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