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The Oath

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind filled with urgent, life-changing decisions while gearing up for many exciting work, church and personal endeavors. Many, many prayers were heard and answered (in unexpected ways) and others not answered. It all led up to a moment in my life that will remain with me forever and drew me and my husband closer as a couple and followers of Christ.

Today, as I worked on many projects, this voice said, "I need you to stop, reflect and share." I was staring at the computer screen with 10 web windows open and various documents glaring at me and I immediately smiled, opened a new window and began typing this story.

It may sound like I was stressed or panicking... I wasn't! Just busy. God needed me to take a step back and be reminded all is possible because of Him!

For some time now, my husband has had the desire to join our military force. He alway said he wished that strong desire had been placed on his heart earlier in life... We weren't sure how to proceed with the journey or even if he should. A couple years ago, he began the overwhelming process of seeking out information. What branch? What type of service? How many years? And, many, many more questions. 

He was concerned about the impact the decision could have on me. At first, I couldn't imagine an 18 year old going through this process. But, I quickly decided his dreams plus my dreams made this a more difficult task and realized pursuing it at a younger age could be less stressful. In the end, I just wanted him to be happy and fulfilled. A few offers came and went and we stopped pursuing the venture for a year or so. But, it kept tugging at his heart. So, this spring, we hit the ground running again. He decided the Army National Guard was the route to take and began talking seriously with recruiters. After some confusing conversations, we landed at an office in Mt. Carmel, Tennessee and boy, did the enlistment process take off! What seemed like months to take shape suddenly turned to going to MEPS in a week.

While I can't provide much insight into MEPS since I wasn't the one being examined, I can tell you my husband was TIRED afterward. His past shoulder surgery was a concern, but God intervened and he was approved for enlistment.

We set the date for him to take the oath and headed to Knoxville. Packet in hand, he knew much of what was to come until... the position he selected with the Army National Guard was no longer available. An unusual circumstance, it hit us square in the face. What do we do now? A few hours of conversations and decision-making later, he made a position selection. All the while, the waiting area that once was full of young, anxious men and women dwindled down to 5. My husband walked out of the counseling office and motioned me to another area to wait for the swearing-in ceremony. Wait! What just happened? We're really about to do this? Those were my exact thoughts.

All of the sudden, this process seemed to be over in the blink of an eye. I was tired from a stressful, long day but saw a renewed spirit in my husband. In retrospect, the outcome of the day was perhaps better than we expected. We both know God had a plan and although it seemed a struggle to the say least, we can't help but smile knowing He answered prayers He needed to and moved in ways we didn't even think of. He can kind of do that, you know. Sometimes, we just forget...

As I watched Travis repeat the oath to serve, he had a different expression- one of eagerness yet seriousness. To say I am proud is an understatement! I ask for your prayers as we adjust and he leaves for quite some time for training. Fortunately, he will be with us to celebrate the upcoming holidays. I will share more updates and reflections soon!

May this be a reminder that while we struggle, there is one always in control. We just need to sit back and let Him work. God Bless!

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