I had just turned 19 and didn’t have much experience in life when I met my husband. I had this desire for someone to take care of me and, in my eyes, that meant do things for me, be my source of joy, and be everything that God was supposed to be. I went on a year-long mission trip with a group right out of high school, but even that didn’t teach me the lifestyle of the military.
When my husband and I were first married and he went on his first TDY, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I found myself having those same feelings when my parents weren’t around because of military duties. As if I was having separation anxiety, I found myself almost having a panic attack and/or crying for no apparent reason. I realized that I was relying on my husband too much for my source of joy, depending on him for so many things around the house or things that needed to be done like calling companies to take care of bills. I used to cry to my husband, “Please, honey don’t make me do it. I don’t want to do it. I don’t know what to say or do.”
But as time went by, as most of you military spouses hear, “You get used to it.” I still chuckle when I hear those words, because honestly, I think I’ve just gotten better at it; maybe not used to it so much. It still hurts to see him go. It still stinks when I can’t call him anytime I want. And it’s heartbreaking when I see my two young boys go through it as well. I think we all as military spouses develop certain characteristics that God helps us gain as we go through this journey.
God Taught Me Independence.
Thankfully, I no longer freak out about calling companies to pay bills. I am able to make wise decisions by taking counsel from God when I am not able to speak to my husband. My world is no longer completely shattered when my husband leaves, and my life still goes on. It’s odd as I write that statement. I think not all but maybe some military spouses have a sense of guilt for making life go on. I know I do. My husband is my best friend. I hate making life go on without him. But now, especially as a mother, I have to be strong, independent and joyful for myself and my children. Life does go on. Plus, ultimately God is my source of joy.
God Taught Me Resilience.
One of the things I do every year is pick a few words to live by. One of them this year was perseverance. I am a self-proclaimed quitter. Yeah, that does taste bad coming out of my mouth, but I used to get so frustrated and so mad if I couldn’t do something, if I wasn’t good at something right away, or if I just generally got bored. God and this military life have shown me how to persevere through the storm. My husband’s job is not going away. My kids missing their Daddy is not going away. The leak in the bathroom sink, the flat tire on the car, and the overgrown lawn are not going away. I could either ignore those things, or pray that Jesus gives me the strength to persevere through all the trials and tribulations that military life can bring. Thankfully, God has shown me every time we move and every time my husband leaves, how to persevere and lean on Him and trust Him — that He’s got me and He’s carrying me through all of it.God and this military life have shown me how to persevere through the storm.Click To Tweet
God Taught Me About Community.
I am not a huge social person. Sure, I can do a lot of things behind a screen and have a handful of friends here and there, but I am not a large group person. But the Lord has carried me through my bullied past and has helped me make some lifelong friends through military life, both military and civilian. And of course, through becoming a mother, I have been able to get through the challenges of motherhood and military life through my community of friends all over the world. I recently created and military mommy page on Facebook called Valiant Mamas. I have never seen so many women come together and be so vulnerable with each other. I am blessed to have friends near and far that have so many similar life experiences that I could call family.I know that most of all through this 30-year journey, that the Lord has never moved. He has been the constant in our military life.Click To Tweet
This journey has been rewarding and challenging all at the same time. It has brought trials and triumphs in my marriage. It has brought tears and joy through moving away to new places. It has brought frustration and security with all of the unknowns. But I know that most of all through this 30-year journey, that the Lord has never moved. He has been the constant in our military life. The one thing that all military families desire. He is the one who brings us through the storms of TDYs and deployments and through long hours, swing shifts, and our babies crying for their distant parent. He is a good God and I am thankful for all that He has taken me through.He is a good God and I am thankful for all that He has taken me through.Click To Tweet