“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD; and he delighteth in His way.” Psalms 37:23
One of the hardest things my family has endured was transitioning to civilian life after my husband’s military career. “God, Country, Family” was so much a way of life for us. Our marriage was founded on the mission of being “selfless for the greater cause”. While a noble mission, this focus didn’t serve us well in post military life. Upon my husband’s military retirement, we were well into raising a blended family and we had to allow God to realign a lot of things. In short, God had to change our priorities from “God, Country, Family” to “God, Family, Country”. That transition was not easy on anyone. As we continued to follow the Lord, it required a continuous shifting. A constant “ordering” and “reordering” of every step we made. And a commitment to lay down our own will for the greater good, just in a different way than we did while in the military. Looking back I know that it could not be done apart from God or without making listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit a top priority.
This process taught me something valuable. It taught me the meaning of righteousness and how to rely upon the Holy Spirit to lead us in all things. But it also further ingrained in me the importance of transitions. How we need to allow for them. My family had made a conscious choice to lay down our lives for others. Sacrifice was a way of life for us and we were more than fine with that. But we didn’t understand that, after His military retirement, God was calling us to “pick our lives back up again” and that He was calling us to a new and perhaps greater mission. We always thought my husband would retire and step right out of the military and into a permanent government employment position. Since it didn’t happen like that, we had to try to come up with a new plan. Having 4 children something was always cropping up that would deter us from our best laid plans. It was so hard to find peace until we realized that, now that we weren’t serving our nation in our familiar capacity, getting our children raised and off to a good start could finally be the true mission God intended it to be and in the proper priority.
In time, what we realized is that, though we talked the talk, God really wasn’t as much of a priority in our military lives as we had thought. In fact, being that our surroundings were what they were, God had fallen through the cracks and had become our very last priority. It took a lot of years to get back on track with that. A lot of chaos, a lot of scuffles, and a lot of avoidable confusion. Now we understand that our country is still our mission as well as is our family. But it all had to be brought into order under God (with Him being the foundation) so we could accept and operate in our next assignment freely. In other words, God has called us “to lay our lives down”, yet again and sacrifice for His greater Kingdom mission. For us, military life was preparation for that. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would ask someone to tell me at my husband’s out-processing that Jesus has a natural order of things and it goes easier for all of us in transitioning out of the military if we just readily recognize this and cooperate with Him. You see, when you are in the military, it can be difficult to talk about your faith openly. But what I have learned is that most veterans and their families met Jesus either before or while they were serving Active Duty. In other words, they have had to, for one reason or another, learn to depend on Him. Once you are no longer on Active Duty status, it goes easier for everyone if we stop outwardly denying his existence in our lives and utilize the support we can only find in our places of worship in addition to utilizing our readily available VA benefits. John 14:6 & 7 tells us that Jesus is the way the truth and the life for all things. No man comes to the father (is able to put their lives back in proper order) except through relationship with Him. The first stop after out processing needs to be your local church. Get your family involved in whatever capacity the Lord leads. After that, THEN incorporate your VA benefits accordingly as your second most important transitional priority.
We have a list of churches in our county available in another blog on our website already if you need help plugging into one.
To begin your VA journey, here is where to start in Brevard County:
On behalf of all of us at Audra Waters Ministries, Inc., we thank you for your service and honor your devotion to our nation. And, we look forward to further service to Jesus alongside of you in the Kingdom. We speak many abundant blessings over you and wish you and your family every bit of the eternal peace that you are seeking as you walk through this transition season. In Jesus Name and His blood shed for all us, Amen.
Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?
If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:
"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay. I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"
If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can welcome you into the kingdom. We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.