Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So, I'm an Army Wife...

Now what?

Last Thursday, my husband was officially sworn into the US Army. I am so proud of him!

In the almost nine years that we've been married, we have gone 'round and 'round about Ryan joining the military. I was against it! We argued, I cried, I was angry and mean. It wasn't until recently that I realized that I was holding my husband back. He didn't feel that he had my unequivocal support, no matter what decisions he made. He has wrestled continuously for the last few years about what he needs to be doing but he felt that no matter what decision he came to, that I wouldn't support him and if I did, I would do it begrudgingly.

That's a hard pill to swallow.

I grew up in the same town that my parent's grew up in. Until I was 18, I had only known one little corner of south Georgia. Both sets of my grandparent's lived there as well. We were next door neighbors with my dad parent's and I saw them daily. We spent majority of the weekend's with my mom's parent's. I love my grandparent's deeply. I am beyond thankful that I had the opportunity to grow up near them and to feel their love and support throughout my childhood and teen years. They still support me now, I just don't live close enough to visit them often. I have countless memories with all four of them that I will cherish forever. I want that for Abigail.

I'm extremely close to my parent's and it was hard enough to leave them behind when Ryan and I moved after we graduated from college. But once I had Abigail, living far away from my parent's became one of the hardest things. I want so much for Abigail to be able to say, "can I spend the night with Nana and Papa?" and for me to not have to save money for gas, pack our bags, drive four hours, and live out of a suitcase for several days. I want her to have what I had with my grandparent's. But living four hours away is doable. We get to see them every couple of months and usually for a week at a time. She has a great relationship with my parent's and I know that will never change no matter where we live.

So, when it came to my husband pursuing his dreams, I held back because I was afraid. Afraid that his dream might take me too far from my parent's and Abigail too far from her grandparent's. I wasn't willing to risk that. So I fought and I fought hard. I was stubborn, rude, and all together difficult. Now, I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I have not been the help-meet to him that he deserves. I am ashamed that I did not offer him my total support. I am ashamed that he has been stressed because of me. And I am sorry. I love my husband deeply and it hurts me to know that I haven't been there for him the way I should have been.

I am still afraid. What military spouse/family isn't? Some of you out there are seasoned veterans in this military life. Mine is just starting out. I have no idea what to expect. I've only seen Army Wives, the TV show. But while I am afraid, I have peace. Does that sound weird? To be peaceful about something in which you are afraid? I am also excited. Excited for my husband to fulfill his dream, to do what he has felt the need to do for so long. I am excited about new adventures. I am still worried that we will end up somewhere so far away from my parent's that I won't get to see them nearly as much as I do now. I'm afraid that my daughter's relationship with my parent's will consist mainly of phone calls, letters, and Skype conversations and that we'll only get to visit with them once or twice a year.

I also recognize that this will be a growing, stretching, and learning time for me. I pray that God will do a great work in my life and heart throughout all of this. Realizing that I wasn't being the wife my husband deserved is only the starting place.

Pray for us.

Ryan leaves for basic two days before our 9th wedding anniversary. Just typing that brings tears to my eyes. How are we going to explain daddy's absence to a four year old? How am I going to explain to her why he will miss her birthday party this year? Because he'll go on to training for his job as an Army Medic after basic. How will I raise our daughter alone during the time that he is gone and be responsible for all the things that he takes care of here? It seems like such a huge task. I'd appreciate any advice and information from you Army wives out there? PLEASE leave me comments and help me along on this journey!

No matter where we end up when he is through with all his training, I know this...I support my husband, I am proud of him and his willingness to sacrifice for his country, and I know that God is able and in control!

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


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  1. You absolutely can do it! I swear I felt like I was reading my own life and thoughts before Jacob joined. Praying for you. We walked the road of Daddy being gone when the girls were 2 and 8 months. He was gone for four months. I am totally here to walk with you and listen to you cry. And I am very proud of y'all!

    1. Thank you Misti! I am so grateful for your friendship! Feel free to give me any advice you have on the situation! :)

  2. wow! I am proud of Ryan! Dayna and I are praying.

  3. I'll be praying for yall Jess! I've never been in ur shoes but I can see where it would be extremely difficult! But just remember that God works everything for the good of those who love him!

  4. Saying a little prayer for you. One of my best friends is a psychologist in the military, and I know things can get very stressful. Blessings to you, and thank you all for your service!

  5. I don't know how I missed this post! While I don't know a thing about being a military wife, I think you have already gotten past the largest hurdle, that is learning to trust your husband's leadership and judgement. You did a wonderful job sharing from your heart on this struggle. I know the coming months will bring more struggles as you adjust to a different way of life. Love you and your family. I will be praying for you all!!