Choosing peace as a military spouse

Today I am 21 weeks pregnant. Only about 19 to go! I’ve heard they only get more difficult.

Since Friday Corban and I have been apart – he had duty Friday through Monday, and I had Dr. appointments in MD Monday and Wednesday, so I stole his truck and high-tailed it for my folks (rather than stay home alone all weekend) in MD.

For those who don’t know, Corb is headed for IOC (infantry school in Quantico), which takes him away from me every week if not every weekend, and necessitated my moving in with my parents so that I’m not unsupervised and 7-9 months preggo. I’ll be delivering the baby at Frederick Memorial Hospital, where my mom works in the NICU/PICU, and *hopefully* Corban will be there.

Baby is due July 2nd, and the last two weeks of his training are in California – ending June 27th, I believe. Praying I make it to full term!

I always get funny questions about the constant separation (like being apart since Friday, or during FEXs, or during the fast-approaching 3 months of his training and living on base), and today I also got one about the possibility of him not being at the birth… a lady asked me if that terrified me, and “how painful it must be to live with that, knowing he may not be there!” 

Honestly, I just accept it. Do I love it? No. But I choose to accept it rather than to dwell amidst the painful what-ifs of potential disappointment.

Part of what I’ve learned since we started dating is that in order to be happily married to military, you have to fully accept and come to terms with/be at peace with knowing that his time is not his own, nor is it yours. Once you realize that and own it, it’s much easier to accept what would otherwise be constant disappointments. This also allows you to relish the surprises… my husband couldn’t be home on my birthday, he wasn’t home the week I found out I was pregnant, and he didn’t get Valentine’s Day off. He even had to work this past weekend, which was a federal holiday: a weekend I expected him to be home. But he was home for Christmas (our first Christmas), we had a fantastic Thursday night Valentine’s Day at a Crab Shack (our idea of awesome), and he randomly received 10 days of leave after TBS finished up.

Those blessings seem brighter and sweeter and are more cherished when they are unexpected and unanticipated, and when you accept that you have relinquished any claim on being owed them by choosing the life of a military spouse. 

I see a lot of posts from young wives who hate their husband’s job because it takes him away from them, or from women who are clearly not dealing well with the first deployment. While I have great sympathy for these women, and I KNOW I will be heartbroken and hurting amidst the difficulty of such long separations alongside every other military spouse, I firmly believe that you have to acknowledge to yourself, to God, and to your husband that you knew what you were getting into when you married a United States Marine (or ___ fill in the blank). You married into the Marine Corps, girl… you chose that. And even if you didn’t, God did.

Godliness with contentment is great gain. Without that contentment, your marriage will suffer, and you will suffer greatly. The relationships I have seen where the wife constantly complains about her husband’s career choice, hours away from home, missing her birthday or Christmas, etc. are relationships that are strained; relationships where the husband is stressed, and his effectiveness is lessened by the tension at home. 

Whatever career your husband has chosen, give it your blessing with a humble, grateful, loving heart. Supporting him will only bless you and your family in the long run. Acknowledge that your griping and bitterness do no good for your relationship, and only put extra pressure on him.

I get a lot of “oh, how do you deal with that?!” when I tell people my husband has always wanted Infantry, and that he got it. Honestly? I knew he wanted it, I chose to accept it. That doesn’t mean I don’t cry over it, or that I have no nightmares or fearful thoughts or that I’m simply naive – that I don’t understand what the job entails… I do. But I love him, and this is what he feels called to do, and therefore I am called to support him in it. And if we are both called to this, it MUST be possible to find peace there.

I have chosen the path that is free from bitterness and resentment and anger at God or at Corban for the difficulties of being a Marine wife. It is a much sweeter path, truly. I didn’t do this out of some great resilience of character or spiritual maturity – I just believe it is a choice. Maybe I am over-simplifying things… but I believe we often complicate our lives and our decisions and emotions more than we need to.

God sets captives free and Jesus heals the broken-hearted. He brings strength to the weary, hope to the hopeless… it doesn’t take outstanding effort on his part. Choosing to accept that freedom, healing, strength, and hope is not a difficult decision when you see the fruitlessness of bitterness and resentment. Don’t waste your time and don’t waste your marriage to husband and Marine Corps (or whatever branch of military your spouse is in) wishing for what cannot be or living in the future. Living in the moment and loving what you have been allotted and even choosing to peacefully accept that which you cannot love is so rewarding. 

I don’t mean that the occasional “this sucks”, or “I miss him desperately”, or “this hurts so much” or those types of comments and posts are wrong. Our emotions and struggles are human and natural and not wrong at all when we are left feeling alone and frustrated as our husbands are taken away by their responsibilities. But when it comes to the deeper contentment, the foundation of our day-to-day lives, the big picture, can we say we are at peace with God and live in the good of what we have been given?

The choice is really simple: choose joy. Choose life. Choose faith and resilience and love and encouragement and support.

Choose to be a champion of your husband’s cause by choosing peace as a military spouse.

Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition…

Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are,

divine love would have put you there.

-CHS

Maternity clothes

Can I just go on a mini-rant and say that it makes NO sense that with the amount of people procreating these days and the consequent number of pregnant women, there are no great maternity clothes resources?! You’re limited to Heidi Klum’s collection ($$$!),  Motherhood Maternity ($$!), and Old Navy maternity ($ but limited selection). I’ve been so frustrated by the cost and limits of maternity clothes (and where is all of the activewear? this mama plans to keep working out up until my due date!!) that I’ve pretty much decided to boycott maternity wear and just buy normal-people clothes that work. Much cheaper, better options, and not so frustrating.

Apparently this girl had the same idea! I LOVE this post. Check it out!

http://aurajoon.blogspot.com/2011/02/dressing-bump-2nd-trimester.html