One of those nevers was that I would never date much less marry a man in the military.That was my stance when I was hired to teach school in Killeen, TX.
Before I moved to one of the largest army posts in the country to teach middle school English, I considered myself a pacifist. I didn’t think war ever had a place on this earth. I didn’t understand or value freedom and the cost others pay for what we have. Funny how our opinions are directly related to our understanding or rather lack of it, and funny how love persuades a heart change.
I was afforded the chance to live a life that would change my opinions because as predicted by the school administrator who hired me, I fell in love with a guy wearing camouflage. My soldier-husband jokes that I had my wedding dress before I had the ring on my finger. (I did, but there is an explanation for that!)
|Proud son in his daddy’s old uniform|
A few nights ago, Drew went searching for Mike’s old army gear. He came out of the storage closet with boots and hats, helmet and uniforms. My kids were thrilled to try on their daddy’s retired battle gear. And I saw a gleam of pride on their faces. They get it. They have a small understanding of the sacrifice that must be made for freedom. Thankfully, they still have their dad; they did not experience the ultimate cost many military families know.
Today marks 22 years since that hot August wedding in Texas when I said, “I do.” I’ve learned so much since then. But maybe one of the greatest things I’ve learned is to stop saying “never!”
God has had great blessings for me in all of those things I’ve done that I said I would never do.
I am reminded of Peter’s words when Jesus told the disciples He was going to die. This was the ultimate price paid for eternal freedom. I would’ve probably said the same thing Peter said:
Peter took Jesus aside (after Jesus predicted His death) and began to rebuke Him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you don’t have in mind the things of God, but the things of men (Matt. 16:28 addition mine).
We know that love changed Peter’s mind too.
What about you? What have you said “never” to but have learned a great lesson because you did?