You’re moving again. Your mom is going on assignment. You have college applications due soon. These are just a few of the many things going on in your life. Everything is in constant motion, always changing. Even you don’t sit still for very long any more.
Growing up as a Military kid is incredibly different than anything else. Home life is different because of your parent’s job taking them away from home, sometimes to dangerous places. School is unique because you move a lot and people make friends differently on base then in the States. Even college and the future is a moving target since you’ve barely lived in the US and who knows where you’ll end up going.
Chances are, at one time or another, all of these shifting pieces have overwhelmed you. There might just be too many moving parts, or too much uncertainty. Whatever the reason, life can get really tough to deal with when nothing seems to stay the same. Take a look at how God designed for you to handle it all.
My friend Katie was a pro at being a military kid. When she showed up at soccer practice 2 weeks before school started, she had 5 friends by the end of practice and was having sleepovers with the team by the time school began.
She was the middle kid in a big family, and it was pretty easy for her to slip through the cracks. Katie was cheerful and fun but not too crazy or attention–grabbing. She had moved 7 times in 16 years and had joined teams and clubs at every school she attended.
She loved her dad and was proud of his service to the United States. When he came home she made banners and T-shirts; and when he was deployed, she made cookies for him to take along.
It seemed like nothing could phase her, and Katie wasn’t done yet. She was so excited to be at our school, and she told me all about how she was finally going to get to stay in the same high school until she graduated, and then it was off to college and maybe grad school. Her world was standing still for a second and Katie was going to enjoy it.
Then one Monday she wasn’t in school. By soccer practice, I knew something was up. I texted, but she didn’t respond. Katie never came back to school. In fact, it wasn’t until the next spring when I finally heard from her.
Katie’s dad had been reassigned last minute to a post back in the States, and the family had been pulled out of town before they had moved out of temporary housing. She told me that after the move she had sorta melted down.
This is how she described it to me:
“I was sitting on the plane, waiting to take off for America, when I felt this white hot rage start burning in my stomach. I sat there and tried to calm down, breathe deeply – I tried all the tricks I knew; but that rage inside of me just kept building. Suddenly I started to cry with these big body-shaking sobs. I seriously went from 0-60 in half a second. I couldn’t breathe, I could barely think. I was just so completely overcome with how hard this all was and how exhausted I had become. Why did life always seem to go this way? Why couldn’t God just give me a break? What more did he want? I was a wreck. I saw no purpose and I had no hope.”
Katie was really at a low point in her life when she took that plane ride. All her hope and joy was drained, and she was overwhelmed by life in the military. You know how hard it can be to have a parent or two in the Military. Life can certainly be overwhelming at times.
If that’s something you are struggling with, it’s a good time to ask God what he thinks. There are so many ways that God prepares and equips us for the tasks ahead of us in life, and it can be really hard to understand them all. Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t intend for us to struggle with this alone. When life is overwhelming you, look to God for stability and utilize the resources he gives us like our families and Scripture and the community of the Church.
This Psalm is a really great depiction of how God is our constant source of strength and security. When life as a military kid gets overwhelming, read through this and use it as a reminder of how much you are loved and protected.
Scripture: Psalm 46
- Do you have a story similar to Katie’s?
- Does your life as a Military kid often feel overwhelming to you? What do you do when you feel that way?
- Did any of the Scripture passages stand out to you?
- What are some of the promises God makes to you as you face times when life is overwhelming?
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Dear Jesus, sometimes this life is just too much. I mean, I didn’t exactly pick this for myself. All the moving and the changing friends and everything else just makes me feel like nothing is ever still! It’s always changing and I’m always trying to catch up. Help me not feel so overwhelmed by this, Jesus. And help me know what it means to act in faith for you. Amen.