- 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
- Derek has enlisted in the Army National Guard.
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.