Eight years ago, my life was forever changed by a man in a uniform, serving our country across the world in Iraq. It had never been my intention to fall in love with a military man. To be honest, I tried to avoid it, thinking I was not strong enough for this life. Still, we cannot choose who God has in store for us and I very quickly fell head over heels. Just a few short months after meeting in person, I married into the Marine Corps.
Military life was not easy. I quickly learned that it was not just deployment that kept us separated, but duty, training and long hours. Sometimes even when my husband was home, he was gone so often that we rarely seemed to see one another. The military lifestyle not only separated us, but also kept us away from family. We were not able to attend weddings or even funerals of loved ones. It was tough. But deployments were most certainly the worst. During my husband's third deployment, we were only able to speak once a month, if that. My husband missed many first, many birthdays, holidays and moments big and small. Still, it wasn't all negative. I came to love our military life and discovered that I WAS strong enough to handle anything life threw at me...it forced me to be a better woman and a better mother to my children. It has also allowed our family many opportunities we may not have otherwise had- trips to Disneyland, free NFL tickets, cross country road trips and train trips. It also allowed me to meet many amazing people and form some amazing friendships.
From the beginning of our relationship, I knew the plan was for my husband to serve his 20 years and then retire. At 11 years, he was over halfway there. But sometimes the plans we plan for ourselves do not match up with the plans God has in store for us. At the end of September, our life will once again be forever changed. We will say goodbye to the military life we know and love.
You see, with troops coming home the reality is there is simply no need for so many...which means many great Marines like my husband are not being able to stay in. There just isn't enough room. I'll be honest, in many ways it really stinks. We had a plan, were over halfway through it and quite frankly, with two kids we needed that steady income...
But I won't dwell on the negatives.
Still, military life IS rough- especially for a child with autism. In many ways, Shaun was only just starting to settle into a new normal after our previous move and I dreaded what the next would do to him- would he go back to aggressive outbursts? would we find him back in a special education only classroom? would the schools at our next place be good for him? We also fell in love with the area we are in. It is close enough to family that we can make a weekend trip when we need or want. The schools were good for Shaun. The people and the community were fantastic. We found this to be a place we could see ourselves staying. So, while the circumstances may be crap, we feel fortunate enough that it's happening HERE.
So....what DOES our future hold?
At this point, only God knows, but we are hopeful that he has something even bigger and better in store for us. Right now, we're hoping that my husband can get on with one of the local police stations, a job I know he would be fantastic at...but only time will tell. For now, we will hold onto one of the greatest lessons the Marine Corps has taught us: Semper Gumby (Always Flexible). We know that while things may be uncertain right now, we will make it through together, as we always have. We appreciate all your prayers and support during this time of transition, and I ask you to bear with me if I'm a little out of touch in the months to come!
This military adventure may be coming to a close, but we cannot wait to see what adventures lay ahead...
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-Jeremia 29:11