Five weeks. That is the calculated time until my husband gets those oh so coveted Pensacola Wings of Gold. I can't but help mark off each day on the calendar, crossing off each flight on the syllabus, anticipating the day when he finally has his wings. Sometime thereafter, we will find out where we head next and our final "destination" known as our first "permanent" duty station.
It is hard because it is such a mix bag of emotions. On the one hand I am oh so excited about the adventure that awaits us. On the other hand, I know I will be leaving behind a place that has truly brought me joy these past two years as well as a wonderful group of friends who have become family.
When he selected the first time between jets, helos, C-130's and osprey, I had a feeling that I wasn't quite done with this place. I was right. There was a lot of work to be done before I left, mainly following what God had called me to do with a group of military wives. But now, I have such a different sense, a sense that it is time to move on to the next phase and the next group of people who are going to intersect our lives for a brief moment but forever remain permanently on our hearts.
I am not very good with goodbyes. I start to retreat well before the actual closing and postscripts take place because it hurts me so bad to see the ones in my daily life become just an occasional phone call, email or facebook greeting. You'd think I'd be used to it by now...with all the moving, all the endings I've already seen come and go.
Military life is a funny thing. It really is different from live in the "civilian world." We are supposed to be used to packing up and starting over. We are supposed to be good at goodbyes. We are supposed to be good at jumping into a new life in a new place. There is an expectation that we are tougher than those on the outside of our world. That we somehow eventually adapt to the fears, the sorrows, the uncertainty that is our life. But, the truth is, we are still people who are thrust into a life that tells us there is no certainty, while those on the outside can pretend that the have some control over their fates. Really, we are somehow more enlightened in a way, not by our own volition but by the United States military because we know that we have absolutely no control on our present day, let alone our tomorrows. The difference is we just admit this truth, while those around us get to live in a false reality.
Ultimately, I love this life. I love the butterflies of not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring, who is going to be there and when we are going to get there. I love meeting these people who understand a part of me in an instant when I say I am a military spouse. I love the requirement to fully give my husband each and every day to a faithful God and just pray that He will return him to me safely. I love knowing that with every move, with every ounce of uncertainty, and with every new person, I am growing in a way I could have never imagined before. I love the words, "Be still and know that I am God..." in the midst of not knowing much else.
Five weeks. What happens after that I won't know until I have a sheet of paper in my hands that tells me where we are going next. Five weeks could magically transform into a much longer timeframe in an instant. I just don't know...but I am ok with that. Until then, I am going to finish my work here...
Here's to preparing for goodbye...
Until next time,