For military families, life can lead to times of chaos. Here’s how to navigate them safely.
Posted in , Mar 5, 2018
There’s a road here in my city that everyone tries to avoid. It’s hard though because it seems every store we need to visit is located somewhere on that traffic-nightmare of a thoroughfare. During the holidays, the street is almost impossible to navigate. It can take an hour to inch forward less than a mile.
Interspersed along the length of this road are massive, multi-lane intersections. I think I’m a reasonably safe and calm driver, but these points always cause me anxiety. There is always so much to be aware of and watch out for in these areas. Frustrated drivers rush through yellow lights because they’re tired of waiting, lights are longer, and visibility is difficult because of the confusion and number of vehicles.
I have certain things I do when I get ready to venture on this thoroughfare. I make sure all distractions are put away. I turn down the radio, and I make sure there’s nothing loose beside me—like my purse—that might go crashing to the floor if I have to stop quickly. I’ve learned that if that happens, I get distracted and won’t be able to react as quickly.
Recently, as I sat waiting my turn to move forward, I was struck by the similarity to that intersection and times in the lives of military families.
During certain periods, life can converge in a way that’s very much like those congested points along a busy street. There is a lot happening at once, and everyone is so focused on where they want to go, they become a danger to themselves and others.
I had to learn to recognize these difficult times and make plans accordingly:
1) I limit my distractions and pull in closer to God. During these times, He’s my GPS and only He can help me navigate the dangers ahead successfully.
2) I mentally turn down the voices of those who may not be the best to help me through the upcoming stresses. I chose very carefully those whom I allow to speak truth into my life while I’m coming up on life’s busy intersections.
3) Finally, I clean things up. Yes, even physically. I think more clearly when my environment is tidy. I also clean things up in my mind. I set aside minor worries and concentrate on the challenges ahead.
Life can often lead us into congested times of chaos. But with a little preparation—and the right people beside us—we can make it safely through.