God gives clarity, not confusion. Even during deployments. Ashley shares with us her personal experience with watching God smooth out the details on both sides of a deployment, both Servicemember abroad and spouse at home.
God’s Deployments Bring Clarity, Not Confusion
by Ashley Saulnier
This was a vastly different deployment than my first one. My first one was full of heartache brought on by death, division, and turmoil within my unit. After surviving that trial, I never wanted to deploy again. Although this deployment felt very different, I once again faced much confusion about my future in the military.
I didn’t realize this deployment would be my last one. I had a hunch it might be, but God was going to show me so much more. My Battalion Commander told me to take the time during the deployment to think about my future and not to rush to any decisions. I was caught in the middle of choosing whether to resign so I could move with my husband or stay in for company command at Fort Bragg. This necessary decision made me feel trapped, but I knew God would eventually show me the way.
God was showing me that because I was now officially his, his clarity would drive my mission, mindset, peace, and focus from that moment on.
Sealed for God’s Clarity
When we’re sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), we partake in our prayers and relationship with God. We hear, sense, and feel conviction about decisions we need to make. Sometimes the decisions we make are hard, especially surrounding our military careers, but God will always provide clarity. Since his plans and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8), we need him to show us what is next.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Steadfast Faith in Trying Times
The church at Corinth received three letters from Paul who admonished and rebuked them but also praised them for their steadfastness in maintaining their faith in Christ. When we maintain our focus on eternity, commune with the Holy Spirit and our faith in him, we maintain focus.
For me that laser focused-faith is much like life on deployment. There is precious little time to think about anything but the mission, but that doesn’t mean our personal lives stand still. What makes it hard sometimes is who we’ve left behind or what we think is coming ahead. We need God in the midst of every moment during a deployment, whether we are the ones serving abroad in harm’s way or maintaining the homefront. No matter our part, we always look towards what lies ahead–homecoming!.
This closely relates to maintaining our focus on what’s to come in eternal glory. If we maintain our enthusiasm for returning home to God, much like we do returning home to our families, can we imagine what that would be like?
“But, as it is written ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.’”
1 Corinthians 2:9
God Redeems Confusion
The deployment brought redemption in my military career, which offered me chances to share the gospel. My husband and I grew into the couple we longed to be. God laid clear the path I was supposed to walk and through his clarity, I am where I need to be today.
While I would rather it was me deploying instead of my husband, God still uses that time to give me clarity. I often have fewer responsibilities to help my husband, which afford me more alone time with God. Much like Jesus had alone time with God, deployments provide that special alone time since there are often fewer distractions.
Rise Up to the challenge of a deployment when it comes your way for you or your family. Choose to deliberately see how God will use it. Surrender your life to his work and stand amazed to witness what comes out on the other side. If a deployment threatens to plunge you into confusion, look to God to provide you with his clarity.
Pause Quiet your soul as you have your alone time with God. What is he telling your heart? Are you able to hear him?
Reflect Reflect on how God provided you with clarity during the previous deployments you’ve experienced. Or if this is your first, keep a board of God’s faithfulness and answered prayers. Be purposeful.
Submit Realize that submission to Him will not yield confusion, but clarity. Remember his plans for you are good and even during a deployment God gives clarity (Jeremiah 29:11).
Thank you, Lord, that through deployments, you don’t just work on me, but you work in multiple lives. Your ways are so much higher, you see everything and you are so wonderful. I’m thankful I can worship a God who has invested in my life by the atonement through Jesus Christ and loves me no more or less every single day. Please be with us as we strive on all of the deployments you will have us embark on. In Jesus’ name. Amen.