I have to share a story with you about prayer. After years and years and YEARS of my being inactive and not praying, there was a gentlemen that gave a talk about prayer, and from my scripture readings I learned the purpose and strength that comes from prayer. I learned that blessings are given based upon the laws of which they are predicated on, and that if we have done all we can do, sometimes all that is lacking is the simple act of plainly asking.
Well, this last week was so very stressful for me. I had gotten into an altercation with a young female who was very disrespectful to me and being an Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) I corrected her behavior in a manner in which I knew she would respond to, which required me to raise my voice quite loudly. She responded and corrected the problem, but then also out of anger and pride went and caused the situation to be much bigger than needed by lying to those who would listen and take pity on her.
I and others have had several problems dealing with her in which she lied and caused others to be punished for her deceit. She would come to me asking for help or advice then go and tell others that I lectured her or was targeting her, when she was the one who approached me for help.
So, tired of dealing with her and stressed because of the situation and the lies, and also having an important briefing to give to the 1st TSC Command Sergeant Major (a bigwig), I knelt one morning and poured out my heart in prayer asking for relief. I told the Lord that I had done all I could do to help this young soldier resolve her problems and have been stabbed in the back multiple times by her. I told the Lord I would always be willing to forgive and forget and to continue helping her if needed, but I didn't know how to deal with the Jekyll and Hyde behavior.
I told the Lord I was so very tired, because one of my duties is the Equal Opportunity Leader for our Battalion and I have been called upon a lot because of the large number of soldiers that fall under our responsibility. I was starting to become extremely fatigued again and sick, and I cried because I didn't want to go through what I went through this year again, I didn't want a relapse. I cried for help and strength and understanding and for the clarity of mind and steadiness I would need to conduct the briefing the next day because of my fatigue and troubled mind.
That afternoon I was pulled into my 1st Sergeant's office and had the opportunity to talk to her about the trouble I and others have been having with this one soldier. She gave me some great perspective and counseling and also said that because I'm not in that soldier's direct chain of command that she would tell the soldier to stop coming to me and go to her first line leader, which is what she should be doing anyway.
This lightened my load a tremendous amount because I have always felt the need o help resolve problems that are brought before me, even if I am not directly responsible for the soldier. Also, that night after I had reviewed my briefing for the next morning and was just falling asleep, one of the soldiers in my unit brought me a message on a sticky note saying that the meeting has been cancelled until further notice due to scheduling conflict. Needless to say, after kneeling in a prayer of great thanks, I slept incredibly well for the first time in months.
Prayer.... And the simple act of plainly asking.... Who knew?