Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer For A Military Family

Summer is on everyone's mind. The days are warmer and longer, the nights perfect for grilling and bonfires. The kids are getting antsy counting down the days until the end of the school year. Moms are busy trying to get all of the last minute things done that seem more impossible with children in tow. Summer is a time to catch our breaths, sleep in, enjoy company, and just play. When I think of summer, this summer in particular, I feel my chest tighten with emotion. This summer we are moving...again. Yep. We are one of those military families. The ones who pop into your lives for a moment, plant roots {sometimes deep, sometimes shallow} and then pack up, say goodbye, and look ahead to our next assignment. I have often wondered what it must be like for those we leave behind. At our current assignment, we will mark 11 months on the ground here when we drive away behind the moving van. Eleven Months! The shortest time yet. It blows my mind when I think of the fact that even though we have only been here 11 months - we have planted deep roots.

My boys' school. It is a family - We share morning worship together, we pray for the children, the teachers really know my kids, my kids actually miss school on the weekends. These roots are deep. It will be hard to say goodbye.

Our church. We are there every Sunday when possible and we warm the seats up front! Worship, Sunday School, Fellowship. That has been our Sunday morning routine for the entire 11 months. These roots are deep. We will miss this church home.

Our neighborhood. Weekends in the cul-de-sac riding bikes, roasting s'mores, throwing the baseball, and our new love - playing dodgeball! We will take with us many wonderful memories. I hate the saying goodbye part. I especially do not like saying goodbye to the "home-towners" who have taken the time to get to know us, extended hospitality, and taken an interest in our family. What is it like for them to let us go? To invest in a relationship with us, and then to wave goodbye? It can't be easy. Yet, they are willing to risk the pain that comes with fostering a friendship with us. For that I am deeply grateful.

When we learn of a new assignment pending on the horizon, I begin praying. I pray that the Lord will show us the home/neighborhood He has chosen for us. I ask him to show me how he will use us four to serve him in that new community. I pray for wisdom for choosing the boys' school. I pray for our new church home believing the Lord will provide. I imagine it all. I imagine us there. I imagine the Holy Spirit hovering over that place orchestrating everything, and putting it all into place for our arrival. I don't believe there are any accidents. I believe the neighbors we live by are our neighbors divinely appointed. I believe the base we are sent to is for a specific reason. I believe the school and church we feel led to is for a specific purpose. I keep praying, keep believing until the peace and stillness rests inside of me. I take hold of the promise that I know is to come, and I wait expectantly. I here Him say, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10).

Upon arriving at our new location, I watch with hopeful expectation knowing God has a purpose for it all. And, what unfolds is awesome. I can look back now and see His hand in every single assignment we have had and know that all was purposed for His glory. The roots were allowed to grow deep because our purpose for being there was bigger than we can possibly understand. I know it must hurt those we leave behind. We hurt saying goodbye to them and leaving the memories and some of the roots behind. I find my comfort in knowing that for many it is just a "see you later" for I will see them in eternity. And, in this promise, I find my comfort.

Jana blogs at Jana's Three Dresses. Check it out!

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