Revelation 3:8 “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.
This morning the Army prosecutor told our attorney that we would receive a letter in the mail telling us the final decision made after yesterday’s meeting. We were frustrated and disappointed that the waiting would continue. But we resolved to wait expectantly.
This morning we also busied ourselves preparing to send our oldest son off to college. He is attending LSU and this Mama’s heart is still coming to terms with the fact that he has chosen a school (my school) that is more than 1200 miles away from home. But God opened the door and I honestly could not be prouder. As we packed, and hugged, and cried, it was easy to push the thoughts of waiting on the General’s decision to the back of my mind. I had much more important things to think about. Like hugging and crying.
In the middle of yesterday’s events, my husband signed out on leave so that he could take our son to college. The plan was for all three of my boys to be on the road just after lunch so that they could make it to Charlotte, NC in time for dinner at Nana’s house. As with everything else in our lives, the day did not go as planned. To start with, our dear Sofija hasn’t slept through the night since Saturday. That means her Tata and I haven’t slept through the night either. We’re walking zombies at this point. Adding to our slow motion delays, our precious man-child had a few things he wanted to do before leaving. Since one of those things was a date with his Mama, we obliged him.
By the time all of the packing and hugging and crying were as done as we could handle, it was after 3pm. I picked up Sofija from school and hurried back for one last hug and a few more tears. As I walked in the door I could hear my dear husband’s not-so-happy voice from the back of the house. His battalion commander (they’re the same rank) had someone in the office call and ask him to come in at 4:30pm to formally receive the final decision. After a little moaning and groaning over the inconvenience of having to put on a uniform and drive to Ft. Myer, while on leave, when he was planning to be on the road going the opposite direction several hours earlier, we stopped and prayed. As requested, he changed into his uniform and reported to his office.
It did not go as we’d hoped, but it’s over. With ZERO evidence to substantiate the claims, he has a letter stating that he was accused of conspiracy and bribery in his permanent military record. When he returns from getting our son off to college, he will request a meeting the General and ask him why, after all that transpired in yesterday’s meeting, he decided to initial the box this morning placing the letter in his permanent military record.
I have to rant for a minute. If there had been evidence to substantiate the claims he would be in prison. Conspiracy and bribery are both not only court-martial offenses under the UCMJ, but they are criminal offenses. They are NOT the kind of offenses that are handled with a letter of reprimand. But today’s Army is NOT the Army my husband pledged to serve in as a teenager. In less than two years they have to reduce the size of the Army by 40,000 soldiers. In order to cut all those soldiers, the Department of Defense has declared a War on Warriors. My husband’s career is now a casualty of that war.
The door is closed.
One specific thing that we pray repeatedly in our home is, “God, make clear the doors YOU’VE opened and keep us away from the doors you’ve closed.” God has clearly closed the door on my husband’s military career.
Ten days ago I sat around a friend’s kitchen table with a group of girlfriends. As I told them the background and caught them up on this story one of them asked, “So what are the possible outcomes?” I told her that what happened today was the worst case scenario. She then asked what my husband’s dreams are beyond the military. After I shared one of them she said, “Soooo, worst case scenario…. He has to chase his dreams.”
Life after the Army will come quickly. Chasing dreams and seeking out the doors that God has opened will replace the waiting. But the expecting will never end. Everything is being worked together for our good. God’s goodness… in the land of the living.
My heart aches for the amazing man-child I will not hug for the next few months as he launches out into this world. My heart aches for the amazingly good man I love who has put on a uniform every day since he was fourteen years old. My heart also leaps with anticipation for all that God has planned for both of them and gratitude for the fact that I’ve been entrusted to love them.
Psalm 30:5 … Weeping may remain for a night. But joy comes in the morning.