If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit then you’ve probably gleaned that I am in the Navy. Which is completely true. So, what do I do in the Navy? Well, that depends. I do several things, but first, and foremost, I am a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) — sounds fancy huh? It really just means that I am a shipdriver. Which still sounds (and is) rather cool. I don’t actually drive the ship though.

You see, I’m Officer of the Deck (OOD) qualified which means that I give the orders to the helmsman who’s actually controlling the ship. It’s kind of like Simon Says — only I’m Simon. And because a visual is always helpful (thanks Smithsonian Channel);

When attempting to get the ship from point A to B, I give the helmsman very precise orders: Come left, steer course 250. Right Full Rudder. All Stop. Our nautical way of speaking allows me to change the ship’s direction and speed quickly and efficiently as the bridge (the place where all of this happens on a ship) can be a very hectic place. You could be navigating the Taiwan straits or 160ft from a 40K ton replenishment ship taking on stores or fuel so it is absolutely necessary that your helmsman understand what you are saying to him. The safety of the ship and the very lives of the crew onboard depends upon it.

So what happens when the helmsman can’t hear your orders? What if there is a bad phone connection, or too much idle chatter, or one of you has a thick accent? Well, the helmsman says: Orders to the helm? and you repeat yourself until he understands you or you fix the faulty connection.

As my life stands now, I am the helmsman. And I am completely lost and yelling: ORDERS TO THE HELM.

What am I going to do now?is the question that plays on repeat in my head. I didn’t get the thing that I wanted– the thing that I’d planned for. While I am not undone over the board’s decision, I don’t exactly have a plan B.

I seem to be lacking spiritual direction as of late. I am experiencing severe malaise of the soul and overall, general exhaustion with existing. Do you ever get that way? Get to the point where you can’t hear God (though you’d certainly like to). The point where you’re yelling orders to the helm and getting no response? Meanwhile your ship is heading directly for shoal water and everyone and everything onboard is in jeopardy. That’s kind of where I am now.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this down in a post as a reminder to myself mostly:
Believe that God
Of course, Perfect Christian Jada (which is an excellent example of an oxymoron) believes that is true, but real-life, in-the-trenches-Jada (who isn’t perfect at anything) thinks that her plan was a pretty good one. And why couldn’t we just stick with my plan? Which probably explains about 100% of my spiritual malaise.

If you ask me directly if I trust God and have Faith and believe that He is ultimately good then I would most likely nod my head emphatically and tell you of course! Why wouldn’t I? We’re talking about the Creator of the Universe here, duh. But when I examine my life and my choices, they don’t really align with what my heart thinks that it believes. I don’t really want orders to the helm. I want to drive this ship as fast and in whatever direction I choose. I am stubborn and willful like that. So much of my drama and stress in life is a direct result of my own choices — choices that I make contrary to the directions to the helm.It’s hard for me to relinquish control of my life. Mentally, I can agree that “God knows best and has the best plan for me,” but that doesn’t seem to translate into a day-to-day practicality. How do I live what I believe?

I don’t have the answer to that. At least not at this second. But I do believe that’s one of the things that God wants to show me this year (which means you’ll be hearing about it). I have this week off of work (HOORAY) and I’m also going to take time away from the blog for lots of thinking and praying, long bath soaks, reading and maybe even a little bit of writing too. No promises about the writing part.

I’ll leave you with my current theme song, Jamie Grace’s Holding On. Until Next Monday:

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