My husband walked in the door Monday, sent the kids to their rooms, and asked me to sit down to talk with him.

“Babe, I got the phone call this morning.  They are moving us to Alaska.”
It’s not what I wanted to hear, but it was what I expected to hear.  When his commanding Chaplain pulled him into the office to ask what Ben thought of the possibility and being considered for the post… I knew.  Of course they would want Ben.  He is bold, he is winsome with soldiers, he can be stern when necessary, and he works hard. 

You may be thinking: Alaska, I have always wanted to go there, visit, hike, fish, hunt, cruise around Alaska!!  Yes, so have we.  But what if I told you that we love it here in MD.  What if we told you that after 15yrs of marriage, we have found a church that feeds us all, from the seminary trained hubby down to the toddler.  What if I told you that I had settled in, formed roots, invested in the lives of other families/women/teens because I was told I was getting 4 FULL YEARS AT THIS DUTY LOCATION.  And for crying out loud, this is my birthday week!!!  Really??

It’s the saddest part of being a military family.  Folks ‘in the business’ don’t allow friendships past the shallow, because you shuffle around the world and it simply hurts too much to get close to people.  I know this and understand it.  When we first came here, we knew “only one year.”  So we kept ourselves separate.  We didn’t get involved deeply.  Also, I didn’t want to hurt anyone else.  These are people who have been here for years, some since the church began 25yrs ago.  Why would I hurt these loving people who sucked us in almost immediately.

But we settled in and put down roots.  We contemplated buying, and staying after this tour.  And God had to change my heart, prepare me for Ben’s announcement before he came home.  Our Bible lesson on Monday was from Exodus chapter one.  The Israelites living in Goshen had become content.  They had no desire to leave Egypt and head back to the Promised Land God had given to Abraham.  So God caused hard times to fall upon His children so that they would cry out to the Lord and create the desire to leave Egypt for the Promised Land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

This is not where we are meant to be for the next two years.  This is not the time or the place for us to put down roots.  We must go, God is calling us to leave here, our first real ‘home’.  But it hurts my heart.  It hurts my friends, and that hurts me too.  In my mind, I understand that God is good, God is sovereign, God provides for His children.  I just needed a day to sit in my bubble bath, and cry my eyes out.

God, I will follow where you lead me, I will love you, I will trust you, and thank you for your patience, your grace for my frail humanity.  Forgive me for expecting a whole week devoted to me, and for taking my eyes off heaven.  Amen.

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