This post is likely to open a proverbial can of worms. I’m okay with that.
Growing up in Cold War America meant a few things. It meant fear of nukes and “commies” and it meant that every voice of influence in my life (church, school, and family) reinforced the idea that America was the greatest nation on planet Earth. It meant that I entered adulthood with the idea that America’s founding fathers were the most brilliant of men and that the form of government they designed must have been crafted just as God intended every government to be crafted.
In 1994, at the ripe old age of 22, I married a young Army officer. I’m sure you can guess how privileged I felt to have a man committed to serving the greatest nation on the planet slip a ring on my finger and ask me to serve this nation by his side.
Nearly twenty years later, I still feel privileged to do life with him.
Right now, America is on day eight of a government shutdown. It’s ridiculous and frustrating. But for me, it’s not surprising.
Three weeks ago, a mentally ill man opened fire twelve miles from my house and killed twelve people at the Washington Navy Yard. The Navy was notified a month before that he was mentally unstable. Nothing was done to stop him. I’m not surprised.
Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”ESV This is the first of the ten commandments. It came straight from God. I’m pretty sure He was including putting patriotism before Him.
December 3, 2011, rocked my world. After seventeen and a half years of honorably serving this country, my husband was betrayed.
He had been serving at the Pentagon as an acquisitions adviser on Army staff. The details of his job were classified and while he could not tell me the details of what he worked on, he did often share with me how disgusted he was with the corruption he witnessed. I watched as my very black and white husband wore the daily stress of doing a very gray job. In July of 2011, that stress landed him in the hospital. From July until that fateful day in December, we prayed for God to deliver him from that position.
After two weeks of leave (vacation), my dear hubby returned to work and found post-it notes telling him to not turn on his computers and to see the General. An hour later he called me from his cell-phone that he was not allowed to carry into his office. Puzzled by the number on caller id, I answered the phone and said, “What are you doing calling me from your cell phone? Did you get fired?” I then laughed when he solemnly replied, “Yes.”
Within seconds I knew that he was serious and after hearing the details of him being escorted by guards from the Pentagon, I began to grasp the severity of the situation. I immediately suspected what had led to the situation. While I wasn’t privy to all the details of the programs he worked on, he shared details of personal interactions. I knew that there had been conflict. He had refused to participate in something wrong and pissed off the wrong people. In order to continue doing that wrong thing, said people made accusations against my husband that insured he would be removed from his job while the accusations were being investigated.
Here’s the reason why the government shutdown and the lack of action to prevent the Navy Yard shooting do not surprise me. That humiliating, traumatizing day in my husband’s career happened nearly two years ago. As of this very moment he has never been told what he’s accused of or who did the accusing. He has been charged with nothing, and therefore he has been convicted of nothing. Yet, he has sat at home with our family for the last 22+ months and watched as his peers have been selected for promotion to Colonel and served as battalion commanders. He has wept and paced the house after the battalion command he was selected for was taken away from him before he ever occupied it. He has questioned every detail of the essence of who he is as a soldier and as a person. No one can tell him when this “timeout” will end or even that something is being done to move the investigation forward.
There is absolutely nothing our government can do/will do/has done that will surprise me. Feel free to read that statement twice.
The last two years have hurt. There HAVE been many blessings in the midst of this fire. Nonetheless, it has hurt. I wake every day and pray will be exhonerated. I bite off each moment of the day and chew on it while trying really hard to not think about the possibilities of what could come. I read God’s Word and I remind myself again that my faith can only be in Him.
In this waiting I’ve had to ask myself some weighty questions. If you’ve read this far, maybe you should do the same…
Does your faith lie in the American government? Do you spend more time proselytizing a political agenda than Jesus’ agenda? Has your faith been misplaced?
Psalm 62:1-2, 5-9ESV
1 For God alone I patiently wait;
he is the one who delivers me.
2 He alone is my protector and deliverer.
He is my refuge; I will not be upended.
5 Patiently wait for God alone, my soul!
For he is the one who gives me confidence.
6 He alone is my protector and deliverer.
He is my refuge; I will not be upended.
7 God delivers me and exalts me;
God is my strong protector and my shelter.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people!
Pour out your hearts before him!
God is our shelter!
9 Men are nothing but a mere breath;
human beings are unreliable.
When they are weighed in the scales,
all of them together are lighter than air.
America was founded by men. They were great men, but they were still just men. I can honestly say that I’ve known a lot of great men and women in my life. I’d even go as far as to say I’ve known men and women as great as our founding fathers. But you know what? They were still human… flawed, sometimes honest, sometimes not, sometimes reliable, sometimes not, sometimes mean, sometimes nice… human.
I’m still proud to be an American. But you know what? I’m choosing to place my faith in God alone.