Finding Faith in the Midst of Trials
Three years ago as we sold our home in Richmond, VA and headed to Camp Lejune NC we had no idea what was in store for our lives, other than knowing my husband was still active duty as a Marine and we lived in this area before. Life in Richmond was simple, safe, yet my faith was never stretched. I was comfortable.
As soon as we arrived back at Camp Lejeune it was utter chaos, my husband's work schedule picked up dramatically, I was battling depression, anxiety and had our daughter at home who was confused many times why daddy was always gone. We moved on base hoping the military community was exactly what we needed knowing my husband would be gone so much. It was exactly the opposite: a toxic community where spouses were anything but supportive. I sank deeper into depression and as a people pleaser my whole life, living where I wasn't well liked crushed me. I spent so many years thriving on being liked, staying super busy and having everything "planned."
Life continued to have more challenges yet my relationship with God remained the same. I never gave up on knowing God had a plan for a season of hardship but I never fully allowed to lavish myself in His Words, His Faith and knowing He truly had a plan.
Weeks went on with my husband gone alot for MEU workups then a deployment. It was a point in my life I knew I had to do something. I sought a Christian counselor, found out I can find a support system without just relying on a neighborhood who was toxic and non supportive. It was a beautiful chapter where my daughter and I sailed through the deployment, she was thriving and so was this mamma. I remember praying so often that God would provide christian friends during deployment, and He did. I found an amazing group of wives and my daughter always had friends nearby.
I often wonder if God puts people in our lives not to enrich us but perhaps grow us.
Alot of the people I encountered the last three years here made me realize to not put so much value on being liked but rather it boosted my self esteem, I learned boundaries and knowing my Faith in GOD that He would provide more than a community I had put so much thought into.
We had more challenges ahead once my husband returned from deployment, some comical but I felt stronger this time. I used to be so frazzled by each thing that happened in our life, but I felt more firm in my Faith that God was on control yet I still never fully surrendered that HE is in control.
As the weeks passed and it was clear to us this lifestyle wasn't meant for us anymore we knew it was time to exit into the civilian life. What a scary yet exciting chapter this was. Talk about taking a leap of faith in Gods plan. We would be leaving a steady job, pay, great health benefits but gaining a life with no more deployments and my husband wouldn't ever have to miss more then half of our daughter's life apart! So many mixed emotions!
During the 6 month job hunting phase was scary. I love looking back at my journal and writing each morning prayers to God to protect us, lead us where He wants us to go. I always prayed, "God you know the desire of my heart is to live near my family and friends again but we trust You and your plans above all." But to really mean those words were another thing. My husband got a job offer in Troy Michigan one day and we prayed alot about this. It'd be far from family and I just couldn't see it. I remember praying, "God I dont want to turn down a job you provide but I also don't want to live in fear and take the first job." We took a risk, he turned it down.
Immediately following we received a called that our baby girl (I was about 20 weeks preggers at the time) was screened a very high risk for down syndrome (1:6 for my age). I sobbed for days and questioned if turning that job down was the best decision. We knew having a special needs baby will require good insurance, medical bills and living near great hospitals. My faith was stretched beyond belief.
Did we make the right decision? My husband was then applying for over 60 jobs with nothing great in sight. We had to wait a month for the full amnio results of the baby. It was the hardest month of our lives, honestly. Waiting, praying and maintaining sanity, yet in those days I felt the closest to God I ever had. It was little moments I felt His presence, Heard his voice and He would give me an overwhelming sense of peace He had control.
There were two nights in a row when we just heard our baby may have down syndrome and I become horribly ill that I woke up to two songs SO loud in my head they wouldn't leave. The songs were" I am a Child of God" and "Trust in You" By Lauren Daigle. Then two mornings in a row I'd turn on the car and they were the first songs to play. Id write out the lyrics, read Psalms and pray. I remember that day I lost a few makeup items I just bought. Yes, I know you can laugh, makeup. But it wasn't losing the makeup that was the big deal it was as soon as I lost them I didn't panic, I heard God speak softly. " Megan it'll all show up, stop searching and just wait, things will happen when they are supposed to."
And it did, those beautiful pieces randomly showed up a few days later.
You see, God stripped me of all things I had no control over. It wasn't being liked by others, we had no idea if our baby had special needs, we had NO clue where my husband and I would find jobs or live but God did.
All along God wanted my whole heart, my whole focus and to live by faith not just say I trust him.
I surrendered. It really was that simple.
Giving God the keys to our lives (even though he already has them) but truly falling into Faith was what He wanted all along.
A few weeks passed and we received a completely clear bill of health, our baby girl due in July. After 60 job applications and recruiting firms we became weary of the transition out of the military yet Trusted God had a plan. I spoke words that God was in control. Well, He had a job interview with Smucker's which just happened to be so close to my family. He was hired that day he flew in and a few days later we bought a home sight unseen (yes, that was a leap of faith too!)
I know in life there are ebbs and flows of seasons. I am thrilled this chapter is coming to an end but feel so blessed God placed this season in my life. I'm stronger now, I'm fierce, full of Fire, spunk and humility. I have been that woman left out, we have felt the cold sting of rejection from a job, I have felt the silence of deployments and yet God has been there this whole time. I am so thankful God placed all the people in my life here that challenged me. I am excited where God will lead our lives next.
If you are in a hard season of life, hang in there, Trust Gods plan. One book that helped me along the comforting words of Psalms was "Blessed in the Darkness" By Joel Osteen.