Our church hosts a Military Ministry for the military families within the congregation and within the community. Our focus has been on 2 Chronicles, specifically Chapter 20. In Chapter 20, Jehosaphat and his kingdom are in great danger from Moab and Amon. Jehosaphat is alarmed and seeks the Lord by fasting and praying. God's assurance of victory is delivered to Jehosaphat through a prophet, Jahaziel.
Our "fearless leader" (as I like to call her) pointed out that Jahaziel, a Levite (Levites were in charge of the temple/tabernacle) was exactly where he was supposed to be. He was in the assembly. He was at the temple.
Have I lost you yet? Hopefully not. (I'm a rookie at the Old Testament. I apologize if I blew any of that.)
Our "fearless leader" drew the parallel between Jahaziel and the military spouse that is enduring a deployment. She asked us to consider the questions, Am I where I need to be and where God wants me to be? Or have I put things/my life/my gifts/my talents/my service on hold while my spouse is deployed?
Hmmm...I'd like to think not but I was reminded today of my tendency to withdraw when things get uncomfortable. And I do. When life gets "hinkey" (only word I can come up with to describe how I feel when life isn't "normal"), my inclination is to withdraw. To shut the door and drop the blinds and cocoon inside my house. Because that is safe. That is normal. It is obviously a self-preservation technique but not really one that is conducive to leading a productive life and it can also be hurtful to those around me who don't understand why I'm acting the way I am.
Ok - so God is obviously trying to make a point with me. Gotcha.
Our Fearless Leader then went on to ask the question that was to be the focus of our discussion for the evening:
What are you passionate about? What gets you so excited/jazzed/riled up that you talk too fast for others to follow? What makes you yell and scream and pound the table?
There are many things in my life that I am passionate about - I'm a red head and passion comes naturally and usually in too-large quantities. I love my family. I love my friends. I love to read. I love to debate. I love to cook.
But the one thing that stood out - probably due to the proximity to the past weekend - was blogging. None of the people in our Military Ministry were really too familiar with blogging so I explained why I originally began to blog back in 2004 and how, facing a looming deployment at the time, I needed an outlet. Somewhere I could vent. My friend S. had a blog at the time and I thought it might be a good idea to start one. Nothing to lose, right? So I did. Through my friend S. I became aware of military blogs such as Blackfive and MudvilleGazette and through them, the MilBlog ring. So I joined.
I went on to talk about how I "met" some incredible people on line - people who lived my life or lived MacGyver's life. Something in common. And then the 2006 MilBlog conference came about and I took a huge leap of faith and booked a ticket. I talked about some of the incredible people that I had "known" on line that I was now able to meet in person and how wonderful that feeling was. I talked about Chuck (dude, are your ears burning yet or what?!?) and his run-in with an explosive device and how, out of that horror came Project Valour-IT. I talked about this year's conference and Chuck's lunchtime speech as he detailed what that laptop and that software meant to him, his family, and his healing. I talked about how going to the conference was like going home, in a sense. Like walking into Cheers and having everyone know your name (or at least your URL).
I didn't get the chance to talk about Eric. Had I had the chance, I would have talked about how it only took 2 e-mails to get information that was elusive for his family up until that point. I would have talked about how comforting it was to know that level of concern, of care was there if I ever needed it in any way, shape, or form.
I don't know that it's the blogging I'm passionate about or simply the opportunity, the avenue presented to me to do something. Doesn't really matter, does it?