Join Dr. Sharita Knobloch as she shares about Gaining Wisdom in Military Women’s Mental Health.
Gaining Wisdom: Military Women’s Mental Health
by: Dr. Sharita Knobloch
Some folks say wisdom “appears” when you reach a certain age, earn a specific degree, or know a set number of facts.
- As a milspouse, wisdom is not writing anything on the calendar ink in.
- As a mama, wisdom is knowing the exact moment to break up the “wrestling match” between the kids.
- As a woman, wisdom is saying “No” when the gal waxing your brows offers to wax your upper lip. (I gave birth naturally twice, have completed a dissertation, and ran a full marathon. Lip waxing is more painful. Just say no).
May is Women’s Health Month and Mental Health Awareness month.
For my journey to wisdom, these two things are nearly interchangeable.
They also blend so beautifully with this year’s key verse here at Planting Roots: “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45)
I struggled with my mental health my entire life until a major breakthrough in 2017, but I didn’t know I struggled with my mental health. Though my battle with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder has been hard now, I can’t not share the lessons I’ve learned. Why? Because God has made good promises, given me wisdom through them, and none of those promises have failed.
I’ve come to understand that yes, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16).
- Wisdom is a gift and brings us closer to the Lord.
- Wisdom humbles us.
- Wisdom enlightens us.
- Wisdom from God can deliver us.
So here are some of my essential tips for gaining wisdom in your military mental health journey.
Gaining Wisdom Tip #1
Give yourself grace.
We don’t know what we don’t know until we know it! Upon my initial diagnosis, I berated myself for not knowing about my struggles sooner. But how can we know if we haven’t been taught? God’s grace fills the gaps as we journey toward wisdom.
Gaining Wisdom Tip #2
Seek the Lord.
With my mental health journey, I found that seeking the Lord provided great comfort. But it also required Him to connect me with earthly resources such as medication and counseling. I found that the healthier I became, the more clearly I could hear His voice. That also isn’t to say I experienced immediate, miraculous healing. I had a significant relapse in 2021 (thanks, pandemic isolation, and dissertation writing). But He never left me, not for a moment. Now, 18 months later, I am medication free and mentally healthier than ever.
Gaining Wisdom Tip #3
Utilize available resources.
My dissertation surveyed 1,079 military spouses about their mental health and found that more than half believe that religion/spirituality positively impacts their mental health. So, my first resource is Jesus (See Tip 2). This may involve volunteering with Planting Roots, attending PWOC, being active in a local church, or meeting with your unit chaplain/
Find social connections in real life or online. I have served with Mission: Milspouse (formerly Army Wife Network, but now serving ALL spouses of ALL branches and ALL components) for nine years. It is a solid group of spouses for gaining wisdom through resources and solidarity.
Beyond medication, consider additional or alternative options. One of my favorite discoveries is Katie’s Way, dTMS (Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation) treatment for depression. Currently, clinics are available near Fort Riley, KS, and Fort Bliss, TX, with more opening nationwide soon. This treatment is FDA-approved and fully covered by TRICARE. It is non-invasive, and treatment outcomes give hope to my milspouse mental health advocating heart!
Gaining Wisdom Tip #4
Reflect and recognize.
We must reflect on where we have been so we can be fully equipped for where we are going. Much research surrounds mindfulness’s impact on mental health, and MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) meditation has been a big part of my healing process. (Jesus led me to the book “Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal.”)
Throughout my mental health journey, the Lord has faithfully given me insight I didn’t know I needed. He has offered encouragement to my weary, milspouse
heart. It’s true: Not one word of all He promises has failed to come to fruition. He has brought me through the valleys not only for my sake, not only for His glory but to give me the great privilege of comforting those who are now going through it (2 Corinthians 1:4).
When it comes to gaining wisdom, it goes far beyond my choice to say “no” to the lip wax or walk away from the ink pen near the calendar.
Gaining wisdom in our military mental health journeys is much more precious than gold or silver, and not a single promise of God will fail.
Lord, I pray you speak to the heart of the woman reading this who is struggling with her mental health. Give her wisdom, discernment, and insight into what healing may look like for her. Supernaturally connect her to the right resources, encourage her heart to know she is not alone in this journey, and give her the faith to take that first step toward healing.
About the Author
Dr. Sharita Knobloch has been married to her beloved infantryman husband for 12 years. She holds a Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling: Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University. Sharita is mama, a smallish dog owner, aspiring runner, writer, speaker, and spiritual leadership coach. She has been with Mission: Milspouse (formerly Army Wife Network) since February 2014 and currently serves as Executive Director. She is also a Dissertation Chair at Liberty University Online. Sharita gets really excited about office supplies and journal shopping, is a certified auctioneer, overuses hashtags on a regular basis with #NoShame and frequently uses #America! as a verb.
Notes and Resources
- Click here to see our Month of the Military Child Resource.
- Click here to see our Women’s History Month Resource List.
- Click here to see our Heart Healthy Relationship Resource List.
- Click here to see our Women’s Empowerment Resource List.
- Check out this post if you want a reminder of what our Faith Full Friday series is all about.