How can I cope with the changes of military life?

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2Change is the only thing that ever stays the same in military life! I remember thinking this when I found out that I had to switch jobs. The military was reshaping its force and my leadership told me that I could go find a job that I wanted, or they would decide where they needed me. Nearly a year and countless headaches later, I was learning an entirely new job. I became a Chaplain Assistant, a role I didn’t even know existed before I applied for it. Through all my moves, new teams and career decisions there has been one verse that’s reminded me how God has been with me at each point in time—that God will never abandon me, or you: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Regardless of wherever we are on the planet, God is right there with us—He’s on that plane or U-Haul, travelling alongside us to that new base. God doesn’t want us to be discouraged when meeting new colleagues or officers, but instead to “be strong and courageous.”

Initially, when we hear or read our orders, most of us feel our stomachs drop with dread. Plans for additional work can fill us with uncertainty, so we do not always remember that God is in control. The Bible reminds us that God fully directs our paths (Jeremiah 29:11; Proverbs 3:5-6)—including the roadblocks that seem to get in the way of where we want to go. He doesn’t put those things there to stop us, but to build us up to be stronger and smarter as we rely more on Him and the guidance He gives us in the Bible. It’s part of the way we become the children that God created us to be.

Each trial and change is planned and allowed by God. Whether it’s a new task we don’t fully understand or finding out that the next shift will be fourteen hours because a new mission has just dropped. Because not only are we growing, but God’s glory shines brighter in times of trial—as He lifts us up when we become weak (see 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

These times of change can, and should, set our focus back on our unchanging God. He is always steady and strong in His care for us, no matter what we’re going through. Depending on Him during trials is even a way we can share His love to those around us. This is God’s mission for us as His children: to spread and share His love, forgiveness and faithfulness. Trusting God during times of change is an important way to get that message across and show how real it is to us! “Whatever you do [even when things change], whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

Trusting God with our hard times of change, having a thankful attitude in all things, and acting with patience and concern towards those we work with (even when we’re stressed) sends the message of His love and welcome much further than we’ll probably ever realise. Even if we don’t think anyone is watching, our efforts should represent the God we follow.

— Holly, an Our Daily Bread reader

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