Thank you for my fellow spouses who sign up to hold down the fort through the long days and long nights of military life. Thank you because each and every one of them is a wonderful and essential piece of our community. Each and every one of them makes us stronger.
Thank you for every time a fellow spouse held my hand while I faced tough news. For every spouse who welcomed me into a new community and made it feel like home. For every friend I could talk to when only another military spouse could understand. For all the times we laughed together because that’s all there was to do. For every travel buddy. For every second mom. For the spouse who helped me finally understand TRICARE. For the spouse I knew I could call, day or night, for anything I needed. I’m thankful for every little way these people changed me forever — for the better.
In your time and your way, please redeem the sacrifices and struggles that these men and women sign up for when they join the military family. Use every hard-earned lesson for your glory. Allow them to not only help others along their military journeys, but also extend grace and love to everyone they meet because they see people and their struggles as only military spouses can.
If you’ve taught anyone what it is to be a single parent (when they’re not a single parent), to face fear and anxiety of the unknown, or to go into a new place whether they want to or not, you’ve surely taught military spouses all these things. If you’ve taught anyone what it is to need grace for shortcomings (both real and imagined), to cope with stress in cross-country moves and long distance relationships (and so much more), to be flexible when plans are constantly changing, and what it is to say goodbye when that’s the last word they want to utter, you have surely taught all of these lessons to military spouses. If you’ve taught anyone what it is to stare down the reality of what it takes for a loved one to face a war and what it is to make themselves the last priority, it is surely military spouses.
So, I pray that when they see other parents struggling with a missing partner, they’ll have a heart to offer support. I pray that when they see others coping with fear and anxiety, they’ll share your truth and encourage others in the fight for faith. I pray that when they see a new face, anxious and alone in a room full of people, they’ll be the first to welcome the newcomer. I pray that they will always support the best in others, just as they have supported the best in their service members and fellow spouses, through tough days and many miles. I pray that when they see others struggling, they’ll throw out a lifeline with gratitude for all of the moments when others did the same for them.
Draw near to them when distance, countless moves, and the newness of yet another “home” makes them feel isolated. When the cry of their hearts is simply to be known, but every face they see is new, let your truth and love penetrate their loneliness.
Strengthen them and fill them with courage as they stand on tarmacs, in airports, on piers, and anywhere else to say goodbye to their loved ones. Please help them find the words and the patience to lead their families in the absence of their partners. Even when life threatens to overwhelm them, be present in their storms and trials, ever watchful and supportive.
Please help them find and cling to joy, whether it’s in the small moments or the big ones. In a lifestyle filled with anticipation of what’s next — the next move, next promotion, next trip, next deployment —help them to be present so that they can enjoy the beautiful life unfolding before them. So that while they wait, they don’t miss the blessings right in front of them.
Help them know that they matter and their sacrifices never go unnoticed. Help them realize that when they need help, it’s OK to ask because the truth is they’re not “bothering” anyone. Because they are worthy of others’ time and energy, no matter what they need.
I pray that you will go with them to all the far corners of the globe. That when adventure begins to feel a lot like hardship, you’ll comfort and renew them. That through this lifestyle you’ll pursue them relentlessly with your wonderful love and grace.