*Post by author, Sara Horn
One of the biggest battles I believe we face as women and as a society today is loneliness. Have you ever found yourself surrounded by a crowd of people and still felt like you were all by yourself? I have. There was even a day where I had lunch with a friend, and we spent most of our time together talking about how lonely each of us felt. And yet, there we were, sitting together! We are the most connected group of people – we have more ways to interact online and through social media and mobile devices than we’ve ever had before, and yet many of us continue to feel lonely. Loneliness is a powerful feeling the enemy uses to divide and destroy.
But I believe loneliness is also a feeling God uses to draw us closer to Him. One of my favorite verses in Psalms reads, “God sets the lonely in families.” He brings us to Him; He molds our hearts, softens our expectations and opens doors to be around others.
Families come in different forms. We have our blood families; we have families we’ve married into, extended family and some of us have family we wish we didn’t know about. We also find family perhaps through our Bible study groups, or our church family with whom we spend so much time; we might even consider the girls in our dance aerobic class we see regularly to be like family.
As the leader of a military ministry, I am always amazed at the family we find among military spouses. Put two military wives in the same room that have never met before and there’s a great chance in five minutes they will be talking together like old friends. They find common ground quickly – moves they’ve made to the same duty stations and towns; the experience and challenge of deployment, and mutual friends and acquaintances they might both know.
But sometimes those connections don’t always happen. Sometimes loneliness wins. This soul-draining emotion convinces us to stay home and stay put. We listen to the voice inside our head that tells us we’re the only ones to feel this way – sad, alone, ignored. So we miss out on the relationships God might have in mind for us, and we miss out on the encouragement He wants to give us through knowing or talking with someone else. We resign ourselves to believing that we are all by ourselves and then we miss out on the blessing of finding an opportunity to encourage someone else. It’s a debilitating cycle.
In Tour of Duty, the Bible study I wrote specifically for military wives going through deployment, we talk a lot about loneliness and many of the other emotions we struggle with while going through a season without our husbands. Now we’re getting ready to take that study and bring it to life, by offering a weekend retreat where military wives can come and get recharged through Bible study, connecting with other military wives, and just some wonderful rest in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, N.C.
Tour of Duty Live! is May 4-6 and there are only a limited number of spaces. So I would like to ask your help. If you’re not a military wife, but you know of one – would you encourage her to go? Would you let her know about the special children’s program we’re offering for her kids? Would you tell her the dishes and the laundry can wait a couple of days, that this is an opportunity for her to invest in her family by spending some time on herself? Would you let her know that God is going to move in a big way during this weekend, with some wonderful worship, encouraging conversation, and a chance to let go of all of the frustration and second-guessing and Big Girl Panty wearing, and focus on God’s strength for this time?
Finally, would you join me in praying for this weekend for military wives? I am so grateful to LifeWay and Ridgecrest, NC for seeing the need to minister to this special group of ladies – I am praying hard that God will bring the women who need to be there and that we will see Him work in an amazing way in the lives of these military wives. We are not alone!
For more information, visit Ridgecrest’s website. Sara Horn is the founder and president of Wives of Faith, a military wives faith-based ministry supporting, connecting and encouraging military wives of all branches of service. She is the author of Tour of Duty: Preparing Our Hearts for Deployment and GOD Strong. Her most recent book is My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife. Visit her website at sarahorn.com.
*Post by author, Sara Horn