So once again my life is in a new phase. After 34 years and 21 moves as an Army wife, you’d think I’d be used to the change part. And I am…mostly. But after 8 months in our “transition apartment” since my husband’s retirement ceremony, we are making our first major move as civilians. And we’re moving very far away and to a place I’d never imagined we’d be living. It’s a beautiful spot in the US. We’re not going overseas as we did four separate times during our Army journey. But I find I have a lot of the same trepidation I experienced the first time we moved to Europe. Europe! Everyone kept telling me how lucky I was! And intellectually, I got that. But emotionally I was a wreck. I was moving across the Atlantic Ocean, something I had never done before with a man I had only known for a couple of years! Ha! I remember thinking, “Who is he, really?” What if it turns out he’s not the great guy he’d been through our courtship and first year of marriage?! Well, of course he was. And I KNEW that, too. But I was panicked. A 23 year old nut case, that was me. Well, now I’m a 57 year old nutcase and that sort of depresses me and sort of comforts me at the same time.
I mean, I do believe I’ve grown a lot as a person and in my relationship with my husband and with God, thankfully. But it sort of bugs me that I feel as terrified about moving to California as I did as a punk kid moving to Europe with a virtual stranger. Kidding!
So, what’s my deal? I think it’s that I have lost my “built in purpose” that being an Army wife provided me. That phrase is in quotes because a dear friend whose husband also recently retired said that to me, that she missed her “built in purpose” of Army wife. Ding, ding, ding! On the nose! That’s my issue, too. As a professional volunteer, something I’ve referred to myself as and thought about myself for many years, it’s weird to no longer be the advocate for Army families that I was honored to be when my husband was an active duty Soldier. And I was darned good at it, too. I was so grateful for the things I was able to do to assist Army spouses and their families.
So now I’ve been asking God what He wants me to do next and I’m starting to get some glimpses of what that might be. I do want to do what He asks of me. It’s part of that whole, “not my will, but Thine be done” that Jesus taught us in the garden of Gethsemane. And while I have no major issues closing the door on the past, I seem to be struggling with what’s up ahead. That is very murky. There’s no clear view and I sort of feel like I’m stepping into an abyss. Maybe that’s overly dramatic. It probably is. But emotions are what they are. I know I need to trust and keep resting in the love and mercy that the Lord provides. Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. So I will follow Him, even to sunny California. He will provide. He will show me the way. Earlier today I had what I can only describe as an anxiety attack.
I felt like I could not move across the room let alone across the country. What were we thinking? And then this song started playing on the radio: God Help Me. I guess you could say I prayed along with Plum’s song. It helped. I also went to daily Mass and spent some time remembering that God’s got this and I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Many times in my previous, hectic life I would tell myself “just keep moving.” Everything I did, no matter how small or seemingly ineffective moved me forward to get me out of the house at the appointed time so I wouldn’t be late for that meeting or event.
That’s what I have to continue to do with my life in general. I am definitely trying to stay in the “present moment” which is even a smaller increment of time than the “day by day” model. Sometimes it needs to be that small to make it through. It’s all in God’s hands and with His grace I move forward in tiny baby steps!
After some time contemplating the current situation and a conversation with one of my sisters and later with God, I’ve realized that the blessings I’ve had till this moment in my life are already more than I deserve and more than many people receive in a lifetime. Why me? Why do I deserve so many amazing gifts in my life? The truth is I don’t. And I can never convey my gratitude for all of them adequately. But, sheepishly, I admit the song below seems a bit overly dramatic for my present situation. This morning, though, it felt very apropos and so I share it now because someone reading this might need to consider Plum’s words. Ultimately, it’s about faith. And it is a beautiful song…