to God for wisdom. He’s the only one who understands 100% of the time, 100% of what I’m going through and 100% of what I’m feeling. He can do that because He’s always with me and He knows my thoughts before I even think them.
Psalm 139: 2-5 “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.”
Because He knows me, and he knows all about my situation, He can give me the best wisdom ever. All I have to do is ask:
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
This verse in James comes directly after the joy verses I listed previously. It’s like God knew that when we face trials, we’re going to need wisdom. =)
4- Friendship and Companionship
God is powerful and amazing. It’s easy to think of Him as distant and scary. But even though he is bigger than we can imagine, He chooses to be close to us. He wants a relationship with us. As I noted in the Psalm 139 passage, He knows us well. And we can get to know Him too, through the Bible.
I know it may sound weird, but there are times when I’ve heard him speak to me (not out loud necessarily but in my heart). I’ve had “coincidences’ happen that I know are the furthest thing from random chance.
Here’s a story from when I was single when God showed up in an amazing way:
I got married at 30 so it felt like I waited forever to find “the one.” In my mid-20s, I lived in Seattle and had a lot of great friends. I used to go to a mid-week evening service for 20s and 30s. During the service, we were standing and singing. I was talking to God (in my head) and praying that He would bring a man into my life.
I told God silently, “I know that you’re always with me and that you love me, but I really desire a husband. I mean, it’s not like you can physically reach out and hug me, which is what I really need right now.”
Just then, the friend on my left leaned over and gave me a huge hug. Then, the friend on my right hugged me. Both totally out of the blue. I hadn’t told them what was on my heart.
God hugged me that day. At least, that’s the way I interpreted it. He used my friends to meet a deep need and showed me His love in an amazing way that I’ll never forget.
Sometimes when I’m lonely, especially during a deployment, I think back to that experience. I know that God will meet all my needs. He will be with me when things are tough. I can talk to Him and tell Him how I really feel. He can respond back, whether through the Bible, through an experience or through friends who show His love.
Even if God doesn’t make the difficult deployment go “poof” and disappear… and He doesn’t unpack my house for me like Dumbledoor or Mary Poppins might… I know He’s there and I know He loves me.
And that’s how I survive military life.
ps- if you have any questions or thoughts about this post, or any others in the Military Spouse Basic Training Series, please leave a comment below or email me: heather at happyfitnavywife dot com.
For more posts like this see Finding Help and Strength In Our Trials
Military Spouse Basic Training Posts: