Entering the Military: Hearing God’s Voice
Now that you know how we met, let me tell you the story of how we could have followed our own selfish desires and traveled two separate paths. Through a sharp turn in our life path, we held fast to our marriage and are much stronger for it.
I have seen many friends and relatives struggle through dissolving relationships that end in divorce. I have heard many times the excuse, “God called us down different paths.” This is a lie. God will never call a husband in one direction and the wife in another because, “What therefore God has brought together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9). Either one or both of the spouses are not listening to God. Marriage is used to depict the relationship between Christ and the Church. God would never desire or will for this image to be tainted or broken.
I had always said I could never be a military wife or pastor’s wife. I did not think I had the temperament or calling for either. When we got married, Matt had a clear plan for his career and he began a graduate program. This all fit nicely into the future we had discussed through our courtship and engagement. Everything was going well.
One day, Matt came home and said he wanted to join the military. It seemed to come out of nowhere and he knew very well my views on my ability to be a military spouse. He had been thinking it over for awhile and decided to finally mention it to me. He expected that I would say, “Absolutely not!” and that would be the end of the discussion. He wasn’t planning on arguing with me. He wasn’t planning on trying to convince me to listen to his plan. He thought he might as well ask me, get it over with, then get back to work on a Master’s program for a career he no longer desired.
You know you’re supposed to have a steady walk with God, right? The whole idea that you “read your Bible, pray everyday” so that you can overcome great obstacles. Do you know the real reason you are to be daily communing with God? “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) How can you follow God’s leading if you do not know His voice? How can you know His voice if you do not know who He is? How can you know who He is if you do not read His Word that is full of His truth?
So that afternoon when Matt said he wanted to join the military, I clearly felt the peace of God well up inside me. What would normally have caught me off guard instead brought grounding and direction. What normally would have caused anger and frustration instead brought excitement and contentment. In that very moment God touched my heart and I said, “Yeah! Let’s do that!” without even a second thought.
I never looked back from that moment because God clearly was leading us into military life. I have never felt such a sure guidance and overwhelming peace. In that moment that could have easily led to crisis, I felt calm and stepped out in faith. I could have easily insisted that God was surely NOT calling Matt to the military because God was NOT calling me to be a military spouse. I could have easily fought the nudging of the Spirit and dug my heels into our comfortable Virginia home. I could have easily said, “No, God! Call someone else! We’re all good over here, thanks.”
Who was I to tell God what I could or couldn’t do? How did that work for Moses? Gideon? Jonah? God was leading us to military life and because we both were listening for His voice we knew when we heard from Him.
And so the entire course of our future changed. Our life now is nothing like how I imagined it when we first got married, except that I am still doing it all alongside my husband, Matt. Through all the change, chaotic circumstances, and continued unknowns our God has remained faithful to us and we know He is still directing our steps.
All glory to God for bringing us together and for softening our hearts towards His will for our lives and not our own.