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 MESSY 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 wearing Soldiers knocking on my door. My heart pounded and my stomach was tied in 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 my 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 – like a Friend, Father, Protector, Sovereign Lord, and Redeemer. To establish a strong relationship with Him we must read His love letters and communicate with Him in prayer. My faith had to be more than an entry on my dog tags.
To find peace in troubling times trust God.
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 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? Together, let’s commit to trusting God so that the enemy cannot steal one more second of the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
For more resources with a Biblical perspective on overcoming anxiety, visit my friend Julie Loo at Unmasking the Mess.
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Thought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul Survival, Monday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Word of God Speak, Testimony Tuesday.