Packing, unpacking, moving every two years.
Praying the house you loved, decorated, and created memories in will sell and a new home in a strange town will somehow fit your family, your furniture, and your curtains.
Leaving a church where your children run into the nursery to join friends and known child care, where you've grown closer to God through treasured Bible study friends and the teachings of a loved pastor.
Endless goodbyes to kindred spirit friends who walked and talked you through troubled days and joyous celebrations.
Collecting medical records from the doctors you trust who held your hand and your heart during uncertain days.
Moving to the unknown place, searching for the perfect church, trusting your child to strangers, finding competent doctors, and the grocery store. And please God, I need a friend. Please send a friend.
The fear and dread that never goes away. Settled in your heart and residing in your brain is the fact that any day may be the one your spouse comes home with orders to deploy.
Military life is hard. So why do they serve? A friend gave me the answer many years ago when my Dan served in the Navy.
We lived in Navy housing with our lawn joining the backyards of several Navy families forming a massive playground. We all had young children and our afternoons were lived together with our littles running delighted in the grass expanse.
The Navy family living behind us had five children including a newborn. The husband was a computer guy serving on a submarine. He was gone six months every year. Plunged into the ocean, he left his family and sacrificed six months of never-to-be-had good night kisses, first steps, and love.
Yet, I never heard a complaint. His wife served her man and her family with joy. This day, the day we met her new-born daughter, (whose nursery was in a closet, because Navy housing was too small for five children) was a cold, windy November.
"When is your husband leaving again?" we asked.
"He'll be gone before Christmas." she answered with resolve and not a twinge of regret.
I couldn't help myself. The questions, doubts, and concern tumbled from my tongue.
"Why does he do it? Your husband could get a job in the secular world that pays a lot of money. He wouldn't have to leave you, you wouldn't have to move again. Why don't you get out of the Navy?"
"Because we love our country.
We love our country."
Her answer pierced my soul and changed the way I felt about the USA and those who sacrifice their lives and their families in military service.
Thank you Veterans and your families for loving our country and its citizens with the greatest of love. Thank you for loving our freedoms enough to sacrifice and die for the United States of America. I salute you today! You are the best of the best and I thank God for you.
"There is no greater love
than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
John 15:13 (NLT)
Because of our military, we are splashed every day with serenity, and we don't even realize it. Realize it today, and thank a veteran!