Around this time of year, the intricately designed columbine flowers in my Colorado town push through the stubborn, still-hard earth while weathering snowstorms, hailstorms, and wildly fluctuating temperatures. And around this time of year, my thoughts turn to those youngest members of our military families.
They push through hard times and weather storms of their own.
Maybe this is why April is Month of the Military Child.
Or maybe it’s because summer is the busiest moving cycle for military families, so spring is when many of them plan and prepare, deciding where they’ll live, what school kids will attend, and how best to ease yet another transition in their lives.
Because of all this and more, I offer these humble words of prayer for those born into the military, those who never signed up to serve but serve just the same. May God bless and keep these precious kiddos.
Dear Father in Heaven,
You see each military child’s struggles, the ones standing in full daylight and those hiding behind the scenes. Encourage her now where she needs it most.
These next few weeks and months will likely bring changes in various colors and sizes. Some will be wonderfully welcomed with upturned hands, some will be viewed warily with crossed arms. Help her name the changes she fears to her mom, dad, or other safe person in her life.
Help her eyes and heart stay wide open to receive the good–and fun!–things You have in mind for her in the coming months and years.
There are times when she may hear whispers from partially closed bedroom doors or loud words from the cable news station, and she may look at her parents and ask questions with a shaky voice. Give the one listening to her questions gentle truth and patient wisdom on how to best respond.
Give her Your presence as she waves goodbye to the moving truck or her mom or dad.
Give her Your courage to walk into the new town, the new house, and the new school one brave step at a time.
May You build within her an empathetic, caring heart who looks out for the new kid as she knows all too well the feeling of being the new kid herself.
May You build around her an empathetic, caring community who is for her and loves her exactly as she needs to be loved.
If she misses the familiarity of former things, help her remember You have fantastic new things in mind for her future.
If she has no adoration for her location, help her to know it’s picked by You, not mom or dad’s job. You determine the exact place where she and her family should live.
Yeah, she probably gets tired of that question, “Where are you from?” because it’s a tricky one to answer. Help her know that home is wherever she is because home is the people she’s with–and Christ who lives within her.
Yeah, You’re building exceptional things in her, things that cultivate in darkness now but will one day flourish within the light of day. As she waits for what is to become what will be, help her to know that You are using this time to grow good things in the soil of her soul.
Lord, even as her roots are shallow, make them strong. Help her to bloom beautifully not in spite of frequent transplants, but because of them.
And no matter what the seasons bring, may she know she’s loved, loved, loved.
In the always-faithful, never-changing name of Jesus,
Have a prayer or a few words of encouragement you’d like to offer military kids? We’d love for you to include them in the comments below.