"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What You Cannot Do

"Why did you cancel practice last week?"

"Because my husband came home and he is still here so lets get practice finished," I smiled in reply. And yet another hand goes up. "Does this have to do with music?" I ask knowing most likely it won't.

"No, but it has to do with choir." Sure it does. They can twist anything so that it 'has to do with choir'. I slightly nod my head allowing her to continue. "Ms Megan, I don't think I could marry someone in the military."

"That doesn't have to do with choir, _______" (not giving the student's name). 

"I know but it kinda does. I mean, it has to do with you. I just ... well ... they leave all the time," she was wringing her hands in her shirt. She was really thinking about this. "I mean ... I just couldn't do that, ya know?"

"Then maybe don't marry a military man, _______. But, _______, you would be amazed at all the things that you thought you could not do but did. Now, back to the music."

How many times had I shared this thought? How many times had the perspective of a 5th grader on this life been so parallel to my own? How many times did I say "I could never ..." "I will never ..." "I can't ..." How many times had those words stomped on my heart trying to reason with it, attempting to prevent the agony that can accompany this lifestyle? How many times?

Thousands. At least.

"I can't."

I say it repeatedly because this life will give us vulnerable times repeatedly. Weak moments allow for the weakest of words.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

You must do what you cannot do. And you will. 

Because you were chosen for this.


  1. Thanks for this post - I needed a pep talk today!

  2. It seems that my life is slowly (or sometimes it feels like all at once) proving to me that I CAN do all the things I once said I couldn't...all the things I'm most afraid of doing. (Well, not ALL...but many.) People will say things like "I just don't know how you _____." Or, "I could NEVER do _____ (that I am doing)."
    My response is that "Yes, you COULD!" If you're faced with [whatever difficulty], you'll also find a way to get through. I never thought I could either! But if God doesn't deliver you out of [whatever situation], He'll certainly bring you through it, providing the grace and strength necessary to pull through it WELL even! Other people, not in our circumstances, can't imagine doing it because God hasn't given them that grace...they don't NEED that particular grace! They have grace for a thousand other situations WE don't understand.

    I'm rambling, but hopefully you'll understand my meaning. :) Well-written, well-said...SUCH a great perspective to hold onto. :)

  3. You always take the words write out of my mouth, and it seems that you always post on something that I have just been thinking about! I still think that I can't do this sometimes. It's also so hard to ask for help in times when I should... this lifestyle leaves me vulnerable, so why would I want to make myself more vulnerable by asking for help and showing someone else my weaknesses?! :) We learn more than we ever could have imagined by being in this lifestyle and supporting the ones that we love the most. They can't just quit. Neither can we. I know my husband teaches me so much! I learn from him constantly. Anyway... I'm rambling too! :)

  4. This is especially true when you deal with and are surrounded by non-military persons, like the Nat. Guard does. So often I'm told that I'm brave or strong. I saw a friend just last week and she was asking after my husband, and told me, "I don't know how you do what you do...I don't think I could do it. I'm just not good at long distance relationships." I thought WOW. How could you not? This isn't about being brave, it's not because I want to see how tough I am. It's not done because we want to do it. It's done because of love. And when you love someone, you deal with whatever you have to in order to keep on loving that person. For better or for worse.

    PS I love that quote by Eleanor... How about this one too?

    "A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." ~Eleanor Roosevelt.

  5. What great responses! Dr AW - I give myself pep talks all the time! ; )
    Shannon you hit the nail right on the head. I have told new spouses repeatedly - He gives you what you need. Plain and simple. The grace given in this life to thrive in it is amazing - you just have to look for it. : )
    Danielle - we have talked about this so many times and will keep doing so!! You CAN do it and you will do well.
    Lorena - I am sure that you hear this even more. Since I moved home for this deployment (away from a military post/base) I have heard it almost everyday and am reminded of the times that I said the exact same thing. I love that E.R. quote also!

  6. What an excellent post, Megan. I find myself having that conversation very often, too. You're so right -- you are able to walk this road when you've been chosen for it.

    Here's to thriving in this lifestyle, even with all the challenges!

    Enjoy your time with you soldier!!!!

  7. Amazing post! What a great attitude you have. I find myself saying "I can't do this" (whether it be because of deployments or school or both) all the time--and then I have to stop and realize, "wait, I AM doing this."

    I always love seeing older, retired military couples. There is something about them that is different from other couples--something special that I can never quite put my finger on. I figure it has something to do with the fact that they "CAN" and "DID" when others (and maybe sometimes they themselves) thought things couldn't be done or were impossible. There is strength in this lifestyle...sometimes we just have to look really deep to find it, even though it's there all along.

  8. Thanks for this.We have a 3 week old little girl and My husband will be deploying for a year in 3 weeks. He is National Guard and contrary to popular belief being in aviation it is not one weekend a month 2 weeks a year. So therefore we do not live near family or on post near other military wives. I find myself everyday having to find courage to convince myself that I can handle this deployment. Thanks for my daily dose of courage

  9. Lauren, Thank you! We are having a wonderful time but TIME needs to SLOW DOWN!
    Beth, I do the same thing all the time: "Wait, I AM doing this."
    Krystal, I hope you go to the different perspectives page and check out DR AW. She is walking a similar journey. There is also a guest post by Lorena "One Weekend a Month, Two Weeks a Year" that I know she would love feedback from you. Hug that little girl tightly and find strength in that little soul to guide you through - you will! And feel free to email at anytime - I never mind!


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