Don’t Waste the Journey

My husband serves God and country as a chaplain in the United States Army. He’s been in this ministry for almost five years – eighteen months in the reserves and about three years on active duty – and unless God shows us otherwise, we believe this will be His ministry for us in the foreseeable future. We love army life, and we believe God has uniquely fitted us for this ministry. I, however, was not always so happy at the thought of the chaplaincy.

Over five years ago, when my husband found himself without a ministry job due to unexpected circumstances, he broached the subject of the chaplaincy with me. I was not at all excited. My first thoughts ran along the lines of long separations and life-endangering situations. I knew in my head (as I’d known for as long as I cold remember) that the best and safest place for one of God’s children is in His will, but it was difficult for my emotions and trust to fall into place with this knowledge. My husband assured me he wouldn’t pursue the chaplaincy until I had peace about it, and he was true to his word. After eight months of odd jobs and candidating at several churches (that asked  my husband to come aboard, but neither of us believed God to be calling us to those specific ministries), I finally faced the possibility that my unwillingness was perhaps the reason my husband didn’t have a job. So after talking it through, we decided to start down the path of the chaplaincy.

When we made the decision to for it, I again was giving assent in my head, but m emotions were still far behind. I still wasn’t exited; on the contrary, I was actually very fearful. At the time, we were told t should be a quick process, but we ran into a few hiccups along the way that could not be fixed without the factor of time. While I wasn’t thrilled on each occasion, it was revealed that more time was needed. I can see in hindsight that this was part of God’s kindness to me. A wise person once told me to not miss the lessons God has for me on the journey by trying to rush ahead of Him to the destination. This is such sound wisdom! It took him eighteen months for my husband to fulfill the requirements and become a chaplain; however, he started in the reserves, and it was approximately eighteen more months before he was put on active duty (which was the goal from the beginning). Those could have been three miserable years; and while they were not easy, God used them for our good. By the time my husband made it to active duty, I was raring and ready to go! God used those three years – the journey, if you will – to mold me into the wife, mother, a d lady He needed me to be for the destination He had for me and us.

We’re almost three years into active duty, and I made the statement to my husband about a year ago that in some ways I feel like I’m on vacation. This isn’t because it’s all fun and games or even easy. There have been many difficult times and situations, but God has been faithful. God used the preparations of our not-too-easy journey to the chaplaincy to give me a love for army life and ministry and a confidence that goes beyond head knowledge that this truly is His will for our family.


 

Written by an Audrey Beth Roland. This article was published in the Spring 2015 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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