It was inevitable that if I wanted a life with Jake, I would eventually have to leave all I knew behind. On January 1st, 2009, with the inception of a new year, I too was starting fresh. Moving away from family and friends was something I swore I would never do. So it took me by surprise, when I decided to not only take a graceful leap of faith that this new path paved out for me be the right one, but more accurately I went full throttle landing into a life of the unknown.
Now, those of you who know me know that I am a planner. This uncharted world of constant change was giving me anxiety, but because of my missteps in the past, I resolved then to give the reigns over to God.
A life as a military spouse was foreign to me. To be honest in all my years, I never envisioned this type of lifestyle for myself, but God has a clever way of knowing exactly what we need when we are feeling lost.
I continued fervently praying that God's hands were wrapped around our 4 month old, Jake and I. This gave me confidence as we packed up our things that although I was scared, this was what He had intended for me.
This leads me to present day, almost 7 years later...
At the moment, Jake and I are raising our two amazing and beautiful little girls, in a small town in the center of the USA. We have moved several times and never has it been somewhere I have ever been before. In our future there may be more boxes to pack and a new place to call home, this is again unknown, but what I am sure of, is what I have learned along the way...
As a couple we have grown to become best friends, family, significant other, shoulder to cry on and everything in between, because even when we can't agree on anything at times, there is no one to turn to but each other.
There is an immense amount of strength you gain when you have no choice but to do things you otherwise would have shook your head and said, "Absolutely not!" to before you embarked on this journey." i.e. Mowing the lawn with a 7 month old bun in the oven and a two year old napping inside the house.
Let's talk Military spouses. These individuals are amongst some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Providing meals for families in need, organizing charities, supporting one another when significant others are away, and best of all they can relate to all of the emotions you feel at times, because hey, you are on this crazy ride together!
I know hands down, that if we can survive living in Minot, ND, than we can live anywhere!
Throughout the years we have lived temporarily on bases around the country. My favorite memory was a powerful one in that everyday at 5:00pm to show respect, all vehicles come to a halt at the sound of our National Anthem playing. Even more uplifting is watching children playing at the park, stop what they are doing to stand and raise their little hand to their heart, it truly is a magnificent sight.
Trust me when I say it isn't easy. There are seasons of separation and unexplained absences that leave us lonely at times, but there is important work to be done and homecomings truly are the best.
~Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
Missing my family and friends hurts just as bad now, as it did that first day we waved goodbye. We try to always have a plan for the next visit, to give us something to look forward to.
Mostly, I learned that if I would not had taken a chance all those years ago, I would have never experienced all this life has to offer and for that I am grateful.
On Veteran's Day and always, I am proud to call the man in uniform standing by my side, my husband. For my Grandfather who served in WWII, for Jake's Father and Uncle who both served in Vietnam, thank you for representing what God and country exemplify.
Future spouses, hang on and enjoy the ride, you are in good hands.
(Jake's homecoming 2012, Sophie was just a little excited to