"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.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Learning to Write in Pencil - A Guest Post

Like so many of us, Jamie never thought she would fall for a marine. She is currently trying to balance a demanding job while planning a wedding through a long distance engagement all as her fiancée introduces her to the life of a Reserve Marine. She has offered to give a little glimpse into her journey as she tries to maneuver this crazy road. Please offer her the support we all need. Thanks for writing, Jamie!

Learning To Write In Pencil

A few months after my Marine and I were engaged, I met for coffee with a fellow military spouse. “Write everything in pencil,” she said.  “Things always change, especially when you least expect them to.”  These words rang through my head earlier this month when just as things seemed to be going as planned. Everything is okay and back on track now.

Ring,.. ring... I looked at my caller ID... it was my Marine. I was surprised to be hearing from him that Friday night. He’s a Marine Reservist and was on a drill weekend. He hardly ever calls on those Fridays or anytime during the weekend until he is on his way home on Sunday evening.

At that point a pit began forming in my stomach. Various thoughts began forming in my head, the biggest one... Are they deploying? When? Where? How long?

“Hey babe, I don’t have long to talk,” he said quickly.

“What’s up?” I reply.

“We might have a problem with the wedding,” he told me.

When we decided to push the wedding up and he decided to transfer to finish school here we looked at the calendar and picked the August date carefully. It wasn’t too close to when he would be starting school and it wasn’t the first weekend of the month, which is typically his drill weekend.

I couldn’t speak. My mom and I had just hours ago went to the reception hall and paid the deposit. All of the things that had been planned, but up in the air, were finally starting to become set.

“Hello?” “Hello?” he said.

“Yeah, I’m still here,” I said. “What’s the problem?”

“We might need to change the date of the wedding. They scheduled drill for that weekend. I could get out and so could Sgt. P (one of the other guys in his unit is serving as our DJ), but it is Gunny’s retirement ceremony” he quickly explained.

I could tell that he was in a hurry.

“I don’t know if we can. Mom and I just paid the deposit today. I don’t know if there will be other weekends available. We have people flying in from out of town, who might have already booked flights. I won’t be able to do anything until Monday” I told him, trying not to sound upset.

“I know, sweetie,” he told me. “just try, okay. I don’t want to miss it. I gotta go. I’ll talk to you Sunday. I love you.”

“Love you too.” I tell him.

When I got off the phone my mom could immediately tell that something was up.

I explained the whole thing to her. She just listened, and then said.

“It’s April Fool’s Day...do you think he might be joking, just to get you riled up?” she replied, after I was completely finished.

I called him right back. Before he could finish saying hello I launched into:

“Do you know what today is, April 1st?” “Is this some type of a joke” “IT BETTER NOT BE!”

“No, no, I would never do that to you,” he reassured me. “I love you!” “I’ll call you Sunday.”

It was at this moment that it hit me square in the face how much of a part the USMC will play in our life. I don’t mind, in fact, I couldn’t imagine life any differently. When I said “yes” to him, I chose this life and said “yes” to it too.

I made four phone calls that night to the people I knew were flying in from out of town. I explained the situation and told them I would have a confirmation of dates by the end of the week. I also emailed my bridesmaids. I apologized to them AGAIN about the unpredictability of the wedding and told them about the possible change of plans. Let’s just say, I have, in my opinion, the BEST bridal party anyone could ask for.

Finally, I emailed my boss. I had already put in for my time off for August. I did it this early, because of the position I hold. I am in management and know that for me to take off an extended amount of time will take planning and training. I had already gotten the approval for the previous timeframe. I wanted to let him know what was going on and that I would give him the definite dates as soon as I knew them, I just wanted him to void those previous dates. His reply came within minutes and was a startling reminder of what this life will bring. His reply was this.

“I’ll pencil it in, and remember, it’ll all be okay.”

One day, I’ll remember this lesson, but until then I believe that reminders will come when I least expect them.


  1. My soldier is Army National Guard, and we too planned a wedding around a deployment and his drill weekends to boot. Drills always change. Trainings come up. All sorts of headaches and worry and for a planner like myself, I struggle most with this.

    But, amazingly, some how, some way, things always work out. It's a lesson in flexibility to be sure.

    Congrats to you and your Marine on your upcoming wedding!


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