Friday, January 11, 2013
when he was my religion, not my God.
I will never forget the day my husband walked into our apartment, crisp uniform and tight haircut, with a hand full of papers and a look on his face. I don't really remember the words he used or the tone in his voice but I will never forget the feeling that came over my body. The fear.
I am going to war.
I wish I could say that we were so young and naive and unseasoned, but that wouldn't be true. I had already experienced alot of pain in my life up until this point, a lot of trial. This was one I never knew I needed so bad.
The back story on us is that we didn't meet on a blind date or at a youth meeting or we aren't high school sweethearts...we met at the worst time of both of our lives. We were both broken, we were both lost. Immediately we clung to each other in hopes that each other would save us from all the pain and heartache. I clung to my husband from day one and held a grip so tight, it was all wrong from the start.
Despite all the sin and pain and torture that both of our souls were going through, we both knew from one special particular moment that this was meant to be and we would stick it out. We were not spirit filled, we were desperate. Each of us desperate for a different life, and found that in each other.
So when my husband told me for the first time that he was going to war, I felt a wave of panic and fear that I couldn't even put into words. The first things that came to mind were,
Hes going to die.
How am I going to live without him?
Why is this happening?
Hes going to die.
Looking back on the last decade of my life, I can now see that satan had a big tight grip over my spirit and used everything he could to torture my already tortured soul into believing that God had chosen me to suffer and this was my destiny. I felt I served a God who didn't even know I existed and had made me different, chosen me to go into the wilderness alone, and suffer, and die.
I began to have panic attacks that would literally grip my body and cause it to shut down. I would go into the bath tub and cry for an hour, my face so tight and full of emotion, I would sob tears of fear and it felt like they were coming from the deepest part of my soul. The fear and panic and paranoia were so deep in me that, its what I lived and breathed for most moments of all three of his deployments.
Each time I had to leave the bus, the first time with no children, watching him pull away with the thought, surely that was the last time I would see him. I have been really asking God to do some real deep digging inside of me and open my eyes to what is the real root cause of all of my fear in life, and he has told me its because I make him my religion, but not my God.
My husband was my God.
Food was my God.
Alcohol was my God.
Cigarettes were my God.
The gym was my God.
The attractive man who payed attention to me at the bar was my God.
My friends were my God.
I was a slave to my surroundings and had lived a life at such a young age of needing so much rescue and feeling so alone and broken, that I got used to the feeling of physical rescue. I had gotten used to the immediacy of a drink and a cigarette and a good song or the great feeling of a workout or a carton of ben and jerrys or a glance and a wink that came my way...
I spent our first deployment in so much fear that I quit my job so I could stay at home and receive my husbands phone calls. He would always call at 530 am my time and that's when I opened the gym I worked at. I quit because I couldn't handle the panic of the phone ringing and me not being able to answer it. I quit because I was depressed and afraid.
After a long deployment of much fear and panic and much sin, my husband came home. And we would do it two more times, my husband has been gone more than 30 months in our time in the military so far due to deployments and training...and God has used each moment to show me how to lean on him only. I have had my husband and the comfort of my routine ripped out of my tight grip so many times, that now I know in my heart it was only for my good.
I remember his third deployment being so afraid again that it was his time to die that I came home from watching the buses leave and called a dear friend who had no words to say. She knew that I needed much more than a simple, its gonna be okay honey. She knew that this deep rooted fear was only something that Jesus could confront. She called a pastor friend and a prayer chain was on my phone, my door was shut I was on my knees and before I knew it God had begun his good work of breaking my chains. The holy spirit filled the room like I have never felt before. Gods love was being unleashed on me like I thought I never deserved or would ever experience. This is when he begun to show me that He alone, was my God.
The first 5 years of our marriage, my husband was my God. I intrusted my whole life to him. I leaned on him and expected him to be my all, my everything. My mood was based on his mood and the state of my soul was dependent on the state of his. My identity was in him, and that is why I had so much fear.
I pray often for God to open my hands up and release the tight grip that I have over my husband and my children, and for me for that matter. And just the other day while I was walking up the stairs, he whispered to me, your so afraid because you think this is your life, that you control it. So whatever you do, is what determines the outcome...
Thank God I am not in charge here. And thank God that every time my husband leaves for war or for the gas station, I can trust God to prepare me, equip me, deliver me, save me and heal me from whatever the outcome is. I have learned that it is better to focus on this moment and thanking him for each. I have learned that the paranoid thoughts and feelings that beat up my mind and body so bad are not from him and he is hurting right along side of me. But the most important thing i have learned is that he loves me. And that love is more comforting than any other earthly love that I have sought after.
If you are a military wife reading this and you are experiencing great fear right now, I say run to your nearest church, run to the bible and his comforting presence. Have someone pray over you, many people pray over you and let God remove the overwhelming sense of panic and fear. Sit and read his word, his promises to you and write them out and put them all over your house and write them on your heart. Ask God to use this fear to reveal a deep new found peace and love, in him.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.