Military Family Lifer

Young girl holds her dad's hand.

November is the Month of the Military Family. I have been a part of a military family my whole life. My dad served in the Army for 30 years and retired the month after I graduated from high school. While you may think I would hold some sort of resentment concerning the timing of that, and while I admit I have sometimes used that in a moment of hot debate about difficulty of being a military kid, I wouldn’t have changed it a bit.

Was it difficult? Sure. Moving is hard. Service members being gone is hard. Unpredictability is hard. But it’s not just about those things in a military family. It’s the people you meet along the way who become like family — and the ones in your own home that you can’t quite avoid getting to know better because you’ve gone through so much together. You realize what lasts and what doesn’t. What is important and what can take a backseat. You learn to pack — well. And if you tend to have a hoarder mentality, the military lifestyle will challenge you on a whole. ‘nutha. level.

When I was younger, I was sure I would never, ever marry a man in the military because, as I’ve said above, it’s hard! So, so hard. The lifestyle is unlike anything someone could completely explain with words. But with that hardship, it can also be so incredibly rewarding.

I married an Infantryman. And coming in second as best decision of my life, second only to my decision to follow Christ, he is my better half and my life-long best friend. My partner in adventure and in the moments less eventful. We have two amazing children, who are now also military kids. They’ve already experienced the hardships of military living– moving, friends moving, deployments, trainings, weird schedules.. but I do believe one day they will feel the way I do. They will see the great wisdom and experience they’ve gained from such a different way of life than most get the chance to walk through.

One main thing I’ve taken away is that there truly is only one constant in my life, other than the presence of change. My relationship with Christ is my firm foundation, and I will rest in Him. I pray that my children will also find solid ground in their own relationships with Him. That although change is expected and they must learn to adapt, they will lean on Jesus and remember that He is their constant. He will never, ever change.