My husband’s best friend retired from the Air Force a few days ago, and I cried my eyes out during the ceremony.

I can’t even explain why I cried, exactly. Partly because his words to his family were so warm and appreciative. But even more than that, I couldn’t help but sense the winds of change in the air. Change has not typically been my best friend, which is one reason God arranged for me to fall in love with and marry an Air Force man. Seventeen years into this military lifestyle, change still may not be my best friend, but we do accept one another and have learned to play nice.

Military families accept change as an act of obedience to the job they are called to do. We accept the sacrifice that comes with it for the same reason. We sacrifice familiarity. We sacrifice our loved one’s spot near the birthday cake or Thanksgiving meal. Sometimes, we even sacrifice their presence on this earth.

Our active duty military and their families are proud to serve, but we don’t think we are super special or more important than you. In our eyes, we are just living in obedience to the God-created rhythm of sacrifice for a greater good. There is no getting around it: freedom costs. So we do what must be done for what we love. For whom we love.

On this Memorial Day, may the families of our fallen feel God especially close. May they know God holds every tear shed. After all, He knows the pain of losing a cherished one. And through the heartache and loneliness and days chock full of crazy, may all military families know God walks smack dab next to you. He sees the work you do, oh yes He does. It is important, valued, and appreciated. And so are you!

Do you have any Memorial Day traditions? And if you have a loved one currently serving or deployed, might you leave his or her first name in your comment so we can pray?

Kristen Strong, Chasing Blue Skies

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  • http://alwaysalleluia.com Kris

    Beautiful words, Kristen. I grew up as a “military brat” and watched both my sister and brother follow in my fathers footsteps to join the military as young adults. My brother has since gotten out (he’s in Seminary now! Yeah!) and my sister still serves in the Army. She’s been to both Iraq and Afghanistan, but thankfully is statesdie now. I would be humbled and grateful if you lifted her in prayer. Her name is Seana. Thank you for this. Military life was a sacrifice, but what a blessed opportunity it was to see so much of the world… It’s some kind of crazy life, isn’t it?! ;) God bless you, sweet sister-friend.

  • Toni Covey

    Please pray for Lisa McNeely, a friend stationed in Kandahar, Afganistan currently.

  • Fran Chastain

    We had a Chaplin from Ft. Leonard Wood, MO speak during our church services yesterday morning. His message opened my eyes to the emotions and turmoil that he and our soldiers endure when deployed, especially in heavy fighting locations such as Afganistan. My heart aches for each one of them. Please pray for all our soldiers mental wellbeing and well as their safety. They bring home with them emotional scars that aren’t easily visiable from all the horror that they witness. I’m sure it’s not an easy thing to deal with. Even this Chaplin had difficulty delivering this message. May God continue to protect them while deployed and when they come home to their families.

  • Anonymous

    Please pray for my boyfriend, Donald Perdue II, and friends Jessie Galloway and Anthony Daugherty currently deployed on the carrier CVN 72 Abraham Lincoln. Thanks!

  • LeAnn

    My nephew Chad is deployed near Kabul Afghanistan. His first deployment! Was so filled with pride when we sang the Star Bangled banner yesterday at a high school graduation ceremony! Semper Fi!

  • Beth

    Thank you for your kind words. Prayers for my son serving with the Navy. While he is not currently deployed his presence at home is missed every day. Prayers for his new wife who is waiting to join him. Prayers for strength as they begin their new life as a military husband and wife. Today my thoughts and prayers are with our Gold Star families and all those that have served and currently serving. God bless.

  • http://madeforreal.com Kerry @ Made For Real

    Yard work :) ~ ( in response to your question ).

    Each year I’m trying to instill the meaning of special days like this in my kids’ hearts in a more prominent way – age appropriately, but honestly. My dad was an army guy long ago. I don’t think any of us take the day to day of military familys’ lives lightly. I hope not. Saying a special prayer for all today. Thanks for your service, too, Kristen!

    Blessings

  • http://dogfuranddandelions.wordpress.com Elizabeth Johnson

    Thank you for this tribute.
    Please pray for my favorite hero and my husband, James. He is currently training to serve as a Chaplain with the Army National Guard. It is heartbreaking ministry, but God has clearly called him to it and given him a passion for the souls of his fellow soldiers.

  • Jodi

    Please pray for my friends daughter Jessica French who is on her first deployment to Afghanistan. Please also pray for her family that through all of this they will all come to Christ. Prayers too for my son Sean who is a first ltd. in the Marines and is presently training flying jets and a few months away from earning his wings! Oohrahhh!

  • Lena

    Thanks for sharing your story. God Bless

  • Micki

    Please add Chris McKinney and Bart Branyon, serving in Afghanistan and Brian McCarty serving in the Navy. Thank you for all the wonderful sharing of stories and inspiration through (in)courage!

  • anastacia nthoba

    Nice please pray for my boyfriend( butiki lucas kekana) he has deployed to sudan.

  • http://hamershappenings.blogspot.com Lisa

    My son is in the Air Force! Bless your husband and YOU for your service. Because sometimes these brave men and women just can’t do it without all the love and support at home.

  • Crissy

    Please pray for Blake, serving in the Army in South Korea and his brother, Tyler, also serving in the Army, in Afganistan.

  • Shannyn

    How perfect these words and thoughts! Thank you to the countlemen and women and their loved ones for serving our country.May we never forget…………..
    “Air Mom” <3

  • Kim

    please pray for Sterchi, Li and Kincaid serving in the army

  • Nicole

    Jeremy Cobb will be deployed to Afganistan on 6/2 for a 9-month tour. Please pray for his safety and his family’s peace of mind while he is away.

  • A

    Please pray for my husband, Steve, currently deployed to Afghanistan.

    Kristen – thank you so much for your kind and inspiring words. I’m so glad that (in)courage helped me find your blog!

  • Jodi

    Thank you Kristen for your beautiful message, inspiration and source of strength. Gracious thanks are extended to your family and all the previous and current serviceman & women who protect our country.

    Our son Chris, is deployed for his first time in the Navy. We are grateful for any and all prayers which have sustained him and will continue to do so throughout his military career.

  • http://makingajoyfulhome.blogspot.com Amy Lee Ellis

    What a wonderful message!

    And could you pray for my cousin Ben? He’s deploying this summer.

  • Beth Williams

    Kristen,

    Praying for all military men and women & their families! A heartfelt thank you for all that you’ve sacrificed for our freedom!

    I know some people currently serving in the military and want to Thank them all for their hard work & their families for their sacrifices!!

    God bless you all-_!

  • http://juliesunne.com Julie Sunne

    Love this tribute to our military heroes, Kristen. Remembering those who have fallen and lifting up their loved ones in prayer.

  • http://www.chasingblueskies.net Kristen Strong

    Friends, thank you for trusting this space with the honor of praying for your cherished ones. May God keep them safe, and may God give His peace that passes all understanding to each of them *and* their families and friends on the homefront. I love you all!

  • Lisa Minervuni

    My sons name is Michael James Minervini II.Please pray for him and his family.Michael just re-enlisted Tuesday for another 6 years. We are so proud of him!

  • http://incourage.me Jane Deaver

    How awesome this is to see that there are people who still trust in God and are doing and seeking his will for there lives . In this wordly world that we live in God is still on the throne and we all should seek him (God) no matter where we are or what God calls us to do. What door is God opening in my (your) life.
    Thank you God for my husband Steve Deaver who served in the Air Force .
    May God Bless and be with all!

  • Ashley

    My uncle don is a master diver still serving in the navy. Sometimes he has to go to places we aren’t allowed to know to dive and check for bombs or other possible threats in the water or on boats. It’s always scary when he does but the Lord has returned him safely home to us each time so far and we are grateful for that mercy. My family comes from a long line of military service though most are retired now.

  • Ashley

    My uncle don is a master diver still serving in the navy. Sometimes he has to go to places we aren’t allowed to know to dive and check for bombs or other possible threats in the water or on boats. It’s always scary when he does but the Lord has returned him safely home to us each time so far and we are grateful for that mercy. My family comes from a long line of military service though most are retired now or have been recruited into Heaven.

  • Ashley

    My uncle don is a master diver still serving in thr Navy. My family comes from a long line of military service though most are retired now or have been recruited into Heaven.

  • Ashley

    My uncle don is a master diver still serving in the Navy. My family comes from a long line of military service though most are retired now or have been recruited into Heaven.

  • Barbara

    Please pray for my granddaughter’s husband Jimmie Snider who is serving in Afganistan.
    Thank you!

  • Paula

    My son, Robby, is currently serving in the Air Force in Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Thank you for praying for him.

    I will keep your family in my prayers as well, as you faithfully serve our country.

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