By Ashley Kelton
God's Brave Women - Ashely's Story
It was a Friday morning in late May, and I was playing with my son and a friend in our playroom. We were anxiously awaiting the return of my husband, who had been gone for almost 2 months for training; he would be arriving just in time for us to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. 11:08 a.m. my phone rang. I sprinted to a separate room to answer the much-anticipated call.
I answered the phone and there was silence on the other end. My stomach dropped and I knew it wasn’t good. Finally, my husband spoke four words that would change the entire course of our lives: “I didn’t make it.”
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
Change. In the past year, my family has experienced multiple significant changes. We began 2019 with anticipation of beginning a new career in the Air Force and a move from home. Three months into living in our new home, my husband called to say that the career we had made all the changes for was no longer in the plan.
Shock, hurt, embarrassment, and family tension followed. We had a difficult time talking to each other and as far as family and friends were concerned, conversations were, simply put, excruciatingly awkward. There were few people we felt we could truly turn to for encouragement and advice. We were tormented daily with so many questions. Questions of identity, purpose, and God’s plan assaulted us daily.
The devil works in our lives. The Bible says that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) I have never seen the devil more obviously work in my life than in moments of change.
It’s in the change that I found myself trapped in a spiral of unhealthy thought patterns. I believed the lie that I no longer mattered, that God had moved past me. How could I ever believe those lies? How could I ever believe that God does not care for me? Those thoughts were from the enemy, but I was lost in my own anger and confusion. Yet even in my moments of loss, God found me. He found me in a study I was going through on the armor of God.
"How could I ever believe that God does not care for me? Those thoughts were from the enemy, but I was lost in my own anger and confusion. Yet even in my moments of loss, God found me."
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
It was only when I allowed myself to turn away from my mental entrapment from the enemy that my confidence returned. I needed to remind myself of things that were true, noble, praiseworthy, right, and pure (Philippians 4:8).
I forced myself to wake up early before everyone else in my house to start my day by reading the Psalms. Psalms is filled with words that speak to those who feel lost and alone, while continually pointing back to the Creator.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4
I wrote down at least five things that I was grateful for every day. Practicing gratitude helped train my mind to remember all the blessings in my life, in the midst of something that was trying not only me, but also my husband, and quite honestly, our marriage.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Then I would spend time working out to help my physical body. Having a rush of endorphins after giving thanks to God and spending time in the Word truly established a foundation for a successful day. I know that my body is a temple of God, and for me, taking care of my temple means taking care of my mental and physical health.
Every day that I chose to turn to God instead of allowing the devil to trap me in cynicism and fear, my strength increased and my confidence grew. I chose to combat the negativity of all the questions in our life situation. Combatting the devil and his trickery takes bravery, which for me came from God and turning to him daily.
"Combatting the devil and his trickery takes bravery, which for me came from God and turning to him daily."
Two months following the changes I had been making in my spiritual life and also after the shocking career change we were notified the Air Force was moving us over twenty hours further away from our family. Instead of handling the news with fear and dread, I was excited! My confidence in God and his plan usurped my fears about moving to a new place further away from home than I had ever lived. I was confident that God was with me and would help me stay strong.
Now, did that mean when we moved into our new home that the devil didn’t use that change to attack me?
No. But this time I was more prepared to counter his attacks. I had my armor and I had not allowed it to become rusted. I had been strengthening myself in the Lord and protecting my mind from the attacks of the devil.
Sister, I pray that you courageously attack any negativity that may be assailing you. Remember that no matter the changes that come your way, God is bigger and can handle any and all of your worries.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
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Ashley is a mother of one child with another on the way! She has Tennessee roots but is currently residing in New England. She is an Active Duty Air Force wife and a speech-language pathologist. She loves the outdoors, baking, Netflix, and all things coffee and chocolate. You can find her at her blog www.militarywifejourney.com or on Instagram @militarywifejourney. She is passionate about encouraging women experiencing change!