The life of a military wife is an adventure I had never anticipated. A home-bodied introvert by nature, the idea of moving around frequently and having to develop new relationships is way outside my comfort zone.
My tendency is to hunker down and hang on until my time is done and we can plant roots somewhere. But apparently God had other plans for me.
He has moved us five times in the span of our seven-year marriage. As we have walked this journey, I have learned to focus on what God has for me to do in the place where He has planted me. It has taken some time, but God has taught me that I do not follow the Army. I follow my Savior. Not simply a camp follower, I am a Christ-follower-a Christian. God has a calling on my life just as He does for my husband in this camouflaged world.
Every place we live is different, and the tasks God calls me to in those places is different as well. I have done everything from teach fitness classes to lead Vacation Bible School. God has people He wants me to encounter-whether for me to touch their lives, for them to make a difference in mine, or both. He has challenged and changed me, and I have come to be very thankful for it all.
He is teaching me to live for more than the end of a deployment or the next PCS, to seek what He would have me to do today. But even outside of this military world, I believe that is what He wants for all of us as Christians. He has no desire for toe-testing faith.
Our Christian walk is much like those summers at the local swimming pool. Three kinds of people were there-the ones who never touched the water, those who tested it and maybe got in eventually, and those who took off from the edge with no hesitation. They were all present, but only one group truly experienced the joy of the water: they would fly into the air, curl into a tight ball, and make the biggest splash possible with a cannonball.
I have experienced the joy as well. Those cannonball moments when I sank deep into the water feeling the coolness rush over me on those hot summer days were some that can never be replaced. Now, don’t get me wrong. I had days where I jumped in and that water was mighty cold-and checking the depth of the water is important as well-but think of what I would have missed if I had never given it a shot.
Much like my summers at the pool, I believe God has called me to a cannonball life-a life completely sold out to Him. He calls me to do some crazy things sometimes, and all He expects of me is that I trust Him and jump. Giving everything I am out of love for Him regardless of my location or circumstance is all He desires.
Sometimes those things seem so minimal, like taking dinner to a neighbor or hugging someone who just needs it today. However, those requests can seem more like mountains at times. He asks me to step beyond what I understand or know and trust Him completely. I have even had moments, just like at the pool, when the direction I thought He wanted me to go was not His desire at all. I was wrong, and yet God has even blessed me in those times.
His grace and mercy rain upon me not because I am doing the right thing, but because I take a step of faith. He does not ask for perfection, but simply for a desire to serve my Savior.
So, me? In the middle of this military soil where He planted me, I plan to live a cannonball life in this toe-testing world. Standing back as far as possible, I will take off running. Leaping from the edge, my desire is to jump for all I am worth. He will be there waiting. He always is. At the end of my life I desire to say, “I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly” (Joshua 14:8b).
How about you? Cannonball life or toe-testing mediocrity?