No matter what move you are on, whether it be your first or fifteenth, the upheaval that ensues during a military relocation is exhausting. During our recent move (number nine!) I found myself more emotionally affected than our previous moves. I like change and I'm never too burdened by a PCS or TDY move, but this time I struggled to get through it with the right attitude. During the drive to our newest military post, the radio became my comforting companion. Some songs motivated me for this new season of our lives and others left me in tears--the good kind, where you feel better after a needed release. If you're a military spouse, I hope these songs reach into your soul and help you feel like you're not alone on this journey.
1. Move (Keep Walkin') by Toby Mac
On the way to our newest duty station, it felt like everything went wrong-- at the last minute, of course. I was frustrated and discouraged. One of my friends gave me this quote in my moment of despair: “God sends his strongest soldiers into the toughest battles.” The next day as we began our drive across another portion of the country, I heard Toby Mac's song and I knew God was confirming the exact message shared by my friend. I felt completely empowered. I am a soldier in my own right, through Him!
2. Thy Will Be Done by Hillary Scott and The Scott Family
Each one of us desires to have control over our lives, but that’s not possible in the military. We’re told what our spouse's job will be, when they’ll leave us and when we get to see them again (if they come home, that is), when to move, where to go, and so on. It’s defeating at times to feel like you have no control over your life. But that’s when God comes in. We must remember that He is in control and we should desire His will to be done. If he designs for our lives to be moved somewhere new, then we should go with drive and purpose. He wouldn’t allow the military to put us in a place that goes against His will. He is ultimately the one driving our life, not the Armed Forces.
3. God Is On The Move by 7eventh Time Down
Just like us, when God is on the move, the best is yet to come. While making the move to our most recent station, this song came on when I was feeling a little sorry for myself. When my husband and I began dating, he was a cadet at the Unites States Military Academy. I learned right away that his career goal was to become an instructor at West Point, which ultimately meant that he planned to serve for 20 years in the Army. That wasn’t what I envisioned for my life. I wanted our children to grow up with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I wanted to attend our nephews' sports events and I wanted our parents to see our daughter’s dance recitals. I eventually accepted that a life in the military would be my life, but it still wasn’t my perfect plan. But, I’ve since learned that God’s plan is far better than my own, and I know this is His plan for our lives. He wants me to be His missionary in the military. Even though I know this, I wasn’t thrilled to be moving to West Point, three thousand miles away from our families. But then I heard these lyrics and I realized I should be excited to move. I trust that He’s going to do mighty things through us during our time in New York.
4. Just Be Held by Casting Crowns
Think back on past deployments, training exercises, TDY assignments, or command--it's where you learn to be strong! You keep things to yourself so that your spouse can stay focused on battle and keeping himself safe. Or, his hours find him unable to help as you hoped at home. Due to these conditions, we learn to handle things on the homefront, from fixing household objects to mending our children's hearts. All that being strong is wearing! We think we have to the rock for everyone at all times. But, we need to leave room for God to comfort us in our times of weakness. We work hard and we deserve to let Him hold and restore us.
5. Trust In You by Lauren Daigle
When I found out we were being stationed in El Paso a few years back, I was anything but pleased. Who wants to spend years of their life in that desolate place? I went begrudgingly. When we crossed into the city borders the entire town was swarmed in brown dirt as we passed through a dust storm. I was anything but eager for this new season of our lives. Yet, God put us there for His purpose. He doesn’t always reveal His reasoning to us, but I feel like He did this time. While in El Paso I encountered a prayer partner at my church who taught me about true forgiveness. He showed me that God was using a situation in my life to teach me how to love like Christ. Because of this man, in El Paso, I forgave my father and began speaking to him again after months of silence. I didn’t know at that time that my father only had a couple years left to live. In the last years, he got the chance to love my children and I learned to love him well because God sent us to El Paso. Also, during our time there I became involved at a Christ-based pregnancy center, something I had never considered before. The center was outside the doors of our church and the director spoke to the congregation about volunteering. God led me to this ministry and through obedience to this calling, I’ve been able to work with the Lord to save tens and tens of babies that would not otherwise be on this earth. This, all because He sent us to what I jokingly deemed a God-forsaken land. Instead, I learned that city was drenched in His presence.
6. If We're Honest by Francesca Battistelli
As military spouses, we don’t have time for small talk. When we meet someone, we often get into the depths of each other’s lives much quicker than civilians. We know we need new friends to get through the next season, and our short stays at each base don’t allow us to take our time. I encourage us all to be honest, be real, and be genuine from the first encounter. Let’s love our fellow military spouses well during our brief friendships together so that we can stay bonded when we are sent elsewhere.
7. Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace
Despite the ups and downs of this life, we must continue to find joy where He has planted us. There is much to look forward to in this lifestyle (if you look at it in a way that praises His plan for you). There are epic reunions after deployments, you get to travel all over the country (and world), you get extra time with your soldier during moves, you build new friendships at each post, you get to serve God in new capacities, you become stronger and more capable daily. But sometimes those things don’t happen and a certain move might bring you to your knees. That happened to me during one of our moves. I couldn’t find a job, I only met one friend, my marriage went through its first real test, and I felt utterly alone. As always, God used those circumstances for good. During that time, I drew desperately closer to Christ because I felt like I had no one else. My relationship with Him is thriving and it all began with that time in the darkness. No matter where you are in your journey, it’s a “beautiful day.”
8. If We're Honest by Francesca Battistelli
It's easy to feel plastered in the background as a military spouse. Your soldier is the one who wears the uniform. Your soldier is the who is welcomed home with a ceremony. Your soldier is the one who receives the medals. Your soldier is the one others thank for service. Sometimes I wish people would recognize MY service in this field. However, we are not here to be praised. We are here to support our spouses and run our homes (no matter where they are) to God’s glory. Even when we feel left out of the spotlight, God knows each of our names and he loves us infinitely. He sees the late nights we stay up planning moves, He knows the fatigue of our souls, He hears us gently preparing our children for a new life somewhere unknown, and He comforts our aching hearts as we leave behind our friends, our family, our jobs, our churches, our ministries…again.
9. Come To The River by Rhett Walker Band
As a believer in Christ, I don’t know how I’d make it in this lifestyle without Him. I imagine I’d often find myself unhappy, ungrateful, and bitter. However, since I know God has a plan for my life and I know He plants me in different places for a purpose and He only allows situations to work together for my good, I am able to find peace in the place of uncertainty. I am able to trust Him with my life and move forward with His plan as He speaks to me. If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, I urge you to call on Him and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. God’s Word promises that He will show Himself to those who sincerely seek. And let me tell you, your life will change in glorious ways you could never fathom!
10. The God I Know by Love & The Outcome
If you are a Christian military spouse, I want to challenge you to see each new post as a chance to spread the Gospel. If we lead our lives in a way that glorifies God, the people we meet will see the difference. They’ll desire the love and peace we demonstrate, and God-willing, we’ll get an opportunity to share Christ. Or, we’ll plant a seed that God will water. View your life as that of a missionary. God is sending you out into different parts of the world to share His message. Can you imagine what we could do for His Kingdom if we united together in sharing the Gospel wherever He placed us? “ Matthew 28: 18 gives us this command: "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
Let's keep this list growing! Leave a comment with the songs that are inspiring you this summer (and maybe even share the story behind why each song moves you).