For the Day You Hate the Military

frustrated military spouse

Most of the time, this crazy lifestyle is a good one, and I know you know that. There’s the adventure. The (sometimes) job security. And although TRICARE is a pain, it’s actually darn good health insurance. And you get to be with him — the man you love most in the world. That makes anything worth it.

But sometimes the military deals you a bad hand. It gives you the assignment of your nightmares, or a promotion goes awry, or you get stuck with more than your fair share of deployments somehow. Or sometimes it just holds you hostage in limbo — in the world of the unknown dates. The one where you know something is coming, but you don’t know when. Or maybe you know when, but not what or where. Or it might simply be the unimaginable strain this lifestyle places on your marriage. On your ability to parent. On your ability to thrive. And there is nothing. You. Can. Do. So sometimes, you just get pushed to the limit.

If you are a military spouse for long enough, the days will come when you hate the military. When you very much want to bite the hand that feeds because sometimes it’s all too evident that your well being is the farthest thing from the military’s mind. There may even be a day when you wish you knew whose office phone you could call to give someone a piece of your mind.

When that moment comes, it will feel like a firestorm in your heart. It will feel like you can’t breathe and you’re breathing fire all at once. Because you’re heartbroken and angry and in distress.

But I want you to know that this too shall pass. And this too is in the palm of God’s hand.

You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last to feel betrayed. Our families have a strange relationship with our husbands’ employer — we love and dedicate our lives in a deep, deep way that is tied up in our very identities and in our love for freedom. Only our service members are “employees,” but much of our lives revolve around “the job.” That’s why it hurts so much when you are treated with thankless and careless contempt.

But deployments and assignments pass. Eventually you will know when and where. You know your husband’s value when no one else does. And you’ll be stronger because you kept your head up with dignity. Because you prayed hard for patience and grace and somehow the time finally passed.

In this moment, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel so angry that your face turns red. It’s okay to feel whatever you need to for a little while. I’ve been there, friend. I’ve actually been there more than once.

Sometimes our fiercest storms and greatest sacrifices bring the deepest, most abiding blessings.Click To Tweet

But you can’t and won’t feel this way forever. Love it or hate it, we have to keep living this military life. So after you feel your anger or grief or whatever washes over you, it’s going to be time to figure out how to be okay again. You can’t let the bitterness consume you. If you do, it will consume your marriage and everything around you, too. There is too much joy left in this lifestyle to live that way.

It may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done when you set aside what feels like righteous anger. But when you do, you might just find that the bad hand the military gave you is the right hand that God gave you. Sometimes our fiercest storms and greatest sacrifices bring the deepest, most abiding blessings. You are never alone. You are never unloved. You can get through this.