The first part of this column’s name, Sippy Cups, is blatantly obvious to any mother or anyone who has even been around a mother within the past ten years. The Separation part of it might not be so obvious, at least not to a civilian wife. As a military spouse separation is a word that defines your world. Every part of your life is touched by it, shaped by it. Whether it’s being separated from your family who are back the state you think of as “home”, separation from friends you make and lose with every unit change, or the worst of all–separation from your husband as he’s continually gone serving his country, there is always some aspect of it effecting you. This is something that I have struggled with as a military spouse and had a hard time coming to terms with. As I mentioned in my introduction I spent the first 19 years of my life in the same house. Moving and separation from anything or anyone were not a part of my life. All of my extended family on both my mother and father’s sides of the family lived within 15 minutes of us. We were all one big happy family and got together often. I had friends in high school that I’d crawled around the church’s nursery with. Life was a predictable, stable, beautiful thing.
Once I got married all of that changed in an instant. I moved 2,000 miles away from home to a city I’d only been in for a few hours before and where the only soul I knew was my husband. I was separated from everything and everyone I’d ever known. Each place we’ve moved it’s been the same scenario over again, with the past 2 moves being to states I’d never even stepped foot in before. Though we were extremely fortunate to have land units for the first several years of hubbies career his new job requires him to be gone at a moments notice for any amount of time, leaving me stranded in a new place where I barely know anyone with two babies to take care of.
And as a Coast Guard spouse I have it easy in comparison to the spouses in other branches! Look at the above scenario but then add in the year long deployments to Afghanistan that Army wives like my sister-in-law is going through right now as a newlywed or my best friend who also has two babies who just this week was reunited after 14 months apart from her Marine husband.
It can all be a bit overwhelming. One thing I have learned, however, is that this separation can be a good and wonderful thing if you allow it to drive you to God–the one and only one person you will never be separated from. Hebrews 13:5b reminds us that “for he hath said: I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” KJV
As a military spouse you can take that promise and clasp it close to your heart. When you feel that you’re all alone with no one to turn to you can remember that God will never leave you alone, you never have to be lonely or feel seperated as long as he is just a prayer away!
Copyright © Nicole Elliott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved