The picture popped up on my timeline last week, looking back at April 8th, 2013. My husband, standing tall, beaming with joy as he swore into the military. And me standing beside him, proud as can be. It’s hard to believe that today marks 7 years of this military life. We were just kids; still dating, and so unsure of where we were headed. But this life swept us up and took us on a journey that neither of us could have imagined.
There have been a lot of exciting moments, but also a lot of heart-wrenching ones. Through the tears and frustration, we have also found so much faith, hope, and trust. We started this journey with no idea who we were, together or apart. And we are so much further down this path, with 7 years worth of growth to look back on.
We have overcome separations, anywhere from a few weeks to almost a year. We have endured the dropped calls, scary news reports, lost friends, broken furnaces, and various aspects of the Murphy’s Law of deployment. We have had challenges that truly brought us to our knees, and grief that swallowed us whole.
But we have also had beautiful memories, and moments that pulled us out of the depths. We have had that video-worthy (with the ugly crying) homecoming moment. We have been surrounded by incredible friends who understand this life, and the hardship that comes with it. We have learned to lean on each other, even from thousands of miles away. We have learned to listen to what each other needs. We have developed relationships with this community; a bond that runs as deep as family. And over the last few years, we have found our place in all of it.
It’s hard. But I would not trade it for a thousand years the other way.