When my husband told me he was wanting to join the Army, I’ll be honest, I was very upset about it. I didn’t want him to join because I knew what all that would entail for us. I was angry and sad at the same time for a while because I didn’t want to give up my career and I was going to have to say “see ya later” to my local church where I had a really established ministry. Maybe that was selfish of me and maybe I should have been 100% supportive the entire time, but then I would have been lying.
When our spouses join the military, a lot of us end up sacrificing so much of ourselves and our lives for them and their careers. We give up careers or good jobs to move states away from where we put down roots. We go from being working wives, with having good paying jobs to either being stay at home wives or moms. We end up getting a not so good job with bad pay. We struggle with finishing our degree programs because we PCS and have to either start all over again, miss out on financial aid, or not all of our credits will transfer, putting us behind. All of these factors can make us bitter and cold.
It took me a long time to come around to the idea that my husband was really going to join the Army and the only thing I could do about it was go to prayer to get on board with the idea. I remember praying my heart out to God one night and I had tears of pain and anger streaming down my face. I needed God to let me know that this was the right path to take. I needed comfort and I needed strength that I knew I could only get from God. God answered my prayers that night and I will never forget the words that He spoke to me.
God spoke to me and said, “I need my lights everywhere.”
It was a simple statement, but it was a statement that hit me hard. I realized I had to get on board with my husbands decision because as his wife, I needed to support him. I also realized that marriage is all about sacrificing and compromising and as much as I didn’t want to do either, I knew within my heart that I had to. When God spoke those words to me, I realized that the Army would be a huge mission field for both me and my husband to work in for the Lord. Sometimes we don’t like what life hands us, but God always has a reason for it. God knew that my husband would end up being a United States soldier, even if I never would have saw it coming.
God had a plan and even though there are still times when I have a hard time seeing it, I know His plan is the right one to live for.
Luke 12:6-7 says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
These scriptures tell us that God knows our every need and our every desire. God values us more than anything else. He wants the very best for us and our lives. We are to put our trust and our entire beings into God, because with Him we do not have to fear or be bitter. With God our lives do mean something and they will prosper.
Many times I see fellow MILSO’s who will openly talk about how bitter they are. I see the anger and pain in their faces. I hear the bitterness and resentment in their voices as they openly speak about their struggles. I’ve been there too and completely understand where they are coming from. When we get thrown into this lifestyle or even if you married into it, the obstacles that are there to bring us down only magnify the problem when that is all we are focusing on. It is easy for us to get down on ourselves when we feel we have lost a sense of our own identity to be in the shadows of the military life.
We do not have to be shadows. We do not have to be full of bitterness and resentment. We can choose to see the good in everything this lifestyle throws our way or we can choose to stay bitter. With God, we are able to walk with our heads held high and know that we are worth something and that our lives do not have to classify us as “Dependas”.
Proverbs 14:10 says, “The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.”
We as human beings have free will to choose how we want to live our lives. We can either choose to become a better, stronger person through our disappointments or we can choose to be bitter. When we choose to become a better and stronger person, we are choosing God, His love for us, and His plans for our lives. When we choose to stay bitter, we are choosing to grow cold, forgetting the things within our lives that truly matter.
God created us for so much more than to let the emotions we feel drag us down. We were created to be strong conquerors. We were created to face our battles, our pain, and our disappointments with a fierce heart and a determined mind to believe we can overcome anything we are faced with.
This life can be mentally and emotionally draining for us at times. It is easy to get caught up in our own pity party and miss out on all the beautiful blessings we are surrounded by. Too often, the devil wants to make us focus on all of our disappointments, our bitterness, our anger, and our pain to make us forget that because we are children of God’s, we have so much to look forward to and be happy about. God has beautiful plans for each one of our lives, but we have to be willing to be content with where we are at in the moment.
1 Timothy 6:6-7 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”
We learn from these scriptures to be content with not only what we have, but to also be content with where we are individually in this life. We learn to realize that the greatest gains in our lives are those spiritual growths we experience in God and our relationship with Him. We learn that the things of this world, like careers and jobs are not the most important things we can obtain. Instead, we learn to be content with where God has planted us and have faith that God is going to pave a beautiful path for us to walk on.
When you are feeling resentment and bitterness towards your spouse for joining the military, take a step back and look around you. When you do that, you will see your life is far greater than you thought. You see the smiles of your children as they play, you see the achievements of your husband, you see the little things you do daily, and you realize those things are your blessings in this life. When you take a moment to step back and to look around at the goodness that is there, you realize your life is far more richer than you thought.
Having our own sense of identity can be hard when you are a MILSO, but it isn’t impossible to obtain and keep. Our identity and self worth is found in our Savior. When we look to Him with our hands outstretched towards Heaven, we will find who we truly are to be in this lifetime. We will find our identity in Christ, not our careers, our jobs, or our lack of those things. Praise God for what all God has blessed you with since your spouse has been serving.
There is always something to praise God about. There is always something to be happy in the Lord about.