With husband deployed, wife fights discouragement

by Jocelyn on August 21, 2009

As Sonja Mannarino held down the fort while her husband Jason was deployed, she quickly saw the need to go on the offensive against spirits of fear, worry, resentment, anger and bitterness. Instead of waiting for discouragement to invade and occupy her home, she countered it at every turn by wielding the Sword of Truth: God’s Word.

Her tactic was simple: she printed Scripture verses off from her computer and stuck them all around her house with Scotch tape so God’s Word would constantly be before her eyes and the eyes of her children.

Taped next to her bathroom mirror: Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might (Psalm 21:13).

Taped inside her kitchen cupboard: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me (Psalm 23:4).

Taped above her dresser:  He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord (Psalm 112:7).

Taped in her living room:  But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds (Psalm 73:28).

The result was powerful. Instead of dwelling on the unknown of the future, Sonja chose to dwell on what she did know—that God is good, and God is in control. Even after Jason returned from deployment the following year, Sonja left those verses hanging around her home.

“Without God, I couldn’t have made it,” she said. “I needed comfort and peace, and He gave it to me. That is just amazing. Jason and I prayed with each other through email, we would speak to each other about God and Scriptures to lift our spirits. God’s presence was really strong.”

Sonja was able to ward off attacks from the Enemy by claiming God’s truths. Meditating on Scripture cleared her mind and heart of the swirling negative thoughts that threatened to consume her. We can do the same.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Prayer: Lord, give me the discipline I need to study and memorize your Word.

bbiraq*This devotion is an excerpt from Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq and Afghanistan (forthcoming, AMG Publishers, fall 2009), which I co-authored with Jane Hampton Cook and John Croushorn. Preorder your copy from Amazon.com.

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