Beyond Fear–Finding Pride and Peace

Military moms experience a wave of emotions when their children enlist. Here are a few.

Posted in , Sep 11, 2017

Proud military family

As parents, we dream of the lives our children will live as adults. We do our best to equip them as they learn to stand on their own—literally and figuratively. We also strive to protect them from the worst parts of the reality of living in our world today. I still remembered the day that I realized I wouldn’t always be able to protect my son. 

He was still in high school when he made the decision to enlist in the military. At first I couldn’t see past the fear in my soul at what that kind of choice could require of him. But as I slowly got used to the idea, other emotions came to the forefront of my heart.

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The first to make its way past the terror was pride. My son’s selfless act of being willing to serve in the military overwhelmed me. When I was in high school, selflessness wasn’t really part of who I was.

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The second emotion to surface—surprisingly—was peace. Even as I prayed God would change my son’s mind, the peace that passes all understanding invaded my soul. I could almost hear God’s voice promising to protect him and assuring me that no matter what he faced, he’d never walk alone.

The third emotion was protectiveness. This was another surprise. But you see, when he began to tell others about his decision, he was met with a lot of negativity. I was even approached by one mother who told me she was forbidding her child to see my son. Her reason? She didn’t want her son to ever think that was a legitimate option for a young man his age. “I have more important plans for him instead of wasting him as a moving target.” Yep, ouch.

There were other emotions that flitted through those weeks before he left for boot camp: joy, sadness, admiration, regret. My emotions were as changeable as the waves washing up on the beach. Some crashing, some gently lapping at my mind. 

Somewhere in your community is a mother who is right now experiencing all this as her child decides that military service is the right path. I encourage you to seek out this mom. Spend time letting her process all that’s going through her mind. Give her support and assure her about all God’s promises as her precious baby heads off to serve. Not only will you be supporting her, but it’s one of the best ways to support those who are serving. 

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