Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tour of Duty: The Road Less Traveled

This is the official start of the Tour of Duty Bible Study. Last week was used as an introductory session. It was so great to "meet" some amazing women.  I am looking forward to growing and learning from this study.

Below are the questions that Sara gave us this week along with my answers.  Feel free to comment even if you are not taking part in the study.

Ch. 1 – The Road Less Traveled

1. What were your initial thoughts about this chapter/this topic this week? What’s one thing that stuck out to you?

I think we all need that reminder that this is all in God’s plan, that He chose us for this. We may say, “Whoa! I didn’t sign up for this!” but God says, “I’ve placed you hear for a reason.”

2. On pg. 11, what were your early expectations when you were first married or you first became a military wife?

When I my husband I and were first married, neither of us ever imagined being a military family. My expectation as a young married couple was that we would support each other and be there for each other.

Since becoming a military family, those expectations have not changed. I knew that I would be the supporter of my husband. I expected there to be difficult times.

3. What are some of the things you’ve done to prepare for deployment?

One of the first things we did was assess our priorities. We knew that our church nominating committee would be contacting us and we would have work commitments as well. We decided to say no to some things that would “ease” our schedules.

I began reading When Duty Calls which was provided to us by the NAMB. This helped me figure out some of the things that we needed to do. During this time, I also decided to do this bible study again.

4. In this chapter, we describe deployment as hills, valleys, sharp turns, U-turns, thick fog, desert heat and stormy wet roads. Have you experienced some of these conditions? Which ones? What are you experiencing now?

Let me just say, “Oh, my goodness!” We are riding right on that rollercoaster that has all the ups and downs, sharp turns and fog!

We were mentally preparing for this deployment. Then we found out that it wasn’t going to happen. Then we hear that it could still possibly happen.

Mentally, we are worn out. I think my husband more so than me. I’m a kind of go with the flow person, but just not knowing is hard.

5. In the section, “God has His best in mind for us” (p. 13), we talk about the big picture and “God’s best” versus “our best.” What is the difference? How have you seen this played out in your own life?

God’s best is for Him. Our best is for us.

Very seldom do we place ourselves in difficult situations on purpose. Human nature wants peace, happiness, and everything to be perfect. We usually avoid that which makes us uncomfortable.

However, God’s best will bring glory to Him. He will place us in situations that we can’t get through without Him.

When my husband was away over 3 months for CH-BOLC, I was basically a single mom of 3 boys, ages 8, 4, and 3 months. There was so much “drama” that happened during that time: my grandmother passed away, I got a flat tire, our electricity went out in one part of our house, our air unit messed up, school started back…..the list goes on. I had to learn to depend on others, including those two burly strangers at Target who changed my tire in the parking lot. I had to admit that I couldn’t do it all and that was ok. God changed me during that time. I became a different person because of Him. Without that experience, I would not have grown in my independence, coping skills, or in my relationships with others including my husband and God.

6. We talked about choosing bitterness versus trusting God. It’s easy to resent God for what He allows to happen to us. How can you trust Him despite your circumstances?

We definitely need to realize that we have a choice on how we react to God and the things he places before us. I think through prayer and scripture reading we can learn to trust him. We have to be honest with ourselves about our struggles and stop thinking we have to (and can) do everything.

7. Which letter of the SET acronym do you struggle with the most? What steps can you take to struggle less with it?

Equipped is a struggle for me. I think it is the simple fact that as a Reserve wife, I don’t feel connected to any one. My husband is with his 3rd Reserve unit (sort of in limbo). I have only met a few from the previous two. I don’t even have a relationship with his assistant’s wife. I do have my own support system at home, but I think having even the smallest relationship with other spouses of Soldiers he will be working with would be beneficial. Even being involved in an FRG would help, but currently that is not available to me.

8. What’s the hardest thing about deployment for you? What do you need to do to turn this fear/challenge/struggle over to God? (And how can the rest of us pray for you in this?)

The hardest thing for me currently is “Will there be a deployment?” The back and forth and up and down are hard. We just have to trust that God is using this time to prepare us for what is ahead.

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