Friday, July 1, 2016

Forget Less; Remember More

I have a long sleeve shirt I purchased early on in our new to military life way of living. I do not recall where I purchased the shirt other than to say it was an online military faith-based site.

On the front of the shirt it reads, "Not even the military can mess with God’s plans."

The shirt has hardly been worn (maybe once or twice) but I threw it on one Thursday evening shortly before my husband returned home for a long weekend (Memorial Day Weekend). Because he tends to be rather observant, it did not take him long to ask about the shirt.

“Is that really in the Bible?”

Confused by his question, I looked down at the front of my shirt to read the quote again. I then noticed a scripture reference under the quote… Jeremiah 29:11

I, of course, went to the Bible to compare the quote to the verse it referenced. While not in those exact words, the Bible does indeed say not even the military can mess with God's plans. Nothing can mess with His plans.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

The smile on my face became more profound as I chuckled over God connecting the quote and verse for I have been guilty of frustration with God over the change in plans to my husband's second deployment. I have referred to the change as the no plan, plan.

As much as the nine months apart from my husband for his first deployment made me weary, God used the time apart to grow us both spiritually and as a couple. While I did not expect the second deployment to be completely similar to the first, deep down I had a longing for God to do the same work in us again.

New growth quickly revealed itself the second time around.

My husband connected to a church and a men's Bible study once arriving at what would be his home for nine months. He was in God’s word. These were answers to long awaited prayer requests. And our conversations via Skype were some of the best we've had.

Thank you, God. I can do this again if you will do your thing again.

Then plans abruptly changed.

Certainly I had much joy and peace in my heart to have my husband stateside; however I perceived the changes as God taking away answers to prayer.

My husband was no longer attending a weekly church service.
He was no longer connected to a men’s Bible study.
He was no longer spending time in God’s word.
Skype connections were not good which left us both frustrated.

Why, God? You asked him to go and we obeyed. Where is the blessing for our obedience?

But God, His ways are not our ways. His plans are always perfect and they come to fruition in His perfect timing.

I have created my own new go-to quote: "May I forget less and remember more that God will show Himself faithful."

Friends, like those Israelites, I forgot and I did my fair share of grumbling for things not going the way we planned for them to go. Let's consider for a moment if plans had gone the way we had planned, or let's say the way the military had led us to plan for...

This picture I now have of my family together again (together for an outdoor church service too!) would not exist for we would still be waiting for my husband to return home.

My husband eventually connected with a church too. And I know I can trust God with the other things. Thankfully, my husband is now home and we don’t need to fret about Skype connections!

I prayed for God to do again what He did in us and through us during my husband's first deployment. I thought my prayer went unanswered.

But God did answer. The ways He did it again may look different, yet the end result is the same... all praise and glory to our God. For all we've been given, all the together moments, all the growth, is only because of Him.

"I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." Psalm 86:12

Yes, friends, not even the military can mess with God’s plans! Praise God! He is good ALWAYS!

May we forgot less and remember more that He will show Himself faithful.

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Sharing with AWN’s Monthly Recon Rendezvous Link-Up PartyJennifer Dukes Lee for her Tell His Story Link-Up and the Let Us Walk Worthy Link-Up.