My beautiful sisters.....
Yet again I have been absent for a week or two. First I had been working hard on that book. But then we have been buffeted by bad news the past week or so. We found out that TWS is set to deploy, AND he has had at least two MAJOR disappointments at work, and all of these things seem to be oddly orchestrated for reasons we do not know.
I will tell you, this has been quite a difficult time for us. Now, I am a military wife, I know the drill about deployments. My father was in the military, and he did not see my whole first year due to being deployed. Grandfathers, uncles, cousins, in laws, etc etc, are or have been military. This is not a new thing for us.
BUT we do not know why politics SEEM to be playing such a role (they might not, they just seem to be). It is not that he has to deploy (we accept that that will probably happen when we are in the military), but the manner in which this is coming up, as well as other disappointments in the job.
It is like TWS said to people who work for him "It is not that I had to tell her that I was deploying. It is that I had no answer as to why it was happening this way.".
If I may....TWS is one of the most honorable, patriotic men I have ever met. It kills him that he was not born on the 4th of July. He is GOOD with his troops, is one of those who does not sit back and watch work being done, but will jump in there to move crates or do anything else that needs to be done. He does not tolerate foolishness gladly, but is also VERY slow to anger. He is trustworthy enough that when we married, I insisted on having "love, honor and OBEY" in my vows, even though that wording raised an eyebrow or two. Being submissive to him is, thank the Lord, easy. He is just a good man.
Now, we have natural fear of him deploying--no one wants their loved one in harms way. But more than that, there are....questions about HOW and WHY these things are playing out. We do not know what is going on, only that it seems that we are being kept in the dark about many ....unusual situations at work. If they said "Hey, we know this is bad for you, but we really need you to do xyz, to accept abc because you are the man we know who can get this done. We trust your ability." then TWS would take one for the team. But even that small comfort has not been forthcoming. That hurts, to be honest.
I have to brag on my man though. He feels sure that he is being played. And yet, his focus is on making transition easy on the person to follow him and the person who is getting the job that he should have gotten. He is being altogether honorable and noble. He is putting aside his own desires and hurts and disappointments and is working for the good of others. I have never been so proud of him in all my life.
We have found out that the position he is to take is fraught with danger....more than we would have expected for his career field. I had to ask how they might let us know if he had been killed, who would come to the door. We might not get to talk much (I was kinda hoping for a lot of text messaging or im's!). There are even more frightening things that we have found out.
I will tell you, this is a spiritual attack. Every time I started to find ground, started to find my feet, another tidbit of scary or disappointing news would come to my attention with stupefying regularity. It actually had almost gotten comical. You ever have those times where so many things are going SO wrong, that the ridiculousness of it almost makes you want to laugh?
Of course with this comes added strain on relationships and on ourselves. I praise the Lord for a husband who is kind and gentle with me, when I am upset and frustrated. I am thankful for His presence that tells me exactly what I need to hear and do, even though sometimes I do not listen (bad mistake...ALWAYS listen when the Holy Spirit is trying to calm you down! If the Lord is interceding, trying to soothe you, then do what He says, even if it seems impossible. If He says "Praise Me" then do it. If He says "My grace is sufficient for you" then rest in that. If He says "Stop crying right now and go....be with your husband" then do it even if closeness is the VERY LAST THING you could possibly imagine right then.).
Truly the deeper the pain, the greater the grace that the Lord provides. There are times where I am just so weary, still licking the wounds of my grandmother being gone, my mother being sick. The sun is leaving and it has snowed already. We normally live such a calm, mundane, UN-dramatic life, but this month has been one of breath-stealing trauma.
The other day I was in the throes of despondency. I felt the pain of every second and every second seemed to stretch for an eternity. It was a bad night for both of us, discussing our fears, venting our frustrations, and the Holy Spirit urging me to do things that seemed TOTALLY impossible for me--praise, faith, joy and rest in Him. I left the room and went to another room and decided that I would just focus on Christ for a moment. After all, I have the rest of my life to weep and gnash my teeth, so I finally listened to the Holy Spirit and put everything aside to turn my focus FULLY to Jesus for just a moment.....
Ladies, it was beyond explanation or expectation. THERE is where I found peace. Right there in that moment. In that moment, literally in the blink of an eye, all those daggers that had been piercing my mind and my heart and my soul were gone. I smiled. I ACTUALLY smiled. It was like......the pain was instantly gone. It was like childbirth was over and there was just joy and rest. In Him. TWS joined me, the Lord had given him the wisdom to leave me alone for a moment. By the time that TWS came into the room, I was refreshed in my spirit and mind, joyful and at peace ONLY by the grace of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Amen.
I had learned that lesson once when my grandmother passed. I remember being in the same position of wanting to leave Alaska, wanting to go to the south, being so discontent. But when I truly focused on the Lord, those feelings were gone, replaced by assurance and faith and GRACE.
I wish I could say the lesson stuck when I first learned it a few weeks ago...apparently I have the long term memory of a gnat (sigh). So I had to relearn that lesson. Please ladies, if you are in pain, try this. Put your human fears and wants and desires aside for just a moment to focus SOLELY on Him. Take down those guards that you have built up in your heart and mind. Be like Mary, not focused on what you think needs to happen to make your life go smoothly, but sit at His feet and LOOK at Him. Without expectation, just in worship. This is not about you in that moment, but about Him. I cannot tell you, when you reach that place, how sweet the moment is. It puts everything into perspective. It is everything you need, even if your circumstances have not changed. It is rest for your souls and light for your eyes. It is peace in your mind and joy in your heart. It is altogether wonderful to turn your focus on to Him.
I was telling Colastie about it. I like to use the analogy of faith like a horse in a burning barn. From what I have read, a horse in a burning barn will panic. A groom has to blindfold the horse to lead them to safety. Even if safe, the horse will become irrationally focused on the burning barn and might run back into it!!! The horse has to not look at the barn in order to be led to safety and then to be kept in safety.
So with us....when we look around us at the burdens and trials and fears in our lives, we forget that we are saved by the blood of the Lamb. We forget that He has promised us blessing, peace, joy, love, forgiveness. He has promised us He will work out even the worst things for our good. When we are looking at the fire, we forget that we dwell in the sweet, green grass of His pasture.
That is what I was doing. I was running back into the fires of fear, of discontent, of frustration, of selfishness, of discord. I was trying to tend to my own needs, not the needs of my dear, wonderful husband who needs to know that he is a hero, a good man, and that some people do not see that, but that does not mean that he isn't....it means that they are blinded.
I was still praying to God, make no mistake! I was praying LOUDLY and OFTEN. But I was not focusing on Him, but on the troubles and sorrows. I thought I needed delivery from the fire, but He had already delivered me from the fire. I just needed to look at Him, to listen to Him, to rest in HIS strength and decision, not my own.
Is anyone as hard headed as I am??
Sisters, this has left me in a bit of bind though as to how to speak to others about this. I want to be godly and bring glory to the Lord, but then sometimes I want to march up there and say "WHAT IS GOING ON?! HAVE Y'ALL LOST YOUR MINDS?!?". I mean, at some point I might be offered the chance to talk to some people at his work. How do I bring glory to the Lord in this? How do I use this as an opportunity to gently point out some very obvious flaws in judgement that we have seen made without seeming bitter (because I REALLY am not, the Lord works all things out for the good of those who love Him) or angry (I am not that either, the Lord is in control)?
I know that we will be victorious in this, that the schemes of men will be used by the Lord to bring glory to Him and that good will come out of it for us.
I have assurance that the Lord is working. I have assurance that there is something that is going to happen. I have NO idea what it is. I have what *I* want to happen, of course! I am totally blinded as to what it might be that the Lord has for us in this. But He keeps giving me a sense of assurance. I like to think that He is keeping me blind on purpose, so that I can learn to rest in Him fully. Maybe this is my blindfold as He leads me out of the burning barn of my continuing human weaknesses into even sweeter pastures of faith.
We still need your prayers. I am not naive enough to think the spiritual attacks are ceased. While I know that I am safe resting in Him, I also know that I am weak enough to fall back into habits of focusing on my self. TWS also needs your prayers of encouragement and safety. The people at work, especially, need your prayers, both those in charge and those who serve (who are seeing not just the stuff with TWS, but unrelated ridiculousnesses that are leaving morale ROCK bottom and allowing confusion to reign). Those in position need prayers for wisdom and discernment and good judgement. We need wisdom to answer everyone with the right words in each moment. I know my Lord provides wisdom for those who ask and who DO NOT DOUBT as per James 1:5, so I know that we will be given that wisdom. Please pray for the strengthening of those who do not know James 1 so that they learn they can ask for wisdom and that it will be given.
I hate to burden y'all. I know that you do not come to blogs to be weighed down with drama and trauma. But I am hopeful that the lessons I am learning blindly will be of some assistance if, God forbid, you have to face your own trials. I would much rather just learn the lesson for all of us and to post my failings and how He provides, than you have to learn these the hard way without anyone to say "Yes! I have been there! This is what He has shown me, use these lessons and be at peace.".
As one tagline that I read said "It might very well be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others" hee hee!
God bless you, my dear, sweet sisters in Christ. Know that you are in my heart and on my mind, but most of all are in His heart and on His mind.