It’s not easy y’all.
This lifestyle is unlike any other, but with that, a complete blessing. My life looks different than most and completely different from what I ever imagined it would; I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Gauge & I started dating a month before he left for basic training in Georgia. From the time I met him, he had always talked about wanting to join the Army and at the time I knew absolutely nothing about it, but it was my job to be supportive and who was I to stop him from following his dreams?! We spent our entire relationship apart, minus a total of seven days (over a span of five months). After we got married, I had to jump into this lifestyle, ready or not. I was unsure of what to expect, but I quickly learned that you have to go with the flow and it’s true, you will really never know anything. I went from literally planning every single minute of every single day to throwing that out the window because the military just doesn’t let ya. I started to get a feel for how it worked and I’ve heard it’s a little different everywhere you go, but regardless, you have to be flexible, you have be brave, you have to be strong, you have to be supportive, and you have to be patient. Patience is truly a virtue, friends.
I support Gauge 1000% in everything he does, career and otherwise, and there have been choices he’s had to make and things he’s had to do and goals he has set for himself in his career that I have to support no matter what it means, because that’s my job as his wife. Most of the decisions feel like gambling, and they almost always mean distance, uncertainty, and that lingering thought of will he come home? My heart truly aches every time he is away because I miss him. Our relationship continues to grow and our love continues to grow, even when I think it can’t possibly grow more. It never gets easier to say goodbye, in fact it gets harder. I believe that when it gets easy to say goodbye, something isn’t right.
We have not only grown in our love and in our relationship, we have grown in our faith together, too. This has been the best way that we’ve grown since we’ve been married.
I said before that this lifestyle requires a lot, but it especially requires patience. The motto of the Army is clearly hurry up and wait because that seems to be all we do.
Waiting on orders.
Waiting on housing.
Waiting to make friends.
Waiting for him to call.
Waiting for a letter or a text message.
Waiting to know when he’s leaving again.
Waiting to know when he’ll be off work.
Waiting to know when he’ll be home again.
Waiting to see our families.
Waiting for things to go back to normal.
This life has the ability to tear you apart if you let it, but in all the seasons of waiting, I’ve learned that if I focus less on the waiting and give up my desire to control all the things, HE is in the waiting. This is just another opportunity for me (us) to demonstrate faith. So, instead…
He is orchestrating the orders.
He is preparing our home.
He is helping us grow.
He is providing the phone service.
He is inspiring the words we need to read to get through another one of these days.
He is comforting us as the time passes.
He is healing all the days+months of anxiety.
He is strengthening our relationships and pulling us closer.
We are forced to surrender nearly all of our plans as military spouses, plans that most couples get to make for themselves. I sometimes look at other couples in pure envy and it makes me want to throw in the towel and live a “normal” life, whatever that means. Then I remember how Gauge’s decision to join the Army has changed our lives for the better, given us so much opportunity to learn and grow, and how it has so thoroughly provided for us. I have chosen to trust God’s plan for our life, even while we wait months and months, even when it feels like the Army is the only one in control. I know that He is incapable of failing and during all of the waiting, we grow in our marriage and our testimony of God’s faithfulness, which is the biggest win.
Gauge and I had a conversation the other night about life and we talked through some things as we prepare for our next adventure coming up in a few months. We came to the conclusion that unfortunately, he thrives in the military; he has promoted more times in 2.5 years than most do in five, he has received numerous awards, he is picked for all the things because he excels at the job he chose. We say unfortunately because this is hard. There is so much sacrifice involved on both ends, for different reasons. He sacrifices his life for our country, which means being away more than he’s home, not seeing his baby grow up, missing holidays, missing birthdays, missing milestones. For me, it means being a single parent, putting on a smile when I want to cry, running the household, dealing with all the things that conveniently happen as soon as he leaves — flat tires, broken AC units, lizards in the house.
Yes, Gauge is gone a lot and it’s going to get worse before it gets better, but can I just tell you how sweet it is when he finally comes home? It’s the best day ever, every single time. I didn’t even mention the long work hours when he is home, which is exhausting for both of us, again for different reasons, but Kai’s face when he sees his daddy walk though the door? The most precious thing I’ve ever seen, every single night.
I used to think that the military wasn’t meant for families, but it’s the opposite. We have made a promise to raise Kai (and the rest of our babes) to know that daddy is always coming home and when he’s gone it means he loves us more.
This is just a little perspective from my corner and my hope is that it encourages even just one of you and that it gives a little insight into this life that not everyone will get to experience.