My husband served almost a full 12 years in the United States Navy. We got married the week after he finished boot camp so I was along for his adventure. We both have learned so many things from Michael's military time. I could write a book about being a Navy wife and all the things that the Lord and the Navy taught me during that time. ( I learned the true meaning of "hurry up and wait" as well as "improvise, adapt, and overcome")! Along the way, the Lord brought many great people into our lives. The above picture shows one of those men. The man was an officer stationed on the submarine with Michael. A friendship was formed. (Michael and our oldest son Matthew ended up going on this man's first date with the woman who would later become his wife). Several years and children later, we were living in Florida and Michael received a phone call. It was this man on the other end. We had not heard from him since we left Virginia. He had called to let Michael know that he had given his heart to the Lord and Michael had a direct influence on his decision. He knew that Michael loved the Lord and he also loved me and his children. It spoke to this man's heart and he wanted Michael to know. It has been 7 years since that phone call and I finally got to meet his wife and children. Two years ago Michael received another phone call and this man explained that his wife and children were traveling from Texas to Virginia to visit family. He didn't want them to stay in a hotel because he felt it was unsafe so he was lining up Navy people along the way to let them stay with overnight. We were on the route so I was able to meet her and the 3 boys. We had such a great few days. This story is just one example of how Navy guys still count on each other even after their time of service is completed.
Memorial Day is a time to reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice that so many have given for our country and our freedom. I am grateful that they were willing to pay that price. I know full well that had it not been for the men and women who have laid down their lives to serve, our history would have been quite different. My heart is heavy this morning for the families that will wake up today without their loved ones because they have paid the ultimate price of their life serving in Iraq or Afghanistan or other wars. I knew for those years of Michael's service that he was willing to make that ultimate sacrifice. Every time that boat pulled into the pier and my husband walked off, I was overcome with such thankfulness to the Lord. There are not enough words in the English language to express the joy that was in my heart when he would walk down that pier to greet me! For many families, it is unexplainable grief as they meet their loved one with a flag draped over the coffin. My prayer today is for those families that are left with empty hands and hearts. I don't want their sacrifice to go unnoticed.
grace and peace,