Words of encouragement in the unknown

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Jeffrey Rybold
  • 944th Fighter Wing Chaplain

I wanted to take a moment and share some thoughts with you today in response to the many mixed emotions you may be experiencing following the news about Afghanistan.  The reality is, our emotions have been turbulent for quite some time now.  Whether you are adjusting to the changes from the COVID responses over this last year, preparing for an upcoming deployment, or healing from a lost loved one or friend.  A lot has happened this year and it does not seem like there is hope in sight.  Hope, though, does not come from our circumstances.  Hope comes from our foundational beliefs.  For many, that is faith.  For me, my hope lies in my Christian faith.  I know that through it all, I can trust my faith no matter what is going on around me.  The question for you is, where does your hope lie?  What foundation do you subscribe to.  My encouragement for you today is to refocus, refuel, and refine yourself. 

Refocus – Build your foundation.  Find what motivates you and build a better tomorrow with your family, friends, and co-workers.  If you are a person of faith, tap into your faith community and build a stronger belief in your God.  If you are not a person with a faith background, find what it is you believe in and grow stronger through it.  “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15

Refuel – Navigating turbulent times is exhausting.  Sometimes, we all need to take some time and refuel.  When exhaustion takes hold, find your pit stop.  Take the needed time and refuel your soul.  “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” – Isaiah 41:4

Refine – Improve yourself.  The whole Airman concept is vital to each individual person.  Seek out ways to become the best version of yourself today.  What daily practices can you begin today? 

Physical Pillar: what workouts or exercises can you begin?  Maybe a new healthy outlook towards food?  Manage your body wisely.  You only have one.

Social Pillar:  How can you best build the relationships around you?  What daily communication skills or leadership skills can you begin building today?  Relationships are very important in keeping you healthy.  Especially when things get difficult.

Mental Pillar:  What habits can you begin to practice to help your mind?  Do you need to think on the more important things rather than keeping yourself up at night thinking about things outside of your control?  What ways do you know that can help with that?  There are many resources available that can help equip you mentally.

Spiritual Pillar:  How are you best strengthening your faith or your foundational beliefs?  What practices do you and your friends or family adhere to that help you through the difficult times?  How can you bring other people into that community as well?  You are encouraged to practice your spiritual belief while being respectful to those that belief differently.  Take the time to get to know yourself and those around you.

Your Chaplain Corp team is here to help you through all of this, no matter what faith background you hold to, or even if you do not hold to any faith at all.  If you need to speak to a Chaplain or would like help finding a professional resource to help you through this difficult phase of life, please seek us out.  I am on orders until 30SEP and am available to help bear your burden 24/7.  Feel free to call me at any of the numbers below or through the Chaplain Corps Duty Phone (602) 999-7657.  You can also visit our office during the duty day in BLDG 988, on the second floor.