I laced up my boots and straightened my starched uniform every morning as I left for work before the sun rose above the horizon. I was a Soldier and a combat veteran. Strong. Confident. Competent.
But I packed a secret deep in my cargo pockets.
I couldn’t shake the thought of a black sedan with government tags pulling up in front of my town house and dress uniform clad Soldiers knocking on my door. My heart pounded and my stomach was tied in tangled knots. For months on end, I did everything within my power to be anywhere but home during official notification hours.
If your spouse has been deployed in a combat zone, this scenario might sound familiar.
But for me, common fear crossed the line into unhealthy anxiety.
By the grace of God, my husband came home from that deployment unscathed, but my experience uncovered an uncomfortable truth in my heart.
My faith had been tested and found insufficient. I lacked confidence that God would take care of me if something should happen to my husband. I was consumed by fear because the roots of my faith were shallow.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation?
A lack of trust often presents itself as worry, fear, anxiety, discouragement, or a constant desire to fix things our own way.
I believed in God and knew that His son was sacrificed for my salvation, but I didn’t have a relationship with Him. Believing in God and trusting Him are not necessarily synonymous. To trust Him, we must know Him – as Friend, Father, Protector, Sovereign Lord, and Redeemer. To establish a strong relationship with Him we must read His love letters to us and communicate with Him in prayer.
My faith had to be more than an entry on my dog tags.
Finding peace in troubling times comes from trusting God.
Studying the Bible and developing an active prayer life made a world of difference in my state of mind. When the next deployment orders were published, my roots were deep and I did not fear the unfathomable.
Instead of being consumed by my earthly needs, I learned to seek God’s Kingdom and then trust Him to provide all that I require for righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
In place of fretting I began to pray and give thanks (Philippians 4:6-7) even for the smallest of blessings, acknowledging that all goodness comes from above.
Rather than agonizing over the possibility that I would suffer unspeakable pain, I trusted God would never leave nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6) no matter what happened, because He is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).
In lieu of allowing worry to consume me, I began to cast my cares on the Lord, knowing that He cares for me more than I can imagine (1 Peter 5:7).
Friends, it works.
Since instituting these practices into my life, I have not experienced a single moment of all-consuming anxiety during any of my husband’s more recent deployments. In fact, I have learned to look forward to deployments as periods of significant spiritual growth, but that is another post altogether.
I replaced worry with trust.
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
Will you join me? Let us commit together to trusting God so that the enemy cannot steal from us one more second of the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
Liz Giertz is a Combat Veteran who served on Active Duty in the Army for 9 1/2 years, an Army wife of nearly 12 years, and mom to two boisterous boys who encourages women to live the life Christ won for them. She enjoys studying The Word, writing, reading and bringing women together around her craft table. Find more inspiration on her blog, My Messy Desk.