Finding Comfort as a Military Wife
Being a brand new military wife was nowhere on my radar a few short years before. Growing up in a small town outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and having little to no military connections did not prepare me for this moment.
There I was, terrified at my first Navy dinner event with my new husband. He seemed to know exactly what to do while I felt like a snowman in summer – wishing I could melt to the floor so no one would see how badly I didn’t belong. This unfamiliar world was like the previous 21 years that shaped who I had become, always struggling to find my place.
I loved this man more than anything and I had promised to be with him through thick and thin, but what I didn’t realize was how uncomfortable the stretching, crushing, growing, and adapting would be.
As military wives, we often find ourselves in this unfamiliar world where questions are abundant and answers seem to linger. We feel afraid, alone, and we sometimes struggle to understand if we were meant to weather the transitions that being married to the military brings.
Thankfully, we find great encouragement from a man named Paul in the Bible, when he comes to a city to set things straight. He tells the people in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT), “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” Do you see the promise? In all of the uncomfortable places we find ourselves in as military wives, God stays constant. The newness of military life can feel strange, but the Lord promises comfort – in and through Him.
That night, I stood when everyone else stood; sat when everyone else sat. My husband smiled and gave me a gentle nod when it was okay for me to start eating. He told me how beautiful I looked and that what I was wearing was perfect. He paraded me around with confident introductions to each new-to-me face. By the end of the night the nervous jitters were gone. I was in awe of how the Lord could comfort me in a time of unease. I shouldn’t have been surprised – after all, this is something the Lord promises.
We can trust the Lord and thank Him ahead of time for putting us into this new place. In the midst of our uneasy feelings, we can find reassurance and stand firm knowing we have a place in this military life, even though it isn’t what we imagined.
Wife Step: Take a minute now to thank God for being your source of constant comfort when this journey feels unsure. Then, thank your husband for his comfort and show comfort to another military wife in need. Trust in the Lord because you belong here, sister.
Heather L Eberhart is a speaker and writer inspiring military wives to serve their husbands while still finding their place in his world. She wears many hats as a triplet mom, mom of four, and Navy wife of over ten years. When she’s not in stay-at-home mom mode, she enjoys leading worship at her local church, sewing and eating pizza on Fridays. Though the Navy uproots her often, Heather and her family of six currently live in Chesapeake, Virginia. She can be found on instagram at @heatherleberhart or online at heatherleberhart.com
I’m not who I was when I got married.
It was less than three years ago when I stood at an altar in front of a cross and said, “I do,” to vows we wrote and vows we borrowed. And in less than three years, I have become a different person.
My heart has changed. I’ve grown closer to God. And I’ve learned to love myself more. I have very different interests and concerns than the girl who stood in a white dress at 24.
My husband isn’t the same person either. His passions have grown. His friendships have changed. The goals he has for himself and his family are vastly different than they were three years ago.
Maybe you’ve changed a lot since your wedding day, and maybe your husband has too. Maybe there have been some beautiful changes and maybe some that aren’t so lovely. And while sometimes the changes are positive ones, other changes can be difficult.
Some changes threaten to steal away the promises we made on our wedding day.
When we base the commitment to our husbands on how we feel he has changed for the worse or for the best, we are putting our hope in a pretty shaky foundation.
But God. Our God never changes.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)
When we put our hope in Him, and we plant our roots down into Him (Colossians 2:7) in our marriages, we stand on the firmest foundation there has ever been.
You’re not who you were when you got married, but God is the same God today as the day you made a vow to Him and your husband.
There are no coincidences and no accidents in God’s Kingdom. He works everything out for our good. Don’t believe me? Read Romans 8:28. He is working your marriage out for good, too.
Don’t let differences distract you from the divine gift God has given you in your spouse.
When marriage gets hard and the fights feel never-ending, we look up. When we wonder who in the world we even married, we look up. When we think maybe we should have married someone different because we ourselves are so different now, we look up.
We’ll never be the same as we were the day we wore a veil and cut a cake, but we can make a decision to hold on to the same feeling of honor and respect we had for our husbands that day. We can take those promises with us no matter how many times we change in this life. We can continue to look up as the world around us and inside us shifts. Because our God never shifts.
When we get married, we aren’t only agreeing to love the man in front of us for who he is that day, but for who he will be every day after that. Because we won’t always be who we are that day, and neither will he.