Isn’t that just the way though? Never able to really settle down, always thinking of the next move, or in our case, hoping for the next move! After 9 years of the same old song and dance I guess this is just how it is. Arriving at a new and less than ideal duty station, adjusting to a new place – undoubtedly one you would never have picked out of your own free will – just enough to get you by until your next round of orders come and you’re sent to another place where you’ll wish away another three years. It’s not negative, it’s the reality of anyone who’s life is dictated by someone other than themselves – a reality that only the closest of kindred suffering spirits can vent to one another. It’s at this point in the conversation that someone – whether with good intentions or not – usually brings up the “bloom where you’re planted” saying. If there were ever a more inapplicable, inappropriate, and hideously pretentious thing to say to a military wife I’d dare you to try me with it! Just another piece of “advice” from those who get to choose where they live, and have the freedom to leave if they don’t like it, and have never had to live their life trying to cope with the cyclic upheaval the military inflicts on it’s members and their families. To them I reply with another reality; a flower cannot bloom when all of it’s energy is going to keeping it’s roots alive.
But we keep carrying on. We usually just bottle it up and pretend there is an easy way out. We do
more almost as much as everyone else, with less.
However, not even this life has dimmed my positive outlook on life, and propensity to always see the good in the situations we face, though I’m always acutely aware of the difficulties we have to deal with. In fact, it’s toughened me, taught me to delight in challenges, and given me the don’t-give-a-damn-what-anyone-else-thinks attitude that helps me work twice as hard as anyone to come out on top of every obstacle we face on a monthly basis. Hustling has become second nature and has emboldened me so much that I feel completely detached from the cripplingly self-conscious, awkward person I was before this life. My faith that the Lord has become profoundly “childlike,” I’ve been able to witness His hand directly touching a situation more than once, and that is truly the most amazing thing to behold. However, just like anyone who claims to be happy and content in every situation, I would be lying to you if I said it doesn’t get to me sometimes. In fact, the bible states that in life you’ll face trials but says nothing about making sure everyone on the outside only sees the positive or they’ll think you’re a complainer. No, in fact the bible is full of detailed accounts from people (or, “complainers”) who were living through awful realities; read Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Genesis, Exodus, Job, Lamentations. Read it and see that each of the writers and individuals in these books found themselves exhausted and overwhelmed just trying to keep it together during difficult times; have cried out to God for mercy, and have still had to continue to go through the trial without ever “blooming where they’re planted.” The bible states that in this world we will have trouble; the wildernesses, trials, and hardship is what refines us and prepares us for what’s ahead. This world, this life, all of this is temporary for Christians like myself – the thing is we just have to get through it whilst bringing the most glory to God in the process.
For the next 3 long years we will be here, adapting and adjusting just enough. I will continue to grow my blog and my Instagram accounts, because that’s what military wives do; we do more with less and run full speed ahead despite every possible bit of resistance. There are still things to look forward to; such as an upgrade I’ve made for my blog and Instagram, and a couple of fun summer activities we have planned. So while there won’t be much “blooming” as we navigate a huge surprise pay decrease in an already high cost of living area and none of my student loan debt paid by Uncle Joe like he promised on the campaign trail, and all of the other challenges that come with 4 hour commutes, new homeownership, homeschooling, and extreme budgeting, we know that this won’t be forever and the skills and knowledge gained now will be invaluable later on.
For those who aren’t military affected, sorry to show you the ugly but real side of military life. For my military spouses, I see you, I hear you, you’re not “complaining,” just keep pushing on and praying hard.