God Only Knows Where We’d Be

I was never a crier. I was the tough girl. I once went through an entire semester at college without crying.

And then I fell in love. With a soldier. And with Jesus.

At one point in my life, my heart was hardened. I was not compassionate and completely confident that I could make “it” on my own. Tears were not an issue. I had it together.

And then I feel in love. With a soldier. And with Jesus.

Today is Memorial Day. A day of tribute. A day of remembrance. I am forever thankful for our soldiers– and for Jesus.

Many people post tributes and touching pictures on Facebook in support of our troops. That’s great. But I have quite a different perspective. See, I am married to one of those soldiers. And not just married to him, but deeply in love with him.

My beloved has served overseas three times. He’s been shot at. He’s watched his battle buddies fall. All the while– he clung tight to Jesus. And led me into a relationship with Christ much deeper than I could have ever imagined.

As my relationship with my soldier and my Christ has deepened, my heart as been softened. I try to avoid “tearjerker” videos because I still don’t like to cry. But it is hard not to be overcome with emotion– primarily in the form of gratitude- when I stop to really consider what my beloved husband AND what Christ has done for us.

They both have willingly offered to DIE for me. Simply the thought of this type of love moves my heart.

The song “Soldiers and Jesus” by James Otto sums it up pretty well.

(If you couldn’t view the video in your email, click HERE to watch.)

Have you EVER really stopped to think about the sacrifice from Christ and our soldiers? How does it make you feel? How have you experienced life from another’s sacrificial love? Please don’t be shy… Share your comments below.

So today, lets take a moment to give thanks for those who have given us a hope and a future by laying down their lives. There’s only two people who have ever died for me… Soldiers and Jesus. Without them… God only knows where we’d be.

Thankful beyond measure,

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” –John 15:13

Categories: army, blessing, Christ, cross, death, fight, freedom, glory, God, Jesus, life, sacrifice, soldier, Tribute | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

A Tilt of My Head

I can’t draw/cut a straight line to save my life.
I personally think it has something to do with my qualities of being graceful <sarcasm here… I am so clumsy. Recent example: I smoked my shin when I fell off doing box jumps today with my personal trainer. It’s purple. Go K-State?!?) But seriously, if someone asks me to hang something on the wall, cut a piece of paper, or draw a line across a page, I hope they don’t mean straight. Cause it’s not gonna happen.

Fortunately for me, I do have some tools to deal with these issues. Sometimes it comes in the form of a level for wall-hanging stuff. Maybe a ruler or one of those massive paper cutting hacker things that you find in school copy rooms around the nation (although I have been known to cut a whole stack of papers  straight… in a crooked line.) My favorite troubleshooting solution to the straight line issue? Either get another person to do it (my preference) or change my perspective with a tilt of the head. There, now it’s perfect!

Sometimes our life situations aren’t in a straight line as we think they should be. I struggle with understanding “army logic” and “military strategy” when it comes to my husbands schedule. Just last Wednesday, I needed a perspective shift. I was wallowing in a vat of self-pity about more overnight staff duty/charge of quarters scheduling issues… Then on Thursday, that awesome God of All Comfort that we worship sent me my “head tilt”  I needed to see things clearly once again. It was in the form of having a chance to pray for some “basic training” baby soldiers.
Now, these guys weren’t my husbands soldiers (he isn’t in cycle currently.) But those little requests of the trainees that I received on small slips of paper to pray over during CRAVE time at church on Thursday reminded me of why my husband and I are here, a drill sergeant and his wife in tropics of Georgia. Some baby soldiers wanted God’s help to pass basic training. Others asked for protection for their family. A few prayed for their battle buddies. One prayed for God to be with his wife, who was due to have a baby on September 11th, and he was going to miss it since she was back home and he was at basic training. God thumped me upside the head so hard and efficiently, I got my head-tilt wish ASAP. I was seeing things straight again with my changed perspective.  It’s all about the bigger picture, folks. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.” (Proverbs 4:11-12)

As humans, our flesh is great at distorting our thinking and conjuring up what we think should be our “straight path.” If you couple that with The Enemy, man oh man, things really get foggy. Brandon and I have been through a deployment together, and I am very thankful that we have broken a “new” record in our relationship for being in the same time zone for 5 months now. In light of 9/11, this “current suffering” of temporary separations that I am undergoing is no biggie.  But God also doesn’t want us to discount those challenges. He simply desires that we turn to Him and ask for his strength, possibly coupled with that “head tilt.”
Paul said we should rejoice in our sufferings. He discusses in 2 Corinthians 11:16-30 his amazingly long list of sufferings, essentially saying they are nothing compared to future glory. Only someone that has his head appropriately tilted in the direction of Eternity would be able to think like that. I don’t know about you, but I know I could do a better job of clinging to the promise of eternity when my lines seem “less than straight.”
When our puppy Justus is confused or can’t see things properly, he doesn’t remain in the same position, pouting in the middle of the floor or sulking on our lap. Instead, he tilts his head in a quizzical doggie manner until he can figure it out. I know that when we are experiencing struggles and sufferings, it isn’t quite THAT simple as a doggie head tilt… but maybe sometimes I need to pray for God to help me see a little more clearly, in the light of eternity and allow him to tilt my head. By His strength, and His strength alone will I be able to “cut my paper” straight.

Do you need to tilt your head today? Ask God to help you see the “bigger” picture, even if you think it looks a little crooked hanging on the wall. Everything can be straighter if you tilt your head and view things in the light of our glorious, heavenly home!
Unbalanced & OK with it,

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” –Proverbs 3:5-6
Categories: path, prayer, soldier, straight | Leave a comment

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