If only the military were more like a buffet… if only we could choose which aspects of military life we wanted. Most of us would gladly say “Yes, I’ll take a serving of health insurance, a scoop of travelling the world, an order of honor, a heap of military balls, and a side of my man in uniform.” And then we’d quickly run past the line of deployments, remote PCS’s, red tape, declined promotions, unexpected Medical Boards, combat injuries, and last minute TDY orders. Unfortunately, when you’re married to the military, you don’t get to pick and choose. You get whatever Uncle Sam dishes out. Sometimes it seems unfair that other wives you know seem to get a good plate, and you’re left with the lima beans. It doesn’t make sense why your husband got passed up for a promotion after working so hard when somebody else’s slacker husband gets promoted. These things bother us. They frustrate us. At times they completely unnerve us. So, what do we do when we’ve had it with being a geographical single mom? We’re done with trying to live out our romance over Skype and emails? We are fed up with moving from base to base and from house to house? What do we do when we want to support our husband but we just can’t take it any more?
God promises us in His Word that He has it all under control. In Jeremiah 29:11 He tells us that He has a plan for our lives – a plan for our benefit, not a plan against us. Sometimes that’s hard for us to see, especially if we’re in the middle of a deployment or a Med Board, or we’re sitting at our husband’s hospital bedside. That’s why prayer is so so so important. Whether you love the military life or you are counting down the days til his discharge, God has a plan for every day that you and your husband serve this country. You won’t know that plan, you won’t feel that comfort, you won’t be able to rest in His security unless you’re seeking him in prayer.
How do you pray about something you hate? You go honestly before your King. He knows your heart – there’s no point trying to hide it from Him. Our God is a gracious and merciful God. He hurts when we hurt. So take your tears to God – He holds them in a bottle. Each one is precious to Him. Did you know that He cares that much about you?? Tell Him your frustrations. But don’t just whine as you approach the Throne of Grace. Lay it all down. Surrender. Tell God that while you don’t like your current set of circumstances, you trust Him. Ask Him for guidance. Ask Him for mercy. Ask Him for help. Ask Him to open your eyes and ears to things you may have missed. And ask Him how you can support your husband during this time. Ask Him how to make it through each day.
And then listen. That’s the hardest part – for me, anyway. I talk and talk and talk and whine and cry and gripe… and then I walk away and try to pick myself up. But usually I collapse again. I can’t do anything in my own strength. I need God’s strength to make it through each day. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still. Wait for the Lord. Wait for His guidance. Wait for His comfort. He will run to you and scoop you up if you just let Him.
So if you’re in the middle of a year without your husband, or you’re saying goodbye to your friends (again) as your prepare for the next duty station… pray. God has big plans for you.
Join me in this prayer for our husbands:
Father God, my husband has sworn an oath to this country and I have given him my heart, so I know that I have a duty to serve as well. Help me to be an encouragement to him even in the darkest of circumstances. Control my tongue so that my words do not discourage, hurt, frustrate and anger my husband. Thank You for being a God that I can come to with my frustrations. Lord, being a military wife isn’t easy. But You knew that this is what I would become. And I trust You with the details. So please give me an extra portion of Your grace, patience and mercy. Pour Your strength into me so I can carry on. Please guide my husband and he guides our family. Bless his career so that he may fulfill the full plans You have for his life. Amen