Lately, I've found myself and some of my dear friends struggling with accepting this whole military life. I keep trying to pinpoint that one aspect that makes it so difficult and the bottom line I seem to find is that we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. You see, every girl dreams of the man she will marry. Every girl (ok, maybe not all, but most...) dreams about the dress she will wear on the day she promises forever. Every girls dreams about spending every day for the rest of her life with this man. But, that is every girl's life, not that of a military wife.
Instead our reality is we marry a man, knowing full well what his job will entail, but never realizing the gravity of it until we are far to into it. You see our "every girl" dreams are interrupted for a couple of weeks here and there, then perhaps a month or two, until a majority of a year is spent apart from that man we dreamed about rather than with him.
The struggle, I've determined, is that we all had a very different vision of what our lives were to be. We had the same dream of every girl, yet applied them to a very, very different life. A marriage without a moment apart is not our reality. For those of us new to this life, we are bitterly learning to swallow that painstaking pill. Our reality is that we will attend many functions, weddings, children's plays, and other events alone. Our reality is that we will for 6-12 months out of the year every 1-3 years be completely responsible for our households: home repairs, childcare, cleaning, cooking, finances, and everything else that every girl gets to share with her husband, we will find ourselves doing it alone. Our reality is that life hasn't turned out exactly like the dream.
We all had a hope, a hope of what our lives and marriages would be. But, as Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." This is what I think has been our struggle, realizing that our hope has been deferred and we are left with a bit of a broken heart. It is so easy to get stuck in that brokenness, but eventually, we have to realize that just like Christ, we have to give up our own selves, our own comfort, for a greater purpose.
Christ said, "Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:38-39 NIV
Sometimes to really reach every girl, you got to take away her dream and make her understand the cost of a life where it isn't all about her and her dreams. Even in the midst of extreme challenges, there is a new dream and a new purpose emerging. Every girl comes to the realization that maybe the dreams we all tried to fit our lives into weren't big enough to accommodate the lives of those who chose a different path. Maybe every girl needed to dream a little bigger, with a life in which she found herself picking up her cross and dragging it down a path she never before considered. Maybe every girl's God had a much better dream than every girl imagined and until she lets go of the one that will never become her reality, at least not in the next 6 years, she will never truly understand it.
I am not saying I've got the "how" of it down, but I think I've started to see the beginning. Sometimes when our lives don't fit our past dreams, we have to start letting go, accepting, and making new dreams. I think every girl has to start somewhere...
Here's to hopes deferred, every girl, and new dreams...
Until next time,