People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
- Amish proverb
We didn’t come from a military family. Having a son who chose the Marine Corps over college left me confused, feeling as if I had nowhere to turn. But God had a plan.
My husband and I were members of a large Sunday school class. It had grown so much there was no longer a room big enough to contain us all. So the church asked us to form two classes. The leaders made the announcement, and all the members were asked to pray about which class to join. I added that request to my prayer list but didn’t give it much thought, certain we’d stay with the original class. I knew we’d need the support of close friends because Jimmy had just enlisted and was due to leave for boot camp in just a few weeks.
On the day the new classes began, I was shocked to realize God wanted me in the other class. I hoped my husband would overrule my feelings but soon learned he felt the same way. I was nervous going to that new class. I didn’t know the teachers, except by sight, and wasn’t close friends with any of the other class members.
Our new teacher began the class by introducing himself and his wife. He gave a little background on their family.
That was when I knew we were in the right place.
Their son had gone into the military right out of high school as well, and was in his last year of active service. God had moved us into the company of a couple who knew exactly what we were facing. This wonderful couple was able to encourage and empathize with all our struggles because they had been where we were.
Their friendship has proved invaluable through our son’s time in the military and well beyond. God’s provision at this time in our lives also served as a reminder that he always provides what we need when we need it. I knew he would do the same thing in our son’s life, and that gave me a sense of peace during the coming years.
Edie Melson is a leading professional in the publishing industry. She also knows what it’s like to send a loved one off to war. Her oldest son went from high school graduation, to Marine Corp boot camp, to Iraq; where he served two tours fighting on the front lines as an infantry Marine. Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, is Edie’s heart project. Look for her two newest books for military families debuting in 2014: While My Son Serves and While My Husband Serves. You can also connect with Edie on Twitter and Facebook.