I haven’t been quite myself for months now. I searched into the events and circumstances of the last few months to try to discover and understand what’s been going on. Being back in the mountains and doing activities I loved appeared to be helping, but I still wasn’t right. I assumed may be in was a midlife crisis, my 40th birthday being around the corner and all, or the fact I was in limbo again for what was next for me.
It’s been a slowly growing obsession of the last few years to figure out what God’s purpose for my life is. For good or bad, I analyze and appoint some sort of meaning to basically anything and everything that happens in my life in the hopes it will point me in the right direction. This happens to be particularly true around this time of the year (before my birthday).
Over the span of the last eight years, it seemed like God has kept bringing me back to the Marine Corps. I obeyed, but didn’t like it for the first four years, but eventually, I saw the blessings and good of it. Then God brought a leader I admired into my life for the first time EVER (only took 20 years). He (the leader) in turn convinced me to stick around and seek promotion, employing these very words “Sometimes God speaks through people.” (This is the short version of the story.)
It didn’t seem farfetched to start believing God did in fact have a bigger plan for me when it came to my service in the Marine Corps. I didn’t believe myself competitive for promotion because I hadn’t been keeping up with my professional military education (PME) or the maintenance of my records, but none the less, I submitted an updated picture for the board and waited to see what would happen. Thanks to the Lord, I was selected.
I had made a “deal” with God. I get promoted. I’ll put in for Command…since I began to think that must be His plan. For the record, at this point in the story, I’m not keen with His plan. However, remember, I read into everything that happens, or that I’ve been told, and I’m obsessed with cracking God’s plan for my life. (I want to wrap life in a neat little box with a perfect red bow on top…as if I don’t know any better.)
Recollecting what I was told over a decade ago when I resigned my commission about having the potential of being a Battalion Commander, and what my bosses have been telling me since, I began to believe perhaps it was God’s plan after all to see me lead a Communication Battalion.
The signs in the road seemed to point that way.
Ironically, when I wrote and submitted my letter to the board, I still wasn’t in love with the idea of being a Battalion Commander because how much that would impact my freedom/ability to travel as I desired. But, I had made a deal with God. He got me promoted, I’d submit for Command.
Dare I say what a difference a week or two makes. It didn’t take long after submitting my package that my desires changed. The only thing I began wanting was Command.
In the last few weeks, I wrote multiple times in my journal “Will I get selected for Command?” or “What will I do if I’m not selected.” I became even more obsessed. I wrote “Being absolutely and completely wrong about everything will CRUSH me. My world will come undone.” (Yes, quite melodramatic but writing that is what led to snapping out of the devil’s grip).
Fuck the devil and his sly and manipulative ways.
It wasn’t my desires. I never wanted it until God put it on my heart, so if I’m not selected, what does that mean about God? Is God working in my life or is it a big hoax? Why would I keep following, obeying, and serving God if He didn’t even follow through with what He placed on my heart?
Those train of thoughts have been polluting my mind, feeding my doubts, and making me feel like Jekyll and Hyde took possession of my mind and spirit.
I didn’t realize I was battling the devil. I just knew now that I had time to dig deeper into how I was feeling that I was clearly focusing on the wrong things. I needed to look at all the things I was grateful for. Focus on what I have, not on what I don’t have and desire.
I’m in the mountains, I just spent a week with some of my family and felt closer to them than ever before, while I have plenty of aches and pains—I’m in good health, I have money in my bank account, and the list goes on. I have lots to be grateful for!
In my gratitude, I came to the realization I’ve been placing my desires (for Command and a known future) over my desires for God. What I want became more important than God.
No wonder I’ve been completely off kilter and not feeling like myself. When I removed God from the center of my life and as my #1 priority, I threw everything off.
Fuck you devil (sorry, but not cleaning up my language, that’s exactly what I said). I should’ve known you were behind my misery. The devil is always behind my misery.
You wouldn’t expect the desire to serve God to be a vulnerability…but anything and everything can be used, twisted, manipulated, and exploited to lead us away from God.
I even wrote in my journal about the many unexpected ways God has used me, blessed me, and allowed me to serve Him. However, it was followed by a but, it was followed with my disappointment that it’s never been in the ways I anticipated He would or expected Him to. And darn it, just once I wanted it to be how I thought it would be. I wanted to be in on His plan and claim victory when placing the red bow on top of the box. I claim victory but glorify Him?!? It somehow worked in my reasoning.
But why would I want to diminish God’s amazing powers that way? Why would I want to make God a predictable being that fits my plans? Especially when I’ve witness the wondrous ways He works?
My fall was even tied to a Scripture: Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
I started with the delight for the Lord and ended with a delight for my desires…
The switcheroo happened under my nose, but not overnight.
God’s Place Over God’s Plan
Today, God regained His rightful place as #1 in my life. My eyes and life have returned to being centered on Him, and for the first time in months, I feel like myself again. Only when my relationship with God is right does everything else fall into place.
I pray I’m selected for Command, but if not, I trust God will surprise me with many other unexpected ways to serve Him. I’ll turn my disappointment to Him. My world will absolutely NOT become undone.
Devil, you have lost another battle. And. Fuck You.