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CMWF Blog

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Welcome to the CMWF Blog! We hope you'll find some encouragement and comfort here through stories of military life and truth from God's Word.


You Can't Put A Pricetag On Freedom

By Mary Parker

 


My life so far can easily be divided into three distinct phases: A time when it was out of control, a time when I tried to control it, and the current phase, in which I accept that God is fully in control of my life (although I often have to remind myself of it throughout hectic days).

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the more I trust God to be in charge, the more freedom I feel in my everyday life, and in the storms that occasionally arise.
Because we come from different places and diverse backgrounds, I’d like to use an illustration I believe we can all relate to: money. Unfortunately, our husbands don’t get paid a lot to serve our country and it can often be difficult for military wives to access the education or careers necessary to provide a secondary income. Money can be a huge cause of stress on the individual and family unit. At one time or another, we all could use more money.

Before my husband and I were married, my finances were out of control. I had a limited understanding of a balanced budget and I LOVED shopping. I opened several store credit cards with sky-high interest rates and kept rotating balances. Things were not good, but I couldn’t even see it.

Shortly after we married, my husband and I began to struggle financially. The transition in lifestyle from single to married affected our money in ways we had not anticipated, and when I became a full-time graduate student my income essentially went out the window. Times were hard, and we knew it. My struggle to make our life easier often resulted in conflict as I grasped for control over our lives.

After my husband and I invited Jesus into our lives, things began to change. We heard a message about tithing that illustrated why we give financially and how Jesus wants to bless our money. I was amazed to learn that God actually challenges us to follow Him financially:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be enough room to store it.” (Malachi 3:10)

God promises that when we are obedient to him financially by giving back the first fruits of what He has blessed us with, He will reward us with more than we can count. What an incentive!

We began to pursue Jesus by managing our money responsibly, always putting Him first. Although it wasn’t much to begin with, we gave with faith that those who can be trusted with little can be trusted with much (Luke 16:10). As we became more obedient with our purse strings, our lifestyle shifted a lot. Things that once seemed so important no longer were, and even though we were making less money and giving the first 10% back to God, we had more expendable income.
When my husband entered the Air Force, we applied these financial principles to our lives. We have been able to save, plan vacations, and live well. Recently, I’ve started working full-time, which has definitely helped, too. But, rather than splurging and living above our means, we have learned to first praise God for what He has given us--our jobs and ability to earn--then apply discipline to the rest of our spending so that we strive to please God.

Freedom means different things to different people. Maybe money isn’t a burden God has put on your heart, but I encourage you to trust him with anything you’re currently holding back and trying to handle on your own.
I can honestly tell you I feel free from the burdens of monetary stress and trust God fully with our family’s finances. And you can’t put a price tag on that!

Reflection

Do you have areas in which you struggle to give up control?

How do you think giving that control over to God might bring you freedom?

 

Prayer
Lord, thank You for being in control over all things in my life. Thank You for the freedom You give when I trust You with everything. Help me to let go of the things I am trying to control. Amen.




Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects at her blog, Mary's Mischief.



Dear Military Spouse: Fighting Back Negativity


Dear Military Spouse,

I don’t know where you are or exactly what you’re going through, but I am sure that your life is FULL of challenges. From the sudden changes that can occur with moves, TDYs and the uncertainties of deployments, we always have to be on our toes and ready to adapt. Combine those potential hardships with the demands of everyday life and work, and being a military spouse becomes a difficult job description to fulfill.

As the new kid on the block at our first base, I had all sorts of anxieties about meeting people and getting plugged into the community. When things didn’t progress as quickly as I had hoped, I became discouraged. When I wasn’t able to put my hard earned Master’s degree to work immediately, I began to feel worthless and lost. Fear and doubt became my enemy and I felt my faith becoming strained and tested.

Whether the enemy takes shape in the form of negative thoughts, negative people in your surroundings, or excruciatingly difficult circumstances, God wants to redeem you.  In the Old Testament, God is described primarily as the Redeemer. As the Israelites struggled in Egypt, the wilderness, and under Babylonian rule, God rescued them from their enemies, offering salvation and forgiveness. In the New Testament, the blood of Jesus is provided as an ultimate promise of redemption for all who accept Him. God is the redeemer of our lives and circumstances. He has the authority to rescue us from all our enemies if we simply reach out and ask for His help.

As I worked hard to thwart negativity, I recalled this passage:

 “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:2-5).

Remembering how God pulled me out of a pit of despair in order to grant me new life helped me understand this truth: God saved me for a purpose! God gives us a new blessed life in free of fear and worry.  He brings us from deep darkness into marvelous light. Putting that sharp contrast into perspective
reminds me to be thankful, no matter the circumstances.

I am alive in God! I am whole in Christ! I am redeemed and set free! I am forgiven! I choose not to live in fear!

Dear Sister, as you walk through today- potentially a difficult path where you feel the pain of every step- I ask you to remember where you have been and how God’s love has saved you. Cling to the truth of His salvation: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23). Remember Jesus’ sacrifice and hold onto the hope of salvation. Know that as our circumstances change, our God stays the same, and He wants to redeem you today! 


Love,

Your Sister in Christ, Mary 




Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects, at her blog, Mary's Mischief.


Dear Military Spouse: When Plans Come Undone

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

Jeremiah 32:17


Dear Military Spouse,

You've probably been there, and so you know- deployments come with a great deal of planning. I made the decision to move into my parents’ home while my husband would be deployed for ten months. There was a lot of planning and preparation put into this move. Two days before the deployment, I stood in the kitchen surrounded by boxes. My mother-in-law and I were cleaning and getting things together when I received a phone call from a friend. She was asking if I had heard the news about deployment being canceled.

Can you picture that? I have to believe you’ve been through similar experiences. How everything you set in order is turned upside down and there lie all the scattered pieces of your well-thought-out plan.

I stood outside for a moment, trying to accept our new reality while mumbling under my breath, “I don’t know what to do.” I must have said that over and over for at least an hour. I was suffering from serious whiplash!

That afternoon we fielded dozens of phone calls and messages from family and friends offering assistance, and a place to stay for however long we needed. What a gift!

Sometimes when you’re going through something, it’s not clear what God is up to. It’s only when you’re out of the fog that you can turn back around and see where He was working things together for your good and His glory.

He is in control of our circumstances and nothing is a surprise to him. It’s one of my favorite characteristics of God because I love having a plan! He is not shrugging his shoulders about the direction of our lives. We can trust that he is at work through this challenging lifestyle to which he’s called our families. We are led by the God who is in highest authority and rules over everything that was, and is to come.

Laura



Laura is a Christ-follower, Navy wife, mother to one toddler, writer, and coffee drinker. She writes about Faith, Military Life, and Motherhood at her blog, Embracing this Life.


Forgiven

By Mary Parker

 

Have you ever made a mistake? Inevitably, we have all been wrong in one way or another. What’s often worse than actually being wrong is the humiliation of admitting you were wrong. Although God desires for us to choose the wisest decisions, He also understands we are human. He knows that we will make mistakes before we make them, however, we can rest in His promise that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).


 

I am so thankful that our perfect Father in Heaven never says, “I told you so,” or asks, “Why did you do that? Didn’t you know any better?” He does, however, expect us to confess and repent of our sins (1 John 1:9). In turn, He promises to show us how to make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:6). Confessing our sins and admitting our faults becomes easier when we understand the depths of God’s forgiveness towards us and His love for us.

 

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zepheniah 3:17Zephaniah 3:17 tells us, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” How encouraging and comforting! Not only does our Father forgive us for the mistakes we make, but he protects us and rejoices over us in love. God’s love is so enveloping and unconditional that it can be difficult for the finite, human mind to comprehend and accept.

 

As we grow in our faith, we will grow more thankful for the spirit of conviction versus condemnation. In our thanksgiving, we invite God’s presence into our hearts and lives, creating a constant connection, where we can rest assured that He will hear our requests. As we enter into a season of giving, it’s important to reflect on all that we have been given, in prayer and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). God is always with us, a loving guide ready to lead us back to His path.



Reflection
What is the difference between condemnation and conviction? Why does it matter?
What is God convicting you of today? How can you be obedient?
How does God’s gift of conviction teach us to deal with other people in our lives?

Prayer
Father, thank you for being so gentle and patient with me, even when I make mistakes I should have learned from. Thank you for providing the perfect example of Jesus to show me how I may be a Godly person on this earth. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me so that I may be set free from the bondage of condemnation for my sins, so that I may live a life praising you. Show me how to live for you each and every day of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen
.



Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects at her blog, Mary's Mischief.


Perennials

Written by Molly Huggins

I read a quote about military wives recently:


“She plants annuals for herself and perennials for those who come behind her.”

 

 

And I, the extreme extrovert-whose soul needs relationships like my lungs need air-I teared up, a little. Tears of pity, I think; for the friends left behind, for the constant moves, the re-plantings. Fast friendships, uprooted in one or two years.

Because that’s where my heart went ... and how much are our relationships like this? We dig in ... And it's messy and ugly and hard and beautiful. You have to be bare and transparent and vulnerable.
You have to be a friend to make a friend. You have to let people into your dirty house and your messy life and your moments where you just. Can't. Go. On.
And in the moment when that woman, who are you dying to get to know better, steps lightly over the clutter without batting an eye ... seeds nestle in, tender shoots appear in rough, honest dirt.

And we feed it ... with truth, with tears, with the gospel.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. and above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).

And something grows. And each new planting, it’s different, and divine, and soul-sustaining.

And I’ll tell you my secret that makes the goodbyes a little sweeter ... I only plant perennials.

I have heart friends scattered across all across this continent. They read like a chronological map of where we have laid our head, and I would be lost without them still. They have born my burdens ... been the very hands and feet of Christ. They bloom still, in late night phone calls and Facebook chats, and random sleepovers. They feed my soul.

Beloved, however long the season might be ... one year, two years, or more ... I would encourage you to dig deep, to dig in. Don’t waste precious minutes believing that you will leave soon ... or that no one cares ... or understands. Invest in the women around you. Plant a friendship that will grow across the miles, that will bloom across the years.

And above all, love the way Christ loves ... “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galations 6:2).

 

I promise, the soil is rich.

 


Reflection

Is there someone around you God has laid on your heart to reach out to?


This week, how can you be intentional in your existing relationships?


What are some ways you can let down your own walls as you reach out to others?


Prayer
Thank You, Lord, for being God over every season in my life. Through the changes, You are faithful. I praise You for the people You’ve placed in my life for this season, and for all the ones before. Help me to always put on compassion toward others. Let me love people like You do, so that they might see Your face. Give me the strength to be vulnerable in my relationships with others, even when it’s tough. Thank You, Father. Amen.



Molly Huggins (All The Grace Between) is an Army bride, one-time helicopter pilot, compulsive writer, friend seeker, and lover of color and all things textile. Her current occupation is ringmaster of the Huggins family circus (party of five). She has a B.A. in English from Covenant College and a passion for meeting other women right in the middle of their own messy stories. Pull up a chair at her virtual beat-up kitchen table, listen to her stories, and maybe even tell her yours.




God's Great Exchange Program

My family is blessed to be loved, nurtured, and taken under the wing of a wonderful woman of God named Sandy. She is the mother that my heart adopted. A few months ago she spent a week in our home, pouring out her heart, loving on us, and leaving a legacy of God’s love for my children. In all of the little things that we did as a family, God used Sandy to impart pearls of wisdom, to help us see Him more in our every day lives, to teach us life lessons, to show us His love.

 

One afternoon, Sandy saw my 9 year old son swatting frantically at a bee. He shared with her that he is very afraid of bees and the lesson she taught him was one I will never forget. Tenderly, she shared with him that she also had fear, but that she had learned how to be free from it- by giving it over to God. She told him that she made an exchange with God- He took her fears, and gave her His peace to fill the void.

 

This truth is for us, too. When we are fearful, we can exchange our fear for His peace. There is no fear too big or too small for us to bring to Him; He gives us peace from His Spirit freely.

 

As I reflect on those wise words from my friend, I cannot help but think of the many opportunities that exist in God’s “great exchange program”. We can exchange our sorrow, for His joy. We can trade in our pain or His healing. Psalm 30 reminds us of this promise, as the psalmist praises the Lord for a great exchange in his life:

 

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

What about you, sister? Do you have some old regret you want to get rid of? Just give it to Him and He’ll give you a new start in return. Are you buying into lies from the enemy about your value, your worth, your purpose? Trade those lies for God’s promises in scripture, and let His truth remind you of your magnificent worth to Him. Exchange your past for His future. God’s exchange program is BIG, and the possibilities are endless.



Reflection

Am I living a life filled with the peace and joy of Christ?


What fears, lies, or regrets am I holding in my heart today?


How can I encourage a fellow sister in Christ to be a part of God’s great exchange program?

Prayer
Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice. You gave your life for me on the cross, in order to pay for my sins. That is the greatest, most beautiful exchange in all of history. Don’t let me forget it, Lord. Bind my heart to Your gospel. Thank You for all the exchanges You provide in my life, God. Today, I choose to lay down my ________________ in exchange for Your ____________________. Do a great work in my heart, Lord, that I might know and glorify You more. Amen.



Heather Tabers is the wife of a wounded warrior and the mother of five children. She is also currently a full time student, a specialty cake baker, and a volunteer with the VA Public Relations office. She writes about her life and her faith to encourage other women on her blog, Wives of War.


Here I Raise My Ebenezer
Music tells the stories in this wee family of mine. There is always a song, a singer, a note that accompanies the moments we treasure.

A recurring hymn woven in our tale - sung at weddings, funerals, countless church services, and even a few bedtimes - is “Come Thou Fount,” written in the 18th century by Robert Robinson.

 

If you are unfamiliar with the lyrics, let me highlight a few key phrases.

 

“Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise ...”

“Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I come ... “


There’s more -I encourage you to listen to the whole song.  But for now ... have you ever thought about who or what Ebenezer is?

It comes from I Samuel 7, after the Israelites had been delivered from the Philistines. Samuel interceded for the Israelites as they cried out to the Lord. And the Lord answered, confusing the Philistines with a mighty thundering.

Then, “Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (I Samuel 7:12, NKJV).

Ebenezer is, literally, “a stone of help.”

 

Friends, I am here to tell you, it is only with a multitude of grace and a veritable mountain of Ebenezers that I can write to you with joy of His mercy and goodness in my life.

 

In eight plus years of marriage, we’ve lived through four deployments (with a fifth looming), six moves, five pregnancies, three babes, and the combat loss of my best friend. And He never fails to help. Scripture pours out of me when I think of each moment I cried out in my desperation.

There are too many to list them all.

 

So beloved, hear this.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13, NKJV).


I believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord because I have. Again and again. In darkness, and in light. In grief, and in joy. In loss, and in new life.

The Almighty, the Namer and Counter of Stars - He carries me, His precious lamb, in the crook of His arm (Isaiah 40:11). And He promises, promises, to never leave or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).

So here, here I raise my Ebenezer, my stones of help. Rocks made of the Word of life, poured out on parchment, cried out in desperation, sung from prisons, spoken from a bloody brow on a rough hewn cross, and whispered in the echoes of an empty tomb.

Hither by thy help, I come.


Reflection

Friends, what are your stones of help?

How has God shown you His goodness in the midst of despair?

If you can’t think of any, I challenge you to dig deep in His word ... find the promises so richly provided.

Prayer

God, thank You for being my Rock, and my refuge. I praise You because You give true hope in the midst of desperate circumstances. I lift up my cry to You today and ask You to meet my heart with joy. Fill me up with Your love. Help me to remember that You are always in control.  Help me to see Your goodness today, and to trust You always.



Molly Huggins (All The Grace Between) is an Army bride, one-time helicopter pilot, compulsive writer, friend seeker, and lover of color and all things textile. Her current occupation is ringmaster of the Huggins family circus (party of five). She has a B.A. in English from Covenant College and a passion for meeting other women right in the middle of their own messy stories. Pull up a chair at her virtual beat-up kitchen table, listen to her stories, and maybe even tell her yours.


When I Grow Up

Have you ever asked a young child what they want to be when they grow up? Often they will tell you their dreams of being a fire fighter, a veterinarian or a ballet dancer but not before changing their mind several times.

I’m afraid that’s how I am in my service to the Lord. In my adult life, I have been so many things: a die-hard nursery director, VBS director, 3-year-olds teacher, Christian Life ministry leader, women’s and military wives’ Bible study leader, prison ministry participant, cheerleading coach, coupon queen, international missionary, blogger and more. I’ve written manuals for nurseries, letters to inmates, curriculum for children and devotionals for military wives, yet I’m still looking for my niche. Sometimes I find myself asking God, “What do you want me to be when I grow up?”  I look at women who have been serving in their field of ministry for decades and wonder if that will ever be me.

I have come to realize that in every season of my service and ministry, God has taught me invaluable lessons and introduced me to those He needed me to minister to. My resume of ministry may not impress in any single department, but if I have served the Lord and shared His love, then I have fulfilled my calling. I’m okay with being well-rounded. In fact, I embrace it! And until God calls me to taper my skills and abilities to a specific calling, I’m going to continue enjoying the broad adventure He has led me to. After all, God made me this way. He created me with my many interests, varied passions, and a heart for all people. I may never go back to Africa, or to prison, or to cheer camp, but I know God has big plans for my future as long as I remain willing to go where He sends.

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”- Luke 4:18



Reflection
What season of ministry are you in right now?


Are you serving where you are most comfortable or where God wants you?


Are you willing to go where God leads you?


What is one way you can step out and serve this week?


Prayer
Father God, thank You for using us in ways we could have never imagined. Find our hearts willing and ready to go wherever You may lead us. Develop in us the talents and abilities You need for us to complete the work You are calling us to do. May we never compare our ministry to the ministry of others around us, but always keep our eyes focused on You and Your will for our lives. Thank You, LORD, for loving us and using us to share Your love with others. Amen.




Heather Tabers is the wife of a wounded warrior and the mother of five children. She is also currently a full time student, a specialty cake baker, and a volunteer with the VA Public Relations office. She writes about her life and her faith to encourage other women on her blog, Wives of War.


Grow in Patience, Not Impatience

It is amazing how much God loves us and nourishes our growth each and every day. God formed us “in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). While some good works start outwardly and have an impact on the heart, others begin with heart change reflected in our actions.

God has called me to be more patient. For some people this may not take a lot of work, but that certainly doesn’t describe me, and never really has. The more quiet time I spend with God, the more confident I am that God wants me to focus on enhancing the fruit of the spirit in my life that is most challenging: patience (Galatians 5:22-23).

This morning God challenged me to grow by extending grace to a stranger. I was strolling along down the dairy aisle when a woman in front of me made a sudden, wide U-turn, forcing me to cling to the rack of shredded cheese for dear life. Moments later we encountered one another in the 10 items or less self-checkout lane. As I quickly scanned my three produce items, I could hear her behind me sighing and saying some pretty hurtful things about me. Satan was on my left shoulder telling me to be offended and urging me to confront her in anger.

Instead, I chose to focus my thoughts on Jesus. He challenged me not to judge others because others can’t see God in my actions when I act impatiently. I was convicted to pray, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139: 23-24). So I scanned quickly, smiled, and wished her a good day.

When we set our eyes on Jesus, we can find the strength to extend patience and gentleness to others under any circumstance. Although a smile in the checkout lane is a small thing, it was given with the patient intention to “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God”
(2 Corinthians 1:4).

We live by God’s grace each day, and by extending grace towards others, we can do a good work in the lives of others as well as our own hearts.



Reflection

What situations tempt me to be impatient?

How can I better please God in situations when I choose not to judge others?

What opportunities do I have to pray for others each day?

Prayer
Father, thank you for always being patient with me, especially when I make mistakes. Thank you for not throwing my mistakes in my face or creating obstacles for me because of them, but welcoming me into your comforting, loving arms so that I might learn. Help me to be more patient with myself, others and my surroundings each and every day so that I may nurture the fruits of the spirit and become closer to you. Help me to be a more godly woman so that others can see your great works and love in my actions. Thank you God for loving me. I love you and worship only you. Amen.






Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects on her blog, Mary's Mischief. 


When Fear Takes Over

I have a confession to make. Seven years and four deployments into this Army life, I still wrestle with fear. We all do. I tell my fellow Army wives that battling fear is a daily struggle. There is no magic pill, special prayer, specific activity, or pithy quote that instantly unfreezes you. That keeps you calm when he hasn’t called and he's on a mission and you are spiraling into crazy, imagining all that's gone wrong. You fight every day and towards the end, you sleep a little easier, you breathe more. You surrender every day to a loving, merciful Savior with a Master Plan and irresistible Grace.

 

But fear still lurks. 


Just months ago, on this most recent New Year’s Day - I found myself momentarily paralyzed. There was a hailstorm. Out of nowhere. I was so confused. As I was scrambling to pick up the chalk scattered over my garage parking space so I could get my car inside, I had an epiphany. I was contemplating how (or if) I wanted to write about the last year, to wrap it up in a neat little package, or maybe write about next year, what I want to do, hope to do, have fooled myself into thinking I will do . . . but I realized that the weather told the whole story.

It was beautiful. And then stormy. Out of nowhere. And in this life, I pick up the pieces and scramble for the shelter I know I have in the arms of the Almighty.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him’” (Lamentations 3:21-24, ESV).

In that moment I was struggling desperately with fear already, the vague harbinger of a specific storm. I felt it in my gut. A move. A new job. Another deployment? Another deployment. Fear.

My heart was sinking, hardening a little . . . moving, more goodbyes, another year apart, more loneliness. And then in the deep dark, I knew . . . I know . . . there is sunshine in between. There is sunshine after. There is joy in the morning. There is shelter in the storm. I am His.

And oh, in this life there is sunshine. Joy when “I’ll see you next week” really was next week, when I stood in a cavernous hangar that was echoing with brassy patriotic anthems and the barely contained excitement of a hundred other families, living out their own stories in the spaces around me. Joy when I caught a glimpse of my handsome, head-shaved man in lockstep, and he slid his eyes sideways and saw me and started to grin, my so serious, always composed, always professional soldier-Husband who couldn’t keep the smile from splitting his cheeks. Joy when he folded his arms tight around me, my head fitting tight under his chin, my gravity restored, albeit slightly off-kilter, because we were different, not better or worse, but different. Joy in this Army life we live together.

So, beloved, when the fear comes - when it creeps into shadowed corners and speaks dark into your heart - push back with relentless truth, with hope, and yes, joy. He loves you with a steadfast love, never ceasing. His mercy and grace are limitless. You belong to Him, a daughter of the King.


Reflection

What fears have taken root in my heart recently?

What steps do I need to take to surrender those fears to God?

What other things do I try to lean on- instead of God- when I am afraid?  How can I make an effort to trust Him above all else?

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for your unending love and grace.  I'm so thankful for the hope I have in knowing You- that You will never leave me, that You have control over all that goes on around me, and that You are for me.  Help me to trust You and believe truth about You, even when fear surrounds me.  Give me the strength to trust You in all things.  Amen.

 

Molly Huggins (www.allthegracebetween.com) is an Army bride, one-time helicopter pilot, compulsive writer, friend seeker, and lover of color and all things textile. Her current occupation is ringmaster of the Huggins family circus (party of five). She has a B.A. in English from Covenant College and a passion for
meeting other women right in the middle of their own messy stories. Pull up a chair at her virtual beat-up kitchen table, listen to her stories, and maybe even tell her yours.