A military mom shares ways to beat back despair in dark times.
Posted in , Jan 24, 2017
It was the middle of my son’s second deployment. I’d heard from him, but his spirits were low. I was already feeling low myself, and this conversation just added to my despair.
I wanted to take control of this powerless feeling after we talked, but nothing seemed to help. A few days later he called again and was in a better place. That helped me find a better balance too, but I saw an ongoing need.
I prayed and asked God to help me put in place some coping skills to do better when the darkness rolled around again. This is the list I came up with. It has stood the test of time and helped me in many different circumstances through the years:
1) I take my powerless feelings to God.
I flip through my Bible, spend time in prayer and generally share all I’m feeling with God. When I share my struggles with Him, it changes my perspective and reminds me that I don’t have all the answers. But I know the One who does.
2) I write out Bible verses and quotes.
Then I put them up throughout my home and car. These visual reminders help me stay focused on the fact that God is with my loved one and with me.
3) I remember what God has done before.
I keep a prayer journal and when I’m feeling low, I go back and look at all the ways God has answered prayers and blessed my family.
4) I share my fears with someone I trust.
My grandmother always said, “A shared load is a lighter load.” I have friends I trust and when I’m down, I confide in them. They offer advice, fellowship (because I often need just the company of another person, not a how-to lesson) and prayer.
5) I look for someone I can help.
When I help someone else, it shifts my focus from my problems and enlarges my world.
Military families know that we will all face some tough situations. We also know that good times follow difficult ones. Most of all, we’ve discovered that the lessons we learn will sustain us through the length and breadth of our days.