God knows just how to put us in our place, doesn’t He? It’s funny, ever since God called my husband to go back in the Army and take a family with him this time, I have been excited about building relationships with the other wives. I’ve thought about how nice it would be to get in there and maybe start a Bible study for the younger women, possibly mentoring some of them on marriage. I know I don’t know Army life yet, but I do know what it’s like to go through a lot of trials during a marriage. We’ve been through job loss, death in the family, infertility, bankruptcy, foster parenting kids that have suffered….all while God grew our marriage closer and closer to Him and to each other. I thought I’d be able to help some of the newly married wives with my experience. I grew up in the church, but it was only in the last decade that I really grew in my faith, so I assumed that many of the younger women would be where I was spiritually at that age.
Boy, was I wrong! See, up until a week or so ago, my experience with Army wives (other than 3 good friends of mine) was based on a message board I stumbled across one day and like a bad car wreck, I kept going back to stare at it and to read some of the “soap opera” style posts. Lots of drama, tons of complaining, husband bashing…on and on. No, I’m not going to post the name of that board.
THEN…this past week I followed a link and found Wives of Faith. A community of Army wives sharing their friendship and their faith in Christ. AWESOME! As I read through some of the posts, I got excited and could already tell I would learn a lot from these wives. They must be really experienced, probably in the Army a long time, married for decades to have built a faith this strong….right?
One post I read turned out to be written by a 22 year old. Twenty-Two. Wow. She’s starting a Bible study on the site. I can’t wait to follow along with her. I can tell that although she’s 14 years my junior, I will learn a lot from her.
God puts the right people in your life at just the right time, and He knew I needed this site, these ladies. I needed to realize that not only can I learn a lot about the Army from these young wives (that part I knew!), but I can also learn a lot about HIM.
You know who else I’ve discovered I can learn a lot from? Drug dealers, ex-cons, & people that literally live on the street. A couple dear friends of mine that have mentored me in discipleship for years also run a weekly Bible study for a bunch of women that, live in shelters, or in very low income apartments, or even on the street. They even go to the local jail to talk to these women. Several months ago, they held an overnight retreat for these ladies. They were picked up and taken to a retreat center where they got to spend the night (in a bed!), get fed great food, were given a change of clothes & shoes, and taught the Word of God. I was blessed to participate in that retreat as a helper, and oh what I learned!! I remember walking around the grounds while things had not quite started yet, and I came across a chapel where I heard singing. As I walked in, I saw several of these ladies – who had not a dime or change of clothes to their name – singing and praising God for all that He has done!
This upcoming weekend I have the chance to once again help with a retreat for these ladies. I cannot wait!! I know that while I am serving them, I will also glean so much from them. I know that God will not only speak though us to them, but also through them to us.
The Lord has really been speaking to my heart for a while about being bold, speaking for Him and not being afraid to share my story with others. To share His name and all that He has done. To share my faith openly and proudly. To see all of these young wives, and these ladies who had has some hard knocks doing just that is incredibly humbling to me. I hope that I can speak up for God as much as they do. I pray that I will be bold like them.
“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” (Acts 4:29)