In this week’s Worship Wednesday, Hillary Baggett shares how God has been teaching her to look into the light in military life, even when darkness seems to settle over you.
Look Into the Light in Military Life
by Hillary Baggett
Darkness, depression, alone – these words came to mind when my husband deployed; started his new job after a move (PCS); was passed over for promotion; began the retirement process that required full-time energy; and especially when the house is completely quiet.
Recently, we moved again, this time to a town of our own choosing. This is the first time we have chosen our own city, state, and country of residence in over 2 decades. Excitement, fear, and overload. This time, I am the foreigner, but I am in my home country, speaking my native tongue -English, and I feel immense reverse culture shock. Sounds are loud, choices are abundant, and I can understand everything everyone says, unable to tune any of it out.
I could get stuck in the overload or turn to the One who knows, sees, and understands.
And he gives us some ways to look into the light in military life.
We have options to remedy this ailment in this military life: reach out to the community, listen to music, share authentically and be vulnerable with my thoughts and feelings, and steadfast prayer.
Call a friend from the last duty station, text a new local friend, talk to the neighbor walking their dog, or write a message to encourage a family member or friend on social media. Do something and do not wait for someone to call or write you. In case you were wondering, our friends and family are not mind readers, and we shouldn’t expect them to be.
How do I get out of the funky mood and change my attitude? Worship music is a game changer in my life. On the darkest days, lethargy seeps in, and sleep beckons me. However, melodies from Christian artists transform my focus to hope. Worship music opens my lungs as I breathe in to sing aloud, dance in the privacy of my home, focus my eyes to heaven, get my thoughts outside of myself and towards the living God.
First, share your feelings and thoughts with the Lord, who knows all about losing friends, long trips, moving, being a stranger in a strange land, betrayal, love, and prayer. Then, find a trusted friend to open up to or find a professional if needed, and be real with yourself. You will soon discover who God has intended for you to be – just you, because everyone else has already been taken.
Ahh, the best for last, some people think that as the Planting Roots Prayer Coordinator, I always go to prayer first. Well, I am human just like the rest of us and often forget the power we have in releasing our requests, burdens, needs, and desires to the Lord – who wants the very best for us. I encourage you to pray, have a conversation with the Lord. He is kind, loving, and compassionate. He sees your tears, and he hears your cries. There is nothing he does not know about you. And the Sovereign Lord cares deeply for you.
“You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light” (Eph 5:8 CEV).
Look to the Lord, who is the light, walk with him, talk to him. Be in the light with him.
The song “Into the Light” by Matthew West encourages me to step out in faith. Whatever keeps you in the shadows or darkness is no match for God. He will fill you with the faith to step towards the light which is freedom – a relationship with our Lord.
Dear Lord, help us who are deep in the challenges of military life: deployments, transitions, moves. You are our light, O God. You are our hope. Draw us closer to you than ever before, and lead us into your light. Amen.
I pray listening to “Into the Light” by Matthew West will help you look into the light in military life.