Entering Military Life: A New Beginning

military-spouse

It’s been a year since I last posted on my personal blog. Balancing a full-time job, a busy photography business and making time to maintain personal relationships has made it difficult for me to keep this updated. But now that I’m entering a completely new, terrifying and exciting season in life…it’s time for me to come back.

Let’s just say, a lot of big decisions have been made this past year. Now that things are official, it’s time to put it all out in the open.

2017 was a frustrating year. Tanner graduated with his bachelor’s degree in December of 2016, but right before he graduated, he informed me that he no longer wanted to go into the medical field.

“WHAT?!” was my response.

After spending over four years getting a degree in kinesiology, there really isn’t much to do with that without getting further education in the health field. I honestly didn’t know what Plan B was. And of course, my perfect blue-print of a future was shredded to pieces.

I graduated half a year before Tanner did and was working two jobs to support the both of us. Now, what were we going to do?

Tanner spent the next few months in a limbo of job searching and contemplating where his career would go. Nothing he looked into interested him, and I got more and more frustrated with him not having a stable job.

He finally told me that he was going to look into the military. It was a field that had always interested him ever since he was a little boy, but one he never seriously considered because it wasn’t considered “normal.”

Of course, I was absolutely against it. I told him, “I can’t have you go out and put your life in danger.” I wasn’t the type to be a military wife. I didn’t want to face being apart if he were deployed or worry about if he would ever come home to me. That kind of life was for other people…but not us.

Then Tanner said the one thing that made me realize how selfish I was:

“Who am I to say that my life is worth more than someone else’s? Who am I to say ‘that man can die for our country, but my life is more valuable than his and I’m not willing to do the same.'”

And that was the moment that I realized that maybe God had a bigger purpose for us beyond a perfect, routine, safe and quiet suburban life. Maybe Tanner’s calling of helping people and making an impact was in the form of serving our country rather than being the medical field.

Of course, Tanner’s willingness to “fight for our country” doesn’t necessarily mean that his goal is to be on the front-lines. But he made it clear that if it came down to it, he would be willing to for the sake of protecting what we have.

After letting go of my selfishness, I became more open to the idea of being a military wife.

Following that conversation, I did a lot of research over the lives of military spouses on my own. Tanner also took me to the recruiter to ask all of the questions I had. The more I learned, the more I became on board.

One of the perks of Tanner having a degree was the fact that he would be able to go in as an officer. Since I have always thought that Tanner is a natural-born leader, everything about this military career path fit everything he was looking for in a career. It gave him the opportunity to be in a hands-on environment every day, make a real difference, and lead people.

After a lot of prayer and learning to trust God’s will, we decided to make things official for Tanner to start the process of joining the military. He spent nine months in the marine officer recruitment program before he was later informed that he didn’t have a very high chance of getting in. (Long story). So in January of this year, he went to the army office where he started the process to become an officer in the army. Now three months later, he has a ship date and will be heading off to basic training in two days.

Tanner is officially leaving me this weekend to go off to boot camp and then officer candidate school (OCS). Today and tomorrow will be my last to spend time with him for many months. After he leaves, I’ll be getting information on how to acquire my military I.D and transition into officially being a military spouse.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be a military wife. And yet, I am anxious and excited for it. As I look back on my life I can see how God was shaping me for this in many ways.

There is nothing wrong with a quiet, routine suburban life. But is that life really the life I wanted? Honestly, not really. I’ve always craved adventure and experiencing the world. I like the idea of experiencing a piece of life that most people never experience, or living in a different country and indulging in a different culture. I thought I wanted the suburban life because that’s the only thing I had my eyes set on, but deep in my wanderlust heart, I wanted more. I guess you can say I’ve never been great at conforming.

I know that military life is going to come with challenges that I can’t even imagine. I know it’s going to be extremely difficult and emotionally exhausting. But strong women didn’t get to where they are without challenges, and I want to become stronger. I want to grow.

So here’s to the beginning of a new chapter. It’s all in God’s hands.

2 thoughts on “Entering Military Life: A New Beginning

  1. JRLL says:

    I’ve been told that if you what to make God laugh is to tell him your plans. 🙂 I know how you feel, felt. Things change and our life journey changes. But as long as we keep God first, He will guide us.
    I will be praying for both and our other service members.

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