You may already be asking, “what does faith have to do with deployment?” Well, I’ll tell you! First of all, let’s look at the definition of faith. The word faith comes from the Latin root word fides, meaning confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept. But in the context of religion, it means to have belief in God. You may still be scratching your head and wondering what one thing has to do with the other, but faith can be a vital part of surviving submarine life!
If you are religious, here are the top three things that saved me from myself during sea duty:
Find Your Church
Look at what your particular area offers for religious services. Does your base have a chapel? What a great opportunity to find fellow spouses and make friends with like-minded individuals! If not, try out different churches in your town. Look for times that work great for napping children and their schedules and keep in mind that many churches are not only kid-friendly but also offer Sunday School, daycare, bible studies, and more. Don’t be afraid to “shop” around, one church may not be a good fit. God is cool with you finding a different church and He will be happy that you are going!
Start a Gratitude Journal.
Are you a person that likes to journal? Even if you do not, this is a great time to start! Instead of focusing on the negative, try to find all of the things that have gone right. We all know the stories of kids going berserk, not to mention appliances or vehicles breaking down once the sailors leave (Murphy’s Law, right?). It does not matter how long they leave for; all bets are off! So focus on the gifts you have been given, maybe a friend called out of the blue and cheered you up, maybe someone helped you out with your groceries while you were carrying a screaming toddler. Or maybe you saw a beautiful sunrise. Thank God for all those blessings and write down what you’re grateful for. Having an attitude of gratitude and making sure God knows how grateful you are will make a world of difference!
Read Faith-Filled Literature.
Dive in! Now is the time. When we are at our weakest and most vulnerable, who is there? You guessed it, God! Find some faith filled literature, such as “Faith Deployed, and Faith Deployed Again” by Jocelyn Green. That book was such a gift to me during a raw six-month deployment. The stories of other wives were so uplifting and gave me a sense of community knowing I wasn’t the only one. It can be so beautiful and uplifting to hear stories of wives from other branches of service. Another great book is “By Dawn’s Early Light” by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. It’s full of great stories, prayers, meditations, and some scripture.
There you have it, you will be armed for the next go round! It doesn’t matter if your sailor is gone two weeks or eight months, you are not alone. That still small voice is calling you to deepen your relationship with God, and what a better time to have Him carry you than when you are amid a chaotic time called deployment!
For my other faith-filled spouses, what have you found helpful during these hard times? Comment below!