Fighting Fear at the End of a Deployment

The more I tried to dig myself out of the pit, the deeper I got.

Posted in , Nov 7, 2014

Edie's son Jimmy greeting his wife at the end of his deployment.

Though an army deploys against me, my heart is not afraid; though a war breaks out against me, still I am confident. (Psalm 27:3)

I had always assumed that as my son’s first deployment neared its end, things would get easier. I thought my emotions would begin to level out, as the joy of anticipation took over. I’d be able to breathe a little easier as the time of worry and fear came to an end.

I could not have been more wrong. I found myself becoming more fearful, instead of less. More than at any other time, my mind seemed to dwell on the horrible possibilities of “what if.”

Edie's son Jimmy greets his wfie at the end of his deployment.Throughout the deployment, I’d stuck with my resolution I’d made not to watch the news. I’d been warned, with good reason, that watching news would only make me fearful.

But now I couldn’t seem to help myself. Every time I turned on the television or picked up a paper, it appeared there was news of another serviceman or woman killed.

They all seemed to be just days away from coming home. I tried to get my mind off all the frightening scenarios by planning our son’s homecoming.

I talked to friends and began to look at dates for a possible homecoming reception. I wrote out menus filled with his favorite meals, but nothing helped–nothing took my mind off “what if.” The more I tried to dig myself out of the pit, the deeper I got.

Then, as I read this Scripture, it hit me what I was doing wrong. I was focusing on everything and everyone except God. I was still trying to fix things in my power. When would I ever learn?

I took a deep breath and went back to what I knew worked. I refocused on God, spending even more time in reading the Bible and in prayer.

Don’t get me wrong; it does get harder to keep the fear at bay when our loved one’s homecoming gets nearer. Harder–but not impossible.

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