08 August 2013

God of Peace

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

So, we are moving to Alaska. I'm not gonna lie, I'm freaking out a little.

I didn't really recognize it until my friend told me yesterday after I had confessed a minor meltdown, "You're probably a little more stressed than you think. I mean, you're moving to Alaska."

Sure, I knew I was completely shocked the day Hubs snuck out to his car to leave the voicemail. I was finishing up with bible study when I saw the missed call and checked the message. Then I listened to it again. Then I had to sit down. "You and Jessie need to get your fur coats because we're going to Alaska!" With several girls staring at me, I realized I was laughing with a strong urge for tears. I remember one of them asking if I was ok.

When Hubs came home that day, there was such a nervous excitement between us. I asked him with a lump in my throat and eyes as big as half dollars how exited he was on a scale of 1 - 10. 

"TEN!" Hubs isn't exactly easy to excite. But he really belted that number that day and he really meant it. I wasn't so sure. I definitely wasn't singing "TEN!" with my fists in the air.

Don't get me wrong, I was excited. I even helped choose this. But that's kind of where my confusion came in. We never get to choose. Here's how this goes- on Hubs' army account he gets to list his top three desired duty stations. He made sure this was updated correctly before the time the army made assignments during a specific division of NAVSCOLEOD. We had fun talking about our top three. Where would we live if we got to choose? Where would we definitely NOT want to go? Where do you think we will go anyways? See, we can put whatever army post we want, but the reality is that Hubs would get assigned to whichever unit needed his specific qualifications. 

With some deliberation, knowing we would be there only two years (which, in true army fashion, is now three), we made Ft. Richardson in Anchorage, AK our #2 choice. We had (and still have) heard nothing but the most amazing things about this assignment. Those who have been not only love the scenery and location and the activities available, but the post, job, and people. What an adventure! I mean, it's only two years. Why not choose somewhere we would never go otherwise? Plus, we get all the military benefits of an overseas assignment without any of the hassle. It's far, but it's only two years, right?
**I must also add that we did not have the option to stay here at Eglin AFB. If we had, Hubs would have made all necessary moves to make that happen. We have loved our time here in this tiny town!

So, Hubs put in his top three, and that was that. I wasn't really concerned about it. We were at the mercy of the needs of the army. Again. I had accepted that. So when I heard that we had a hand in sending us to a foreign (to us!) place, there was definitely a moment of, "Oh crap. What have we done?" Hearing the extreme opposite of our beloved beach home, a place I've only seen in pictures, was surreal. 

After Hubs shouted, "TEN!" and sat down to share that moment with me, it made me so much more sure that this was going to be good. He said he was in shock too, but we had prayed about this situation for months and he was at peace with it. That's when I realized that I completely and sincerely agreed. Yes, I felt like a deer in headlights, but it was just shock I felt, not fear. I was truly at peace with it too. Then, Hubs diffused any remaining uneasiness by saying, "Plus, we're doing this together. There's no one else I'd rather go to Alaska with; I'm so glad I get to move there with my best friend!" Swoon.

That was back in April. We got the news, called family and friends, and then went back to life as usual. Hubs muscled through the exhausting pass/fail curriculum. I finished a semester of school and started a part-time job for the summer. We went to the beach every Saturday. The past few weeks, however, have been different. We started planning to leave. We made lists, appointments, and schedules in preparation for our move. We spend every morning doing a devo, a work out, and sometimes a little cleaning up, yet I still have felt more stressed than seemed normal. We are enjoying our last days in one of our favorite places and gearing up for a pretty incredible trip. So why am I on edge?

"You're probably a little more stressed than you think. I mean, you're moving to Alaska."

Oh, yeah. That. 

And if that didn't do it, talking to my mom yesterday did. She said she was surprised when she looked at a map recently and saw how far Alaska actually was. "I've been weepy all week about it!" And I realized I have been focusing so much on us getting there, that I haven't really let the fact that we're about to live there soak in. I've been so excited to see to mom soon, that I haven't thought for a second about the driving-away-from-her part.

I'm freaking out.

Here's what's just come to me. I do this with God. I'm going to VERY loosely parallel Alaska and heaven for a minute: they are destinations that are waiting for me, and it is out of my control how I get there. I know the way and know I'm going, but I freak out in the process. In this move and in my life I somehow, after 
continual evidence of His care, still ask, "Is God going to work this out? I should probably help Him out by making lists (I literally had over six working lists), appointments, and schedules." And let's not even go into the what-ifs. What-ifs  are a disease you catch from the unknowns

Our God is a God of peace. He has granted me a faith to just know He's in control. That's the peace- that weird knowing in the midst of my worry that is beyond my understanding, beyond my planning, beyond my feelings. Hubs recently said, "I know God has something for us in Alaska." I don't doubt it for a second, but man I wish I were better at living like it. So, I'm letting go. Of the control I so hilariously think I posess. Of lists, appointments, and schedules. Of what-ifs. I want to trust Him, and there is no better time practice doing it that when you have a bad case of the unknowns. Sometimes, being military makes me think it's a terminal case. But, praise Him, it's not! He has promised, He is faithful, He works all things according to His purpose. 

He is moving us to Alaska, and He is moving me more toward peace in the process. 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7


  1. I'm not going to lie, being here in Alaska, so far away from family and friends, is the single hardest thing for me about living here. But may I say welcome to Alaska! We're here at JBER too (And just so you know, it's not Fort Richardson, it's Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson! JBER sounds like Jay-Bear. Now you'll sound like a pro when you get here!).

    1. Hi Pattie! We are getting packed up to move and will be there by Sept 5th or 6th! I'm really so excited, but it will be difficult to be that far. We know God has a plan and will be refining us in the process!

      Thanks for the insider-info! I was definitely saying Jay-Burr. It does say Ft Rich on our orders, so I'm glad to know I need to start JBER all the time!

      I'm just now making this connection, but are you the Pattie that is involved with Wives of Faith? I know you interviewed Sara on your blog; are you also the Pattie that commented on my older Facebook post about my not being there in time for Ladies, Lattes, and the Lord? I cannot wait to get involved once we arrive!

    2. Same Pattie :) Once you get settled, we can still meet at Jitters in Eagle River or somewhere else that will work for you :)
      Fort Richardson and Elmendorf AFB still exist in name, but functionally it's JBER. I was saying "Jay Burr" myself until I went to a New Spouse orientation and the wing commander set me straight ;)
      If you need anything, please feel free to email me at pattie *at* wivesoffaith.org and once again, welcome! I don't know all there is to know about Alaska, but I can connect you with gals who do.

    3. Thanks Pattie! Already feel blessed to have met you. :)