(Insert obnoxious/festive cell phone ring here)
“Hey beloved! How are ya? When will you be home tonight? Oh… So… You won’t be coming home at all? A private did WHAT?!? Sigh… (Gulp.) Ok, honey. Yeah, I miss you too… Love you… See you when I see you.”
As a drill sergeant spouse, this phone (and/or text) conversation happens more often than I would like.
In life, things happen. Plans change. Circumstances shift. This doesn’t just apply to drill sergeant spouses. All of us are faced with life experiences that shake up our daily plans, from changes of schedule to a flat tire to a kid who just won’t take a nap.
We ALL have a choice on how to react… And reacting appropriately can be HARD.
For me, there is a fine line on how to react when I get news that totally jacks up my plans and/or hurts my heart. On one hand, I could go off the deep end, tears abundant, spewing words I don’t mean, tearing up a box of kleenex. (See: Last year when we first started our duty as drill sergeant.) OR I can just be complacent and not care. (See: When I am in a “mood” or when Satan has a grasp on me.)
Neither of these are healthy. SIGH.
A couple of months ago, I was again struggling with this. I had a lot of emotions churning in my heart during the aftermath of our miscarriage, and the army life/schedule wasn’t helping much. I bounced back and forth between the crazy-lady-off-the-deep-end reaction and the blatant, mean “I-don’t-give-a-poo” bad attitude.
Satan loved it. But God didn’t. And it broke my heart. I was desperate and turned to God, begging for guidance to help me find a “happy medium” of reacting lovingly with compassion, but not being a spineless, complacent jellyfish.
He told me to P.A.R.K it… Literally…
P~ Pause and take a deep breath (or twelve… whatever it takes.) Then close your eyes (easier to keep the tears at bay) and begin to Pray.
A~ Ask the Lord what He wants you to do in this situation, what He wants you to learn and how He wants you to react.
R~ Respond and React appropriately. This step is important… following through with what He has told you to do is vital for rectifying the situation.
K~ Keep praying and Keep in touch with God. Reacting in the moment isn’t the only part of this process. For me, I must keep asking God for guidance and strength as well as continuous reminders that my sweet husband and the army are two separate entities…
Then repeat as necessary.
I have held this acronym close to my heart for the last couple of months, and as we prepare to pick up another basic training cycle in a matter of days, I am ready to engage it again. Even after we are off the trail as a drill sergeant couple, I know that we will continually be faced with life decisions and changes that require a reaction. P.A.R.K has proven successful for us and I would encourage you to try it out!
What circumstances do you struggle to react appropriately to? How do you cope? Would “Parking it” work or do you have your own method in place? I would love to hear from you– don’t be shy, leave a comment below.
Today, let’s be encouraged that God is the One who instigates the changes and circumstances in our lives. And we have a choice: We can drive on, plowing through it without a second thought and reacting out of raw emotion… or we can PARK IT. Which will you choose?
Parking it and setting the emergency brake,
“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.” ~Lamentations 3:28-30 MSG