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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.


When God Provides Family: On moving, loneliness, and trust
Editor’s Note: We are so excited to welcome another new contributor this month- Brandis Trionfo! Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Brandis. We can’t wait to hear more!

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There’s a framed sign in my living room that says, “Family. A gathering of folks you love, hand chosen by God above.”

I believe that’s true in so many more ways than one. In military families, it’s not just our real family; it’s other families, friends, co-workers, church families, people who are thrown together after a PCS to live life together.

When I first moved to Florida, I was alone with two kids- two and four years old- and I was about 6 months pregnant, by myself. My husband’s training was lasting longer than we’d originally planned and our house had sold, so rather than rent a place, I packed it up and left.

Man, was it lonely. There were days it was more than the unbearable heat that bothered me. I didn’t know a soul, had a hard time finding a church, and in general was too tired to try to go out and meet people. I kept thinking to myself that I just needed to wait until my husband got there, then I’d be able to meet people.

One day after (another) trial of a church that just didn’t feel right, I was done. Once we got home, I broke down crying in my living room, asking God what I should do. I was lonely, tired, scared, afraid of the choice I’d made to move alone--if I couldn’t handle a few months alone while my husband was safely in school, how would I handle a deployment to somewhere unknown?

Somewhere a voice whispered, “You’re not alone.” I thought I imagined it and I looked up from my spot on the couch to see my boys watching Disney Jr., and I heard it again, “You’re not alone.”

Of course! Silly me to think all this time that I was alone. See, in my fear of branching out I forgot to call on the one who is my refuge. I forgot to call on the one who gives me strength.



Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” (NLT)


I’m safe in the arms of the Lord.

With that comfort, I was able to reach out to our pastor in Wyoming, who was able to recommend a church that was a perfect fit for us. In that church, I found a new family--a family that could help me, guide me, and show me that even with my husband gone, I wasn’t alone.

In the military life we’re alone a lot. We move away from our families and we’re forced to live out of our comfort zone. But take heart, friends. We may feel lonely and scared and wonder what we’re thinking--but our Father is always one step ahead of us. He reaches out to us, calls us by name, and gives us what we need WHEN we need it. It’s not on our time, it’s on His.

Don’t be scared of the lonely. Don’t be scared of leaving.

Once I was able to branch out and give it to God, I gained a new perspective. I was able to help other military wives, who were even newer at this than me, to see that they aren’t alone either.

He is with us.

 

Reflection
How can you allow God to meet you in your lonely times?
What would it look like for you to fully trust God with the season of life you’re in?

Prayer
Father, thank you for showing me that your ways are always right and that you are my fortress. Help me to not be scared. Help me to know that you are with me no matter where my fears take me. Help me to see where you would have me go and to know that you lead the way. I ask that you give me “family” to help comfort me along with your word. I pray in your name, God. Amen.




Brandis is a former Sailor turned Air Force wife, a stay at home mom to 3 kids, and a lover of rustic country decor. She misses the Navy almost daily but is so very thankful for the time she gets with her family, dogs, & friends living near the beach. She occasionally blogs but mostly forgets at Anchored in the Air Force Life.


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.




Solid as a Rock: God's Faithfulness in the Changes
Moving to Alaska is no small feat. Particularly when you drive one of the most treacherous roads in North America, fraught with bears, bison and moose (oh my!) and traverse thirty mile stretches of gravel in a sedan. I am elated to report that we survived our recent move, with just a few scrapes.

Before our trip, and definitely during, I prayed vigilantly for our safe travel. I prayed from a combined place of hope, faith and fear. In each situation, talking to God about my concerns- whether for three seconds or thirty minutes of rocky road- helped me to remember my relationship with Him. He is my perfect Father in Heaven who takes care of me and looks after me. He has promised never to leave me or forsake me (Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5). When I make it through times that seem so desperate, I remember to trust Him no matter what.

But sometimes that’s hard to remember in the midst of changes, even when God has shown us how great He is countless times before. Now that we are all settled in our beautiful new home, I continue to fight the doubt and fear Satan tries to plant in his efforts to tempt me to stop trusting God. Lately, my biggest struggle is worrying about money, particularly when finances are in flux after such a big move. Will there be enough? Will God come through and provide again?

Although it’s not always my first response, I am increasingly disciplining myself to turn to God’s Word in times of change. When everything else in our world is so transitional and temporary, it is vital that we remember our God and His Word are everlasting.

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus relays the tales of the wise and foolish builders. One hears the words of Jesus and builds his house on the rock of God, while the other ignores Jesus’ words and builds his house on sand. The house of sand collapses in the first storm, but though “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house,” the house on the rock prevails because it has a solid foundation (Matthew 7:25).

I know that no matter where we go or what we go through, our house is built on the rock of God’s word. Even through the storms of change He shows me the way, and makes me strong, especially when I remember to put Him and His word first.

 


Reflection
God reminds us multiple times in the Bible that He will never leave us or forsake us. Why do you think He tells His people this more than once?
Think of a time when you faced a big change in your life. How did you handle it? If you surrendered those circumstances completely to God, how would you have handled it differently?
Changes are part of our life in an unstable, fallen world. How will you prepare for the next transition in your life in a Godly way?

Prayer
Father God, I thank you for the changes you have placed in my life. Even though I don’t know how things will work out, I believe that you will work things together for my good. Although I struggle with fear and doubt in this time of transition, I pray that you will show me my next steps in following you every step of the way. I trust you and keep my hope in you God. Help to make my faith solid like a rock today and every day. 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.