Chaplain Spouse

Facing the Unexpected

by Andrea M

Never in my life did I imagine that I would become a military spouse. When I was younger, I thought certain people were made for things like this and I was certainly not one of them.

My husband joined the U.S. Army Reserves as a chaplain in January of 2018 after 12 years of marriage. We were in a place I don’t think either of us expected, but God in His graciousness led us to it and I suddenly became something I never planned to be: an Army wife.


You can’t plan it. As much as you’d like to, you just can’t. You can try, but I sure haven’t had very good luck at it.

We plan because planning makes us feel safe, as the uncertainty can often be frightening.

Let me tell you a story.

I used to do a lot of traveling for an old job of mine. I was just out of college at the time—young and a bit unsure of life on the road.

I always had a fear of walking into a hotel room that was already occupied by someone. So instead of walking right into a room, I would push the door open and take a quick peek to survey the surrounding area before going any further. It sounds more like I was entering a crime scene than a hotel room. Oh, what the imagination can do.

However, my imagination proved to be true one evening as I lugged all my bags with me (I’ve always been a one-trip girl) up to my room a bit weighed down. But I still found the strength to push that door open and the first thing I saw was a bright light. Then I heard a man yelling profanities at me. I looked in the direction of the voice, and there was a man working on his laptop while sitting on the toilet. Doing his job times two.

That door I had pushed opened seemed to move in slow motion as it shut in front of me. I took a deep breath after the door closed. My hotel fear just happened.

I went down to the hotel desk to tell them that someone else was in that room, and he wasn’t very happy to have me as a visitor. The desk staff apologized profusely and gave me a suite for my trouble.

The Reality

Sometimes our fears come true; things in life we never expected can and do happen. The fear of deployment, loss of friendships, an impending move, starting all over again, death of a loved one, our child adjusting, finding purpose, a sick child, etc. What will we do with those times?

This past summer my husband left for three months to complete CHBOLC. I was scared and I can remember the waves of grief that would come over me as I thought about living life without my best friend next to me, becoming a “single” mom to a special needs child, and balancing all of this with full-time employment.

It was, in a word, overwhelming.

I remember the words of Jesus to His disciples in John 16:33:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus gave His closest buddies a pep talk, some encouraging words for their impending grief. Really, it was some very good news in the face of the difficult news that after three years of walking closely with and teaching His disciples He would leave them to go back to His Father.

Life does not always hand us a hotel upgrade for our troubles like it did for me on that fall afternoon in the New Jersey Best Western. However, Jesus says we can have peace because He has overcome the troubles of this life.

Troubles are inevitable. Yet, whatever pain or grief our hearts will experience in this life, Jesus offers us Himself, His power and presence, to overcome them. Beloved, take this joyfully. Fear doesn’t have to control us.  You and I will make it because Jesus is enough. We will walk through difficult seasons because Jesus is enough.

We will face our fears because Jesus is enough.