Most military families are separated from their families. Most of us are uprooted from our hometowns and transplanted to new ones. Sometimes, for a while, sometimes not. We rely on our communities to get us through tough times. Most of our kids don’t live near their grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. Sometimes, they are even away from a parent.
Our family has had it rough the past while. My husband served two years unaccompanied in Japan, came home for three months, and was deployed again for nine months. If it wasn’t for my village people, I’m not sure where we’d be. Well, I know where we’d be, maybe how we’d be is a better term.
We have Indians (Seminole fans), law enforcement officers, construction workers, Sailors (active & retired), bikers, and rednecks (about as close to cowboys as we can get). We also have pastors, teachers, coaches, secretaries, students, accountants, lawyers, grandparents, and even snake handlers. We have extraordinary people, with ordinary daily lives that invest themselves into our life.
This past weekend, my oldest son had two baseball games. I missed all of one and most of the other because I was at church. (Note: I was right where I should’ve been!) My son wasn’t concerned that I wasn’t there, he thought he had a better chance of winning if I wasn’t there. (I have been declared the bad luck charm.) While at church, I mentioned that my son was playing and was asked “who is with him?” My reply… “no one… well, his team.” A friend chimed in ”God!” YES! God is always with us!
Back to main point… my son had the game of his life. His team faced a team that wins a lot of tournaments… my son’s team was just trying to actually win a game! It was a Facing the Giants moment! He was the starting pitcher… he hit a bomb to the outfield with bases loaded, scoring three to tie the game… then scored on the next hit to score the winning run. Yep… I missed that. It stings a little.
But, you know what? When I finally arrived at the field, I had countless number of people give me the run down of what happened. People from both teams! Everyone was so proud of my son and couldn’t wait to tell me all about it. I don’t know what’s better, watching it happen or watching the excitement of lots of people reliving it for you.
It hit me, that while I wasn’t there myself, he has a village. Both my boys have people who watch out for them, that love them, that support them, that pray for them. We may not have our blood family, but we have a ginormous village filled with wonderful people who God has sent to surround us.
If you are a military family, I encourage you to find your village. Find a church (you are welcome at mine Shindler Drive Baptist Church), get involved in sports, or a support group. Be a part of your community!
If you are a civilian, invest in the life of a military family! Get to know the kids. It would help to form a relationship before a deployment so that you have a bond when tough times arrive. But, anytime is still good! Most military spouses don’t need you to do a lot. We’ve traveled the deployment road and are pretty independent. But, having people to have fun with and keep our mind off the separation is awesome. Be the village!
“Train a child in the way he should go. When he is old, he will not turn away from it.” Proverbs 22:6