mom, i joined the national guard

JOY STORY #5

ben army pic    ben audrey army story

It’s a privilege and honor for me to share God’s faithfulness in this story. It begins with a phone call from my son, Ben. He said, “Mom, Me and Casey joined the National Guard.” My first reaction… I just sat down, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and whispered, “Jesus!” I mean, I was proud of him for choosing to serve our country. Very proud! But, I was fearful, because of what was going on in the world around us.

My soldier son began his basic training in 2003. That was just a year and a half after the 9/11 attack. Honestly, I could have freaked out! But I know my GOD and He has always been Faithful. He knows my anxious thoughts. Living a life surrendered to the Lord, I’ve trained myself to go straight to God with my fears and concerns. Don’t be tempted to think the worst when situations like this one come. I’ve learned to CLING to the Lord when I walk through a trial. The thought of seeing my son in combat in Iraq… I chose not to dwell on that.

If you find yourself in a battle… you need to know your weapons. When my boys were younger, they would play Nintendo or Play Station Games… I can remember them saying, “Choose your weapon… choose the weapon you want to use.”  I discovered, to overcome battles of fear I had to have the right weapons. Here are two weapons I use all the time:

1. KNOW MY GOD – to know Him is to spend time with Him.

2. KNOW MY WEAPONS – one of my weapons of choice is surrendering my will.

It’s important that you let God know how you feel about what’s going on. He already knows. You can’t hide anything from Him.  Like Jesus, I have prayed “the Garden” prayer many times… in particular, let me tell you about the days after my son told me was being deployed to Iraq.

I would often pray in the car on the way to church. When you work at the church like I do, seems like you’re always on the way to church. It’s a 25-minute drive. Perfect prayer closet, right? (WAR ROOM) On this particular day, I was doing my best to convince God that it wasn’t a good plan to send Ben to Iraq. I cried out to the Lord and I made my feelings very clear. When I finally quit pleading and shut up, I heard His voice. “Eva, this is not about your will or what you want. It’s about MY will.” I realized that the safest place for Ben to be is in God’s perfect will, even if I didn’t understand. I prayed, “Okay God, not my will but yours be done.” As I surrendered, I still wanted a promise from God’s Word to hold on to. The message that Sunday was entitled “Getting a Specific Word for Your Circumstance.” So, sitting in my pew I said, “God, today is as a good a day as any to have that promise.” And just like that….

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I opened to Jeremiah 31:16-17. Are you ready for this… here it is:

This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded” declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.”

I almost jumped up and shouted while my pastor was bringing the message. I was doing my “happy dance” on the inside. God’s Word literally chased all my fears away. During the community send-off, we shared that scripture with all the families, sending their soldier to the land of the enemy.

Here’s the JOY in my story:

God was true to His Word. I can’t remember how many soldiers we sent from our city to Iraq, but it was a lot. What I do know is that every single man that left during that deployment returned. Not one soldier was lost. That is how my GOD does things. If he says it, you can believe it. Every single one of our soldiers returned from the land of the enemy. Are you shouting yet?

There are several occasions while Ben was in Iraq that God would prompt me to pray and I knew that through intercession God was keeping our troops safe. Once, Ben told me about the time their tank rolled over an IED (improvised explosive device). All of the oxygen left the tank and for a while, they didn’t have air to breathe. When the tank was opened and they got out, the damage to the tank on the outside, was exactly where he was sitting on the inside. TYJ!!! GOD IS FAITHFUL! He still amazes me and I am so thankful!

Please pray for our troops today.

Living in HIS joy!
Eva Raye

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About evaraye

part-time blogger
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