Thursday, May 02, 2013

Army Wife

I know I don't write a lot about our Army life, there's tons of blogs out there with Army wives who love it, thrive to write about it, but although I'm extremely proud of my husband's service and have VERY strong opinions on the military, it's just not the center of my life so much, but tonight yeah I'm going there.
We're at 19 years, we're at a point of counting down until Chad retires and we move to a new phase of life, most likely Chad will still be working for the government as in Government Service job, but he will no longer be active duty and just a year ago the thought of retirement was overwhelming and honestly scary, but the Lord has definitely changed my heart there and I completely look forward to retirement!
For those who are not in the military, you may or may not know there are a lot of military groups online for spouses, most are wives, although you'll find a few brave souled husbands. I think most posts (in the Army it's post, not base) have their wives pages and honestly most are full of drama, there are also the wide open groups...some are UGLY, they mock wives, (yes other military wives making fun of other's mature out there people). They take pictures of ladies at the commissary, PX, in their yards, picking up their kids at school (or dropping them off). Make fun of what they are wearing, what kind of purse or bag they carry, if they wear a military themed/support shirt or baseball cap, jewelry. They hold nothing back. They blast girls who have multiple relationships with military guys, those who cheat, etc. I have stayed away from these groups, because there's nothing of value coming from these pages. There's nothing glorifying to the Lord, all they do is make me angry or just overwhelmingly sad.
Today a friend of mine had commented on one of those type of pages and it was one I'd not heard a lot of bad things about, so I was browsing (aka just reading the various posts) and I just felt my blood pressure rising. I'd feel compelled to reply, only to find myself so angry at the other spouses comments, that I'd have to just close it out, no comment, no proof that I'd been on the page, just overwhelming sadness. Wives tearing other wives down who was asking for advice because she is trapped in an abusive marriage and doesn't know how to get out. Another wife who sounded like she was dealing with possible post partum depression, definitely over whelmed, married to what I deemed a immature husband who thinks that when he gets home at 5:00 that his work day is over and he can just play video games and go to the gym for 2 or 3 hours, while his wife who stays at home, does her best to stay on top of housework, while dealing with a 3 year old and a set of twins, and an older child, and is getting no help from her husband. Women told this wife to suck it up, yes...told her to suck it up, told her to be happy he's not deployed and home. It made me angry for her.
This is why I can not go onto these pages. Most of these spouses are YOUNG, well young compared to me. Many are in their early 20's and I'm in my mid/late 30's. Most are just starting their life with their soldier, while I'm at 16 years of marriage and 6 kids. I'm also VERY opinionated and just quite vocal. I'm sure these pages have redeeming qualities for some, but personally I don't see anything positive coming from them. I see a lot of bullies, a lot of women who obviously have VERY LOW self-esteem tearing other women down to make them feel better. I see hurt women looking for help, only to be slapped in the face by the ones who should reach out and love on her. I know that for me, these pages bring out the ugly in me. I want to lash out at the women who are hurting other women, which ultimately makes me no better than the ones I'm angry with.

I know what I HAVE to do, I have to pray for these women. The ones who are brave enough to put themselves out there, who share their imperfections of themselves, their marriage, their parenting, how they're struggling through a deployment, etc. I have to pray for the women who attack. I have to pray for the ones who run these pages and seem to thrive off of drama, who openly mock, who purposely hurt, who tear down, and then kick and scream. Lord I want to show your grace, forgiveness, and love. I don't want to hurt those who are hurting. I want to love like you love.

Being an Army wife is not always easy, it's not always rewarding, and it's most definitely not glamorous. It's not like the TV show or movies. It's often times lonely, it's extremely stressful at times, it's rough, and for some it's impossible. It's not for the weak or for the ones who can't handle being away from their spouse for at times long periods of times. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, is not just a saying, it's often real life. Distance can also destroy marriages...some simply just can't handle deployments, training, field problems, etc. Some can't handle moving every 3 years (some more, some less). Some can't handle being states away or countries away from family and friends. The military life is not for the co-dependent.

Chad and I have went through 5 deployments. I've learned a great deal about myself as well as my marriage and children through those deployments. I've learned just as much in between those deployments. The most important thing I've learned in my 16 plus years as an Army wife is that I can do nothing without Christ. I am no good to anyone if I am not leaning on Jesus. My marriage is a ridiculous mess if I don't dwell in HIS Word. I'm ugly, sinful, and just a wretched mess with Christ and I'm 100 times worse, without Him! With Him, though, I am forgiven. I am loved. I am cherished. I have hope. Without him, I'm unforgiveable, unlovable, undesirable. I'm not perfect and the Lord knows that, but I'm covered with the blood of Jesus, and what he see's instead of all my sins is the beauty HE created in me. I don't know how people in general get through life without Jesus. I most definitely don't know how Army wives (and military wives in general) get through the years in the military or more so married to a military man without Christ. I see the consequences of what life is like without HIM and let me tell you it's ugly, mean, and fully of broken women (and men).

My time as an Army wife is dwindling down. I've learned a lot, but the greatest thing I gained, is my Salvation. I pray that the women who post and read these pages will find their worth, their value not in the words of other broken women, but instead in the perfect and redeeming love and grace of Jesus Christ.


Barb said...

Dear one you are right on the mark. I once tried to check out some of these blogs wishing to be supportive. I couldn't. There was, and still is, so much ugliness, resentment, a blasting away of all that truly matters in life. Women, I've always believed ought to lift each other up, encourage one another, pray for one one another. I've always admired you, always recognized your caring heart behind every post. I think of you often and apologize for not stopping by more often. Since my beloved Johnny died six months ago it's been a bit rough. But God is good, is as always right where HE promised to my side, and yours too. Keep being true to yourself. You bless more people than you know. Take care. May you continue to experience the warmth of God's love, the honor of his presence, and the tightness of his embrace.