Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In the Beginning...

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  For the military wife, the seasons of life look a little different than those of her civilian counterpart.  Deployments, TDYs, schools, commands, relocations – these are just a few of the life circumstances wives face when their husbands wear the uniform of the United States military.  Of course, military wives also have the regular seasons so familiar to civilian wives, seasons of working, raising children, supporting their husbands’ careers, etc., but many times they experience these far away from their loved ones and hometowns.

I am a military child turned military wife.  My father served in the Army for 27 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel when I was in my second year of college.  I moved every two or three years and met my (now) husband on an Army base in a Department of Defense Dependent high school in Stuttgart, Germany.  Our fathers were both stationed there.

As a little girl, I dreamed of being a school teacher and marrying a pastor, living in the same town for at least twenty years.  God had a very different plan.  As Isaiah 55:8 says, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.”  Falling in love with Matt meant a long distance relationship as he navigated his way through West Point, and then dealing with those seasons that come from being married to a career Army officer.  I kept to my plan of becoming a teacher, but knew that marrying Matt would mean the seasons of my life would look more like my mom’s than the quiet, docile dreams I had imagined for myself.
Little did I know that the seasons of a military wife’s life are more complicated than what I had experienced as a child. Not only is it harder to be a wife than a kid, but during my father’s career, deployments were rare.  The United States was at war for only brief stints and in faraway locations I did not recognize.  Many of them did not disrupt my aviator/military intelligence father, or our family.

However, as 9/11’s nightmare became reality, life began to change drastically for military service members and their families.  Marrying into this lifestyle in 2006, I knew the seasons I faced would be scary and intimidating.  Yet I also knew God had called me to this.  And thus began the seasons for this military wife…

            The good thing about “seasons” is that they don’t last forever.  It may seem like it at the time, but there is always a beginning, transition period, ending point, and the beginning of a new season.  Some are wonderful and we wish we could make them last.  Others are painful and we try to end them as soon as possible.  In five years of marriage, I have experienced both kinds and many in between.  I hope to give you a little insight into these "seasons" and learn a little as I go.

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