First off, can I just say that I've been thinking about this blog post for months-basically ever since I knew that THIS was the year for this particular leap-and I am still at a loss on how to sum up the last ten years. Well, its only been 8 for me but essentially I have been an Army wife exactly the same amount of time that I have been a wife so it is very strange to all of a sudden not have that particular label associated with who I am. To somehow explain all that this Military Life has meant for our lives in one blog post seems absolutely impossible....
These last 8 years my eyes have been opened and gotten to experience firsthand the sacrifices both great and small that those in the military face on a daily basis. For that I am grateful, I will never lose my respect for these men and women and what they put up with and fight for with this country in mind.
These last 8 years have been stretching and challenging. From day one Brett's "job" was like the other woman that I could not compete against. She sent him away for long weekends and full weeks and months at a time, and yes even a full year at a time- often she would do this with our warning or apology and she was continually changing her mind and changing her plans often without explanation. She would call him up during date nights and call him away early in the morning on weekends. As an extreme planner and lover of schedules combined with my love language of Quality Time these particular "quirks" of the job were the constant struggle that I hope helped me to be a little bit more balanced and adaptable.
These last 8 years have taught me about friendship. Not only have I been blessed with some of the greatest, classiest ladies as my friends starting at our first duty station all the way up until the last one, but I think that moving every few years has also taught me to remain open and aware that there might be someone lonely or new in the back corner of every party or church service or preschool function I attend. Just because I may have finally found a friend or two, does not mean that everyone is feeling that stability and that sense of belonging. Military life has taught me compassion and the great joys of always having the opportunity to spread the circle a little wider to add in another friend.
These last 8 years have taught me about Jesus. There is no relationship, no job, no friend, no new location, no new situation that can truly fill the giant Jesus sized hole that we have in our hearts-each and every one of us. So often, I was tempted during these last 8 years to try and fill that hole with one or more of these things and yet I have learned that Jesus is truly the only one to calm my fears, ease my pain, help me through the darkness or direct me towards peace and a true sense of purpose. There is nothing like a life filled with changes and challenges to remind me of this over and over again!
Brett is remaining in the Army Reserves so thankfully I do not have to give up my commissary privileges just yet but you may have noticed above that I put Brett's new job in quotes, that is because when he made the decision to leave the Army, he was immediately offered a civilian, Department of the Army job doing exactly what he has been doing for the past two years. Sure, we lost the BAH ( ouch) and the free insurance ( ouchy ouch) but there is nothing quite as priceless as husband who has a job but who also isn't going to deploy again. THAT. IS. PRICELESS. We are so grateful for this relatively easy transition into civilian life. Sure, there are a lot of things we aren't use to-my hubs has been living in the Army bubble for his whole adult life! But I am seeing at every turn how the Lord is providing in this new season...
And doesn't he look handsome in his civilian work clothes?!?!