Kim is a friend I met here in Beaumont a few months ago in a class at church. I don't even think that we would have even known each other if her husband hadn't shown up for class in his uniform one day when he was running late. We started talking after class and ... a short drive and a cup of coffee later, we were all friends. Kim and her family are about to transfer out back to Maryland next month and I will miss them very much. Here is what she has to say on Military Monday...
"The first word that popped into my brain as I pondered the term military was "militant". I keep a dictionary by my computer for times when I read something but can't quite determine what the writer really intended from the context. A quick look tells me that the term militant means 1. fighting, and 2. ready to fight, esp. for some cause.
It is no wonder that 'militant' immediately came to mind. I don't know that I love or hate military life. I don't know that I want or resent military life. I do know that it is here, right alongside the man Il ove and the man who is still my dream. And I know so very well, with uncanny certainty that the military life has been a true grit, to the bone fight. It has been a fight to discover, recreate and redefine myself with every transfer. It has been a fight to keep my heart softened and able to love new people as we've felt the gnaw of all of those we've met and loved and then driven away from not knowing if we would see them again this side of heaven. It has been a fight living so far from our families of origin and wondering what it might have been like to have lived closer, or at least have the power to choose. It has been a fight to see some of them die, knowing that the possibility of having them in our everyday lives is gone.
Why do we fight, after all? One reason we fight is that we want to live! And not just that, we want to thrive! As military wives we have just as much of a right to thrive as anyone else. The difference lies in our ever present and ever changing challenges. I feel that the rewards and benefits of the challenge and the fight are truly beyond measure and sometimes beyond comprehension. My will to fight and resilience was alot stronger during the first 5, 6 or 7 years of transitions. Maybe the reason for that is that I was naive, ignorant or just so simple that everything else didn't matter much. Or maybe I was better off not knowing what fights would lie ahead. I don't guess that I will ever know all of the reasons. I also don't guess that it matters that much. The glory of the fight lies in the fact that we can grow and mature and become someone we never thought we could through the fights we face.
Today we are one month away from my husband's twentieth year in the Coast Guard. We've been married for 15 years and have two healthy and unbelievable daughters. We've lived in 14 different homes, six cities and had countless, powerful friends. I don't know how many thousands of miles we've driven to visit our families in Kansas but I am certain it would be astonishing if we could add them up... possibily rivaling a trip to the moon and back? I've cried over friends who mended my heart and friends who broke my heart with the truth. I've leapt for joy in my soul at the amazingness of people I never would have had the chance to encounter just sitting still in Kansas. I've looked at my husband and hung my jaw at how this has all happened. Can I offer advice? Yes... I definitely can. For those who are willing there is great peace and joy on the other side of the fight, and even through it. Our military life has been a journey through a career path but it has more importantly been a journey along the path of my salvation. The greatest thing that could have ever happened to me, to my husband and to my daughters happened to us through the fights and challenges of military life. We found the end of ourselves and discovered salvation in Jesus Christ. THAT has been the one and only thing that has kept our hearts thriving and our marriage alive. It is the only thing that gives hope and strength to our children. Yes, I could have found Christ outside of military life but I didn't. If you want advice from a military wife who has been around for a while this is it: seek Christ with all of your heart. He is the only solution to the things we will fight all our lives both in the military and beyond. God will use every experience you have for good, but you have to let Him."