Bittersweet is a word sometimes used by military families moving from assignment to assignment. Whether we delighted in or disliked the place where we were for the past 2-3 years, PCS is challenging, from the known to the unknown—home, friends, and church. Plus, if one is married—schools, doctors, friends for children, and possibly spouse employment become concerns. Often we don’t receive assignments we sought. Change is not easy, but we trust PCS orders received from our Detailer or Assignment Officer are really from God leading to a new opportunity to impact our culture by relocating with purpose, hope, and peace because He goes before us and with us.
Study the following biblical references and consider how they address the questions listed below. If using this outline with a Small Group, consider assigning different Scriptures to different individuals and relating them to one or more of the questions. Then scroll down the page to review our recommended resources for the topic of Transitions and consider how the various articles or podcasts provide further insights relating to this topic.
Genesis 12:1-9; 13:1-4, 14-18; Exodus 13:17-14:14; Proverbs 16:9; Jonah 1:1-4:11; Jeremiah 29:1-13; Matthew 6:33; Luke 4:42-44; Acts 9:1-19; Acts 13:1-3; 14:26-28: Acts 16:1-10.
- As Abraham moved to new locations, what did he establish? Do you do this?
- Compare the approaches and results of selecting a location by Abraham and Lot.
- Like David traveling around, do you trust and believe the Lord is with you?
- Like the Israelites facing PCS obstacles, do you stop to see what God will do?
- Why did Jonah resist his assignment? Do you resist orders, even from the Lord?
- What specific encouragements does the Lord give His exiles in a foreign culture?
- Do you pray about your orders, believing the Lord relocates you for His purposes?
- Do you pray for and seek fellow believers in your new command and area relocation?
- How were Barnabas and Paul sent out on a new assignment? Do you ask others to pray for your next orders, and also praise God as you complete an assignment?
- When PCS orders that you did not seek come, do you believe the Lord issued those PCS orders?
- In Acts 13:1-3, we see the Holy Spirit initially directing a change of station for Barnabas and Saul (“Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work which I have called them”). Those were the assignment orders. Then in verse 3, we see the disciples joining the Spirit through fasting, prayer, and preparation before the “deployment” on the First Missionary Journey, presumably seeking God’s wisdom in the details and provision for the tasks. As we receive orders, how can we join God and cooperate with Him for the opportunities and challenges of the new assignment?
Following are a series of carefully selected resources that provide perspectives and experiences of various authors, most having military experience. These articles and podcasts are intended to stimulate further thinking and reflective application for individuals or to act as the basis of discussion in small groups.
OCF offers many extra resources as you continue digging into the topic of Transitions.
Unique stressors of the military family
Like you, my husband, Steve, and I know what it’s like for our marriage to have to go into survival mode during extended periods of separation. We know the pressure of caring for children in the midst of huge transitions. We know the challenge of supporting each other when our own personal resources are depleted.
Allow God to Orchestrate the Events of Your Life
In preparation for our move, I found myself wondering what our new neighbors would be like. OK, I was obsessing over it. We have grown to love the people we live next to, and trying to imagine unfriendly neighbors peering at us while grilling out on the deck was making my stomach hurt.