When living in a military community; you become accustomed to saying goodbye to good friends on a regular basis. Unfortunately; that’s just the way military life is. Families are typically stationed in one place for 2-4 years. Then they are transfered to another location. Because of this; military wives tend to be a little more vulnerable so that friendships can built quicker (I am not saying this is true of all military wives; this has just been what I have noticed). Hugs, tears, and promises of staying in touch are all present when you say goodbye to someone who has been your family. One good thing about military moves is that they create a network of friends world wide. For instance, I know that if I ever get stationed in Germany, England, Japan, and several states in the US, that I would have a friend (or friends) there. Another plus is that even if you are not stationed at a particular place; you still may have the opportunity of visiting friends. Last summer when I when I went back to the states to visit family in Delaware, Iowa, & Michigan; I also had the privilege of visiting close friends in Virginia. I had met these friends here in Okinawa and they just happened to be stationed a few hours away from my family in Delaware!
With our PCS time on the horizon; we have had several people ask the typical questions that go along with that:
- “Where are you going next?”
- “When are you leaving?”
- “When will you visit family?”
The answers to all of them are “We don’t know yet.” Unfortunately, that is another downside to military life. We have to wait patiently for them to tell us where they are sending us and on what timetable. It can be easy for us to get anxious about the unknown. One of our friends thought that they were going one place but when they got orders it was to a completely different place. Another friend didn’t actually get orders until a few weeks before they had to move. And another friend just got orders to one of the places that she was hoping for. Even though we know we are leaving this summer; we can’t actually plan anything until we get orders because everything that we have to do to prepare for moving revolves around them (and if you know anything about me; you know that I like to plan ahead). Regardless of where the military sends us and when; I have to keep my trust in God and know that he has a plan. God already knows what I don’t know. Ultimately we will be where he wants us to be.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
[And for those of you who are not military but live in other countries like Canada & Australia; I know I have friends there too :)]