Thursday, February 6, 2014

February Love Letters- Love and Faith in A Military Family by Elizabeth Martin

My faith took a beating throughout my childhood.  I went to church sporadically.  I was involved in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School here and there, but it didn't carry over into my home life.  

Through all of that, I was pretty sure I believed in God.
When I was eight, my father shook that faith by telling me that he didn't believe in God.
From then on, I didn't know what I believed anymore.  

Thankfully, God put people in my life that helped guide me back to Him.

I met my husband a week after my grandfather died.  I joke that Grossvater found Tom for me as soon as he got to heaven.  How else did this New Jersey boy that went to college in South Carolina find me?  

When I met Tom, I was lost.  I hadn't been to church in years, and my faith was weak.  Looking back, I know that God put Tom in my life- he was the catalyst that ultimately led me back to my faith. 

Having God at the center of our marriage doesn't mean we don't flounder from time to time. 

We are a military family.  With that comes stress that many other families don't face.  We have to move every two to four years.  It's hard on all of us to leave our friends, schools and church so often.  The first thing we always do when we arrive in a new location is find a church.  That is where we meet the people that become our "family away from family".

We are blessed with five children that make our days a tad crazy.  Our house gets loud and messy.  We all yell at each other and apologize afterwards.

 There are days when I want to throw in the towel- especially when Tom is away.  He has to travel a couple of times a month, but somehow Tom always calls right when I am struggling to stay above water.  It’s like he knows.  I'm sure there is some divine intervention involved there.

The toughest test in our marriage came when Tom got really sick.  After our third child was born, Tom was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.  A doctor found it after doing some tests because Tom was anemic.  When had his first flare, he was sick for months.  He was in and out of the hospital.  Then we moved again.  He got sick again at our next location.  It was a very stressful time that ultimately ended with surgery.  Thankfully, MY faith got us through when his floundered a bit. 

Faith I wouldn't have had to rely on had Tom not helped me find it again.

I try to remember to thank God daily for Tom and my kids.  I think sometimes about what my life would be like had I not accepted the gift God offered me.  Tom helps make me a better wife, mother and Christian.  With God's guidance and grace, I hope to continue to grow in my faith and my marriage.

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