Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Go big... or go home

Today is the 27th day of 2010 and yet I feel I have experienced enough emotions, filled out enough paperwork, and blindly followed God's lead to fill an entire year. In these first few weeks of this year, we have:
  • remodeled the master bedroom and moved in (it's wonderful)
  • completed (almost) the refinance of our home
  • committed to having a foreign exchange student for the 2010-2011 school year
and lastly,
  • Derek has enlisted in the Army National Guard.
    Throughout the month of December, Derek and I had anticipated finishing the master bedroom and getting our house refinanced into a 30 year note. However, prior to January 1st, the ideas of hosting a foreign exchange student and joining the army had just been ideas that got mentioned in the form of "I think someday it'd be cool if..." every now and again.

    I sit here today, still, wondering what on earth we were thinking and wondering how we will get through it all. I feel almost that we are being wreckless. Why would a young family trying to make ends meet carry the financial burden of a high school student living in their home? Why would we send a dad away from his growing baby for seven months? It doesn't make sense.

    Except that it does. And the only reason is because we both know that this is exactly what the Lord has called us to do, right now, at this time. There is simply no other explanation. Aside from it, this all sounds like nonsense.

    The idea of the foreign exchange student came first. And then it was rejected. We wouldn't do it this year just because I knew we couldn't afford it without me going back to work. Eventually. Someday. But, the rejection didn't stick in my mind. It kept coming up. And then I knew I had to do it. Because just a few months ago, I was sharing with my Women's Ministry committee about the importance of tithing not only with your money, but with your possessions-- your car, your yard...your home. I know that I have been given an amazing blessing in the form of my home. And it is my responsibility to offer it up to him as a sacrifice knowing that He will provide. Luke 12:48 "... To whom much has been given, much is to be expected..."

    The National Guard came next. Technically, it was first. For as long as I have ever know Derek, joining the military was always something he had wanted to do. It all comes down to his sense of duty to protect those he loves. If anyone knows Derek well, they will know this is part of his personality, a part of who he is- a protector. We had seriously talked about it twice before in our marriage, but other opportunities surfaced instead. It came back up as Pastor preached one Sunday Night about protecting the innocent and the ones who can't protect themselves. Derek said to me that night as we were in the drive-thru at Long John Silvers, "I need to start looking into the Guard again." And it was at that point, I knew. And then I knew that since I had such a peace about it all, that it was surely the Lord's will.

    Derek didn't quite know yet, as he is more timid about new ideas and big changes. It was at that point that I realized that I was in the position to convince him either way. And to some, maybe I was foolish. When I am alone for those 32 weeks, who can I blame but myself? But how could I argue with what the Lord had so clearly made him to do? How could I prevent this man- who is not only capable, but willing- from serving our country? It was only two weeks ago as we were teaching our fourth and fifth grade Sunday School kids about Jonah. It was clear, that if God had called us to this service, that we would get there one way or another. Whether it was on a boat or in the belly of a fish- somehow, we'd get to Nineveh.

    So, Derek met with the recruiter time and time again. We filled out 19 pages of the application (Did you ever sneeze, EVER?). He took the ASVAB. We filled out more paperwork. Met with the recruiter again. He spent last Sunday night up near the airport, passed his 4 hour physical, filled out MORE paperwork, and swore in on Monday afternoon as an E-4 Specialist. 

    I couldn't be more proud of my husband.

    If you are curious to know, Derek's MOS will be 25B Information Technology Specialist (this will complement his current job nicely). He will leave for 9 weeks of basic training at Fort Benning (GA) on July 25th and will go straight to his 23 weeks AIT training to Fort Gordon (GA). Fortunately, there is a two week break over Christmas, so he will be able to celebrate the holidays with our family. He will be done with training in the middle of March 2011. He begins his one weekend a month duty next month, in February.


      1. Wow! It's crazy how God lead me to a big life change, but when I hear of others making big changes I always think "That's crazy!" Like somehow what I'm doing is normal. I'm so excited for you guys and I know God doesn't want you to do anything that won't lead you into a deeper and more beautiful relationship with Him. I will try my hardest to remember to call you more often and keep you company when Derek is gone. I love you guys!

      2. wow! Amy that's incredible! how did you even begin to get involved in the foreign exchange program? that's SO cool! it's really interesting to read these changes in your life as Adam & I are tossing around some pretty life altering decisions ourselves (no, not babies)...just some stuff that would mean big changes for us. it's really encouraging to see/hear how all this has progressed in your life, thanks for sharing!

      3. Hi there! Found your blog through a friend of a friend (isn't that how if often goes?). I'm a military spouse and my husband has been at FT Benning previously. I just wanted to let you know that there's a great non-denominational church service right on post called the Follow Me Chapel. There will be opportunities for your husband to get some spiritual nourishment while he's there!


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