Home » Blog » How We Help » Military Outreach Stories » Let Go of Deployment Expectations

Author

Tags

Share this story

Let Go of Deployment Expectations

It was only after I read Matthew 6:34 that I began to realize what I was doing to myself and to those around me. As I began to loosen my grip on expectations, I learned to cope with things as they came.

Jimmy Melson's military gear. Photo courtesy Edie Melson.

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

When our son chose to enlist in the Marine Corps, his father and I were immediately outside our comfort zone. Neither of us had come from a military family; we had no clue what to expect.

Every new step in the process–from boot camp to deployment–required a huge learning curve. But even though it was a new experience, I had expectations. And those expectations became a series of stumbling blocks as I adjusted to the new paradigm of our family life.

  • I had expectations about my own behavior and how I’d cope with the stress of having my son away at war.
     
  • I had expectations about how other people would react to his sacrifice and service.
     
  • I had expectations about how our other boys would handle their brother’s choice to serve.
     
  • I had expectations about how our son would handle his time in the Marine Corps and the choices he’d make.

Edie's son Jimmy leaving for deployment.My list could go on for pages, but the bottom line was that every one of my expectations was unreasonable. Even the fact that I had them was a problem, and one that I’m convinced came from the fact that I’m such a control freak.

One way I try to control a situation is to imagine all the possible scenarios and outcomes so I’ll be prepared. In my mind I know how utterly impossible this is. Yet I can’t seem to help myself. It’s just a default setting I have in my coping mechanism.

These expectations set me, and those around me, up for failure. When I didn’t live up to what I thought I should, I immediately labeled that a failure. When someone else didn’t live up to my expectation, that was another failure.

What began as a coping mechanism, became a tidal wave of shortcomings that threatened to drown me.

It was only after I read Matthew 6:34 that I began to realize what I was doing to myself and to those around me. As I began to loosen my grip on expectations, I learned to cope with things as they came.

I discovered that God was right there with me, giving me the strength and wisdom that I needed for each situation that arose. I didn’t get the answers before I needed them, but they always arrived right on time.

So I encourage you to take a good look at what you expect will happen while your loved one is deployed and then toss those expectations in the garbage.

Only God knows what is coming, and He is never going to leave you alone to cope. We don’t have to be ready for anything because He is ready for everything.

Share this story

Walking with Jesus: Devotions for Lent & Easter 2024

Experience a journey of spiritual growth this 2024 Lenten season. This remarkable book is a compilation of thought-provoking reflections from various women of faith. Prepare yourself for Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection with daily devotions that not only deepen your understanding but also strengthen your faith.

Read More and Order

Community Newsletter

Get More Inspiration Delivered to Your Inbox

Scroll to Top