That doubtful voice inside my head never goes away. What if this goes terribly? What if it’s too much? What if I am really homesick? What if I don’t make friends and I’m really lonely? Can I even handle this? Do I go through with it?
I remember the times when I had these same questions running through my head. The times when I sat up at night worrying about a big change.
I was newly married and about to say goodbye my new husband for (what I thought would be) 2 months. He was about to go to Navy basic training, where communication to the outside world is extremely limited. I couldn’t imagine not seeing (and barely speaking to) him for that long. I didn’t know how I could possibly handle it.
Of course, I chose to put myself in that situation months before when I accepted his marriage proposal.
And even though I knew for a very long time that my husband would leave in January, I became more anxious as the date drew closer. Panicked and desperate is a better description.
Fear was eating me alive in the days before he left, and it would once again a few years later before we would move to our new home in Italy.
The prospect of our new life in Italy felt so unknown to me that it almost felt like my current life was ending and I was beginning a new one. We really didn’t know what to expect when it came to many aspects of our new command. I still didn’t know a lot of Italian, and it worried me. I had never even been outside the country before. We didn’t know what kind of a home we would have in Italy, or when any of our belongings would arrive. Then there’s always the unknown of deployments.
And there was an added weight for me: I was now a mother.
For me, that makes everything a lot worse. My baby deserves the best life possible, and I don’t want anything to jeopardize that for him. I feared that I wasn’t going to have a lot of support out there in the beginning, and my husband could be sailing away at any time. It could just be me and my little boy for long stretches. Could I handle it? I wondered.
There has to be a reason for this season of my life, doesn’t there? God doesn’t make mistakes.
What I grappled with pre-Italy (and boot camp) is wondering what God really wants for me. Does He want me to make a big change myself, proactively protecting myself and my family from any hardships to come? Or to go in faith to my Promised Land of sorts and reach out to grab this awesome opportunity?
My husband went to boot camp. I didn’t stop him. Due to an injury, he was there twice as long. But I still made it. Looking back on those days he was gone, I realize that I really grew as a person during them. And I know I’m certainly a stronger person because of it.
We went to Italy. It was hard! I still don’t know Italian. I traveled a lot. And, it was worth it.
No one ever really knows what God wants for our lives. What I do know is that I can’t make decisions out of fear and doubt.
So pray and trust. Try to resist the doubt and fear. And whatever happens, know that God will guide you through.
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