In the earlier post, I explained that Satan is always trying to replace his lies with truth. Satan feeds us with lies. We have to push out the lies and replace them with truth.
Lie # 6 – You have to be strong and do it all.
Military spouses learn to be independent which can help him or her manage the challenges of the transient life. Too much independence can be detrimental. Abandon any tendency toward isolation and acknowledge the reality that you are not alone – there is a community around you that can help. Military spouses need to be willing to ask for help.
Within the military community, there is usually community spirit and a desire to help others. Military spouses know that military life can be dang hard.
Be willing to ask others in your community for help. Lean into a local church family. The needs of a military family can be known and met because that family is an active member of the local church. I found my local church to be particularly helpful during a “joint job assignment” my husband had that was not near an installation community.
Lie # 7– Your identity is tied to your involvement in your spouse’s unit’s activities.
Another lie we can fall for is that we have to be involved in our spouse’s unit. We can be involved in our spouse’s unit, but the presence or absence of our involvement does not determine our worth.
In my husband’s career, I had seasons of involvement and seasons when I was much less involved. There is no right way to serve as a spouse that is right for every family nor is complete involvement always the right answer. Other priorities can take precedence. Don’t believe the lie that you aren’t a good military spouse if you aren’t doing all the events.
Also, don’t believe a similar lie that if you aren’t working outside of the home, you aren’t making a significant contribution. Be content with what is best for your family, one year or assignment at a time. Don’t feel guilty or think you have to look like all the other military spouses. Rest in the comfort of accepting that you are making the right decision for your family.
I'd love to speak to your group about military life. To learn more about my speaking ministry, see this page.
Lie # 8 – Only the military member serves their country.
How often have you heard, “Thank you for your service” directed at a military member? But you, too, military spouse, are serving your country. Certainly, the military member sacrifices – they put their life on the line and often are injured while serving their nation. The family serves too! The military spouse is probably the one who does most of the packing and unpacking after a move. That spouse is the one who juggles the balls in the absence of the military member and spends nights alone while their spouse is serving the country away from home.
The family sacrifices equally, and not just the immediate family. The extended family sacrifices too. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles sacrificed too. So, friend, “Thank YOU for YOUR service!”
Lie # 9 – "XYZ" is going to be awful.
Maybe it’s that location for a PCS you are avoiding at all costs. It might be a 365-day deployment or that deployment not long after a previous deployment. It might just be the military lifestyle in general. I remember when I was first married, I did not embrace the uncertainty of the lifestyle and how our lives were constantly unsettled by the military. I was counting the days until my husband could end his commitment. Before marrying my military man, I had imagined my marriage would be like the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” but the plot line of my life was shaping up to be less than ideal. Then, while I was still dealing with that discontent, another challenge presented itself – we got orders to a small town in Mississippi.
Now it wasn’t just the military lifestyle but also where we lived that caused me to complain. But then I was introduced to the Lord who changed my perspective. I can honestly look back on all those “awful assignments” and remember them as the best assignments. We created the best community in the places that had the littlest to do. Our deepest friendships were formed in these less-than-ideal locations. I also learned to appreciate the differences with my new friends and how they and the challenges we faced were positively shaping my character.
I’m not going to lie, that deployment will be hard. But, when the deployment is over, you will find yourself a much better person who is stronger. You will have learned to rely upon the Lord and grow deeper into intimacy with Him and you will have lasting friendships that wouldn’t have been glued without the bonds of hardship.
Lie # 10 – Your goals and dreams no longer matter.
Your goals and dreams do matter. They just might have to be flexible, or you might have to negotiate some obstacles to pursue them. I’ve had countless friends who have obtained their goals and dreams. Others had their dreams and goals changed by the military but what they ended up with was much better.
Keep in mind that your spouse’s military career will be temporary. Some just serve their five-year commitment. Most military don’t serve long past their twenty years toward retirement. I understand that may seem like a long time now, but life expectancy is into the late 70s, so you have a long time.
My friend Jamie told me, “I used to believe that I couldn't further my education or pursue a career; but I managed to do both – eventually!”
I’m getting my Master of Theology, but I waited until the time was right for our family. The challenges of military life shaped and molded me so that my goals and dreams changed but ended up being so much greater than they were when I first married my military man.
I'm releasing a book for military wives, published by B & H Publishing, based on the life of Sarah, called Another Move, God? 30 Encouragements for Embracing Your Life as a Military Wife. To join the waiting list, go here. See this for more information on the book.