We are on week four of our Tour of Duty Bible study. Although we are not facing deployment at this time (not even eligible), I find this study so useful. It just isn't about our spiritual walk during deployment, but also about our daily walk with Jesus. I am learning and reflecting and applying. It is great to have conversation with all of these military wives. Below are the questions Sara posted for this week and my answers. Feel free to comment on anything whether you are participating or not.
1. What unexpected disasters have you experienced in your spouse’s absence? Share both the funny and the serious.
Although we have not experienced deployment yet, my husband and I have spent time apart due to work and Army training. The first time we were apart, my husband had just been hired by a new company and sent to Japan for 6 weeks of training. One night while we were on the phone, my son whom was 2 1/2 years old at the time locked himself in the bathroom with the bath water running. My father in law had to come help me get the door unlocked. During that same time, our heat went out twice. I remember waking up one night and the thermostat said 55 degrees. As I have mentioned before, while my husband was away at CHBOLC last summer, my grandmother passed away, I got a flat tire, and our electricity in the front of our house went out.
2. This week you learned about the value of trusting God in the middle of chaotic situations and drama. What tips or techniques do you call on to stay calm when the unexpected comes calling?
When the unexpected comes along and I feel overwhelmed, I stop everything and pray. I tell God that I can't do this on my own and I need His help. He always provides for me in his own way and timing.
3. Detours are not always bad things. What fun experiences did you list to answer the question on page 43 regarding the back-road detours?
I gained more confidence in myself last summer. I was able to get my family on a schedule that worked. We had our routines and made time for some fun. We played at a local park after getting ice cream. I got some driving experience too!
4. Which detour seems to hit home with you the most – marriage detours, family detours, financial detours, or life detours? How can you better cope with these particular detours?
The financial stuff really got us last summer. I was on maternity leave from March to the end of July and my husband was gone from June to September. Needless to say we stretched our money! We have to be smarter with our money. We're learning!
5. Detours in deployment happen to every military family. How did you learn this week to face these detours with confidence in God rather than to take on a defeated mentality?
Just reading about Joseph's experience proves that God is always with us. When things seem like they can't get worse and then do, we need to remember that God is still there. He has a plan and we MUST trust him.
6. A challenge from this week was to get off the sidelines and run the race God has for you. How can you put this challenge into action this coming week?
Regardless of what I am going through, I can still put my best foot forward. Our Soldiers can't decide to give up and feel sorry for themselves, so we shouldn't either. God has called us "for a time such as this" (Esther 4:14). Therefore, we should be faithful to him.
7. You spent a lot of time this week in Genesis 39-42, studying the life of Joseph. What stood out to you in those scripture passages as you studied them?
Joseph never felt sorry for himself. He never blamed God. Two things we are sometimes quick today. He gave credit to God. He remained faithful to God.
8. Joseph learned from his detours and his unfortunate experiences, and they helped him to be the leader he was in the end. How have your detours and unfortunate experiences made you more thankful or more equipped to handle life’s situations and circumstances?
I think just having the experiences equips us with knowledge and understanding. We can step back with a whole new perspective and say, "ok, God got me through that, I know He will get me through this."
9. What else about the chapter that stood out to you this week you’d like to share with us?
I LOVE what Sara said about our good and God's best. So many times I think we are so content on "just being." We dare not make a splash for fear of change, more demands, or pressure. We want to stay within our comfort zone and that makes us happy. It is good enough. But good enough isn't God's way. His way is BEST. He will mold us, break us, rebuild us in whatever way he so desires to make us his best.