The part of life that has made me who I am today was being a military spouse for 20 years. I was 19 when I married into the military life and within 2 years I had 2 children and a husband that would deploy for the 1st time of our marriage (he had already deployed several times prior to this) and I had no idea what to expect. Several years into being a military spouse I was given the below on an 8x10 piece of paper and I have had it ever since. This says everything that I was looking to say about myself.
When God Created the Military Wife
The Good Lord was creating a model for military wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What’s wrong with the standard model?"
The Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, possess the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to 4 or 40 with an hour’s notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she is pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move to a new location 10 times in 17 years. And oh yes, she must have six pairs of hands." The angel shook her head, "Six pair of hands? No way!"
The Lord continued, "Don’t worry, we will make other military wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband’s achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it is overworked and tired, and be large enough to say "I understand" when she doesn’t and say, ‘I love you’ regardless".
"Lord," said the angel, touching his arm gently "Go to bed and get some rest. You can finish this tomorrow". "I can’t stop now", said the Lord "I am so close to creating something unique. Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave goodbye to her husband from a depot, pier or runway and understand why it’s important that he leave."
The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, "It looks fine, but it’s too soft". "She might look soft", replied the Lord, "but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure."
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord’s creation. "There’s a leak", she announced. "Something is wrong with the construction. You are trying to put too much into this model."
The Lord appeared offended at the angel’s lack of confidence. "What you see is not a leak", he said, "It’s a tear." "A tear? What is it there for?", asked the angel. The Lord replied, "It’s for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear." "You are a genius!" exclaimed the angel. The Lord looked puzzled and replied, "I didn’t put it there".
I'm most proud of raising my girls. This makes me strong.
I was raised by the strongest woman I know... my mom. She has been an amazing example to me throughout my life.
It is important to me to be that kind of example to my own two daughters and to pass on these qualities and values to help them become self confident young women.
My hope is that I am showing my girls by example how to accomplish their goals - by being a good mother, having a good career, continuing my education, volunteering to help others, and even running marathons.
They see my failures and setbacks and then they see me get up and try again.
I want to show them that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to.
Strength = Courage. It is this inner strength that allows us to find the courage to take chances in the spirit of adventure and where you get to know your true self all the while leaning on faith to guide and make you stronger and more courageous as time passes. ~Heather Anne
Making it through all the training and facing some fears to become a soldier and a Military police officer as a female, which people find hard to believe by looking at my size.
After basic, I found out I was going to be a mom two months after returning home. In May of 2011 I became a single mom. Until August 2016, I was married, raising my son and working random hours to make everything work for my family.
Being a soldier was hard for me, but adding being a mom was harder. I never knew when I would have to leave or for how long I would be away from my son. I did anywhere from three day trainings to three week trainings in other states. I had to leave my son without having much communication with him.
In 2015 I was deployed for the first time for nine months. Being a single mom and recently engaged, it was really hard, but I knew it wasn't as bad as some soldiers and I was going to a safe place.
Being separated from someone who solely relies on you makes being away harder.
My deployment had a lot of ups and downs, but I made it through. I spent six years in the reserves and now I am getting out.
For my quote I guess my favorite is the one I had my husband put on the race medal rack he made me.
“ There will be a day when I can no longer do this, today is not that day.”
My story is no best seller but a short essay like the ones found in the readers digest. I am not sure what my exact purpose in life is, not sure if anyone does .
I try to be a good role model for my kids, a good wife, friend, employee, citizen.
I want to be healthy enough, strong enough and live long enough to go on as many adventures as possible.
I guess my story is better described in this quote..
“ Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intension or arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride! “ by Hunter S. Thompson
My strength comes from my willingness to allow goodness to come into my life.
This sounds easy, but it isn't.
I embodied that very belief and awareness when I was young, but I never had the cause to identify it and I didn't know what it was or the power it held.
I was so young and so naive that I had no label for this strength. This was my superpower and I had no idea how incredible it was or how fortunate I was to wield this ability at an early age.
It was just the way I thought: the way I processed life's circumstances. Looking back I'm amazed at what I accomplished because of the strong belief I had in myself. The state of mind could've served me well throughout my entire life except there came a time when I couldn't grasp it anymore. I didn't see that very subtle, but important shift away from it because I did not comprehend the value of what I possessed. I didn't know why my life had flowed with ease and perfection and so I didn't know why it stopped.
I began to struggle with my life. There was no longer the ease and flow. Nothing clicked. I felt ill. I was ill. There was no longer any awareness of my inner strength. My mind's eye began to look to the outside instead. My thoughts and my beliefs began to disallow that goodness to come into my life and I didn't know why. I didn't see the difference as a change in my core beliefs, but as a progression in my life. I thought I was just becoming more realistic and growing up (quite the opposite) and I didn't realize it was really that I was losing touch with myself - losing awareness. I didn't know that all the negative influences were coming from me. The disconnect in my life was generated from what I began to incorrectly believe about myself. I thought the unhappiness I felt was caused from things and circumstances outside of me, but it was not.
Somewhere (thankfully) along the line I was jolted back into realizing what I was doing to myself when I looked to the outside for my self-worth, my value, my successes, and my joy. I clearly saw that path of self sabotoge and turned and ran the other way. I began to move back into the place where I could find myself.
Awareness came back to the forefront.
I regained the understanding that your thoughts form your life.
That your beliefs mold your experiences.
That your joy comes from within...
That you attract what you give out and you bring into your life what you give to others.
Self-talk really matters.
I am fortunate that I regained this understanding at a critical point in my life.
I needed to be the mother that I am for my children when they needed me most.
I needed to be the daughter and the sister I was at life-changing moments.
I needed to be the coworker, and teacher, and friend, and family member I was at pivotal times for others.
I needed to be a non-judgemental advocate and educator on behalf of a human rights movement when I was needed to stand up and speak, but most importantly
I needed to be there for myself...and I am.
I am strong because I know this to be true and even more importantly, I know we can all be strong because we can and must believe in ourselves.