What is it that you truly believe? This is a question that ruminates in my mind, often when I’m faced with difficult or frustrating circumstances. Many times, we are telling ourselves stories. These stories tell us about how we are feeling and what is happening to us. It’s time for military spouses everywhere to challenge what they believe and replace harmful or limiting beliefs with ones that will lead to better decisions—big or small.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
A few weeks ago, someone that I love very dearly received a daunting diagnosis. Cancer. Stage four. My mind began to race. When I am in crisis mode, I begin desperately grasping for control. I assess how I could manipulate the situation to come out with a more favorable result. I obsess over details and possible alternatives. Well, here’s a spoiler alert. Cancer cannot, and will not, be manipulated. All we can do is hope.
I had to take a step back and ask myself, “What is it that I believe?” Do I believe that life should last forever and that this dire diagnosis is unfair? Am I angry because I cannot, for the life of me, offer up any kind of acceptable explanation for this terrible situation? The answer to both questions is “Yes.”
We know that life is short and also that bad things happen to all of us. None of us are immune. So, because I am a Christian, I believe that I was never in charge in the first place. I should trust that the plan the Lord has is better—even if I have to believe it before I feel it.
Not so long ago, I had a friend share her difficult story with me. A mutual acquaintance of ours was treating her harshly, spreading rumors and slyly sneaking in rude comments about how unintelligent she was or how she looked “plain.” When I asked her why she didn’t speak up about it, she couldn’t give me an answer. Then, rather abruptly, I asked, “Do you believe the things that she is saying about you are true?” “Yes,” she said. “I guess, at some level, I have always thought that I deserve to be treated this way.”
My heart broke. Further into the conversation, I asked her, “What would happen if you believed the best about yourself? How would life look if you believed that you are a worthy woman, deserving of respect and kindness?” Her eyes began to swell with tears. She replied with, “I don’t know how to believe that.”
I’ll ask the question again. What is it that we are believing about any given situation?
When someone is rubbing us the wrong way, do we believe the best about them? Do we believe that they are just another human, doing the best that they can, just like us? Or, do we assume that they are purposely getting on our nerves, seeking to irritate us beyond reason?
WHAT WE ALL SHOULD BELIEVE
Here are some things that military spouses should be believing, because our core beliefs drive our decisions.
We are worthy. We are inherently worthy of respect, kindness, and love. These are not things we must earn: they should be unconditionally given.
Boundaries are a necessity, not a nicety. Setting boundaries, simply put, is determining what is okay and what is not for you to maintain healthy relationships. Do you have a deal-breaker in relationships, whether it is a family, friendly, or romantic relationship? My deal-breaker is when someone tries to exert control over me or attempts to emotionally manipulate me. That is not okay. When it happens in friendly or family relationships, I stand firm that I will not tolerate behaviors like this.
“No” is a complete sentence. How many of us say yes to everything to please those around us, or to help to the point it hurts? Saying no is not wrong, or selfish. It is wise to say no sometimes to maintain health and wellness.
We are all doing the best we can. Let’s make a choice to give ourselves, and others, a little grace. Courteous goodwill should help us stave off some of the negative stories we tell ourselves about who we are and why people do what they do. We really are doing the best we can.
If we take a step back and really try to change our minds about what we believe, we can reframe how we see ourselves, the people in our lives, and the world itself. Beliefs drive how we make decisions, how we behave, and how we feel.
What is it that you will choose to believe?
Megan Brown is a seasoned military spouse and military missionary. She is the founder and managing editor at MilSpo Co., the military liaison for the Speak Up Conference Global Missions Military Scholarship, and the 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Robins AFB Spouse of the Year. She is passionate about military mission work, teaching, and preaching about Jesus in and out of the local church. She lives in middle Georgia with her husband, Keith, and their energetic kiddos. She is a Bible teacher, speaker, and freelance writer.