July 16th, 2020 By: Ashlee Beasley
Is all of the pain of being a military wife making my heart bitter or beautiful? I have been thinking about this a lot as I approach year ten as a military wife.
I celebrated my 31st birthday this year. The great thing about your thirties is they come with extra boldness and confidence that wasn’t there before. I’ve learned to speak up for myself and how to say a respectful, “no”. I actually know how I want to decorate my military housing. I finally sleep on a real mattress and not the floor model with a stain from the PX (true story).
I like this about my thirties.
With all of that added confidence of what I want, comes an attitude of “I’m done with the things I don’t want.”
I’m done with people disappointing me.
Another hardship on my marriage sounds exhausting.
Another season of loneliness sounds daunting.
Before I know it, I’m using all of that extra boldness to say “no” in all the wrong places.
While it’s good to start weeding out the things in our life that are unhealthy, we have to make sure we’re not pulling out the roots of something God is trying to bloom.
If we’re letting this life make us bitter we’re going to rest in that attitude of “I’m done”.
We say no to dealing with another disappointment of any kind. We stop putting in the needed effort to nurture our marriage through a hardship and we stop caring about making any meaningful connections because we’re tired of being alone.
We’re just done. We’re over it. The military sucks. People suck.
Boom. Our hearts are bitter.
The other wonderful thing about my thirties is that I have seen the goodness of God over and over again. As crazy as it sounds, He has taught me to welcome and respect His process of walking me through trials.
The hard days of this life keep me humble and they remind me of my need for God because I cannot do this on my own. They keep me rooted in His Word and in turn, I am filled with hope and my soul finds rest.
The lonely days remind me of each one of you who are experiencing the same loneliness. I have learned to welcome these seasons because they teach me to share in your struggles. I can encourage another military wife because I share in her suffering. When I tell you that you are not alone, you’ll know I really mean it.
The heartbreak reminds me of all of the people I’ve been able to love: the husband I don’t want to leave and the friendships I don’t want to end. Those hard goodbyes are the result of a duty station full of blessings. They remind me of God’s faithfulness and answered prayers. He is a promise keeper and He will take care of me again in the next season.
This life has so much potential to give us a really beautiful perspective but we have to be willing to overcome the bitterness.
We have to trust that God is only good and any pain He allows us to walk through, He will be faithful to use not only for our good, but for our growth.
So, I really don't want another life. I think I’ll keep welcoming the hard days. I like what God can do with my heart if I let him.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18 CSB
“In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28 CSB