Back in the 1990’s my husband, Tony, came to me with the dreaded words, “What do you think about me going back into the Navy?”
“No way!” I spouted without a moment’s hesitation.
Raising children alone with him gone on long deployments, being in a community where divorce rates were and still are high, and seemingly throwing my college degree away did not seem like the ideal life path. I vehemently silenced the idea, and on we went with life in our quaint little Georgia town.
So I thought.
My husband waited patiently. Eventually the subject resurfaced again and again until, in frustration, I finally mentioned it to our pastor’s wife. Her words stopped me cold in my tracks, a spiritual gong of sorts.
“Well, Kristi, have you even considered it?”
But what if it was God’s will? What if He knew best?
After Lois’ words sounded so clearly, I went home and prayed.
God’s answer became unmistakably clear: Tony was being called back into the Navy. (He had been active duty in the Navy five years earlier, then became a drilling reservist in Atlanta when we married.)
Tony put the paperwork into action, and we began our Navy adventure. First stop after a short reenlistment stint in Atlanta was Jacksonville, Florida, followed by several other stints in the southeastern states as well as our current duty station of Hawaii.
In this path of God’s will I did indeed raise children “alone” while Tony was out to sea. In fact, he left just hours after we arrived home from the hospital with child #1, and child #3 was birthed with him deployed on another continent. But in the midst of the “alone”, I was never truly alone.
God was there – right in the middle of His plan.
Several special friends and family members gave to and strengthened our lives. I look back now and see the tight-knit, God bonds formed with these people that would likely never have formed had it not been for God’s perfect plan.
A transient lifestyle attached itself to us. We moved every 2-3 years. Our friends moved too. They are sprinkled all over the globe.
And I love it.
It hasn’t been easy and the military life is certainly not for everyone, but His path to the Navy for our family has been good and perfect. And now, fourteen years later, I wouldn’t trade a thing.It’s not always easy to set our will aside, trusting that His good and perfect will is indeed trustworthy for our future. It’s not always easy to offer ourselves and follow Him, whether it’s for salvation, life in the military, or other plans the Lord has.
How about you?
God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life
—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—
and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Romans 12:1 The Message
To God be the glory.
Updated and linked with Suzie Eller on 4/7/16
A common thread, the plea rose heavenward, “Keep Daddy safe.” It easily rolled from the lips of the youngster, prayed with honesty and true desire daily during his father’s deployment. He was only two years-old, yet now I consider he aged years well beyond in the spiritual realm.
As a mother, I questioned whether this little guy truly understood what he prayed for. Were his prayers mimicking those of older siblings? Regardless, he prayed without ceasing for his daddy, a fervent prayer that availed much.
..The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:16 KJV
Daddy came home, safe at last, and back to the arms of his awaiting family. Our little guy’s prayer had been answered. His fervent and powerful plea morphed into an answered testimony and became the aroma of Christ to his mama, daddy, and siblings.
But there was more.
The night after Daddy’s arrival home, our young son quietly slipped in his prayer at dinner time. With full expectation of hearing, “Keep Daddy safe,” pour forth from the little guy’s mouth once again, I sat stunned as the words, “Thank You for keeping Daddy safe,” slipped from his lips. He gathered no coaching to transition answered prayers into heartfelt thanksgiving. Not from me. Not from his dad or siblings. Only an awesome Lord could teach this beautiful youngster.
It’s easy to ask for things in prayer, but we are wise to remember thanksgiving. Our young son’s prayers were answered. He thanked the Lord for his daddy’s safe return in a way that bounded over and flowed with beauty.
Thank you for teaching me, son. And, thank You for teaching me, Lord.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Col. 4:2 NLT
As Caleb offered thanksgiving, the opportunity sits for you and I today. What thanks can we offer?