I just passed my 10 year anniversary in the U.S. Coast Guard. I am a Health Services Technician (aka Corpsman), 1st Class Petty Officer. I have been stationed at five units so far. I’ve been in the state of Washington, California (training only), Texas, North Carolina, and now Connecticut. At this point in our lives, we are planning on doing at least 10 more years in the Coast Guard which then makes me eligible for Military Retirement. Each assignment is between 3-4 years in length, on average. Which means we could move at least 3 more times, maybe more!
For those who know me, I dislike change very much. I told my wife when we first got married “I hate change and we are never moving out of Southern California.” LOL. Now look at me. We keep getting farther from California with each transfer. Because we moved several times when I was growing up, I really don’t like change or moving. So much so, that my wife and I moved seven times in the first three and half years of our marriage and I changed jobs 3 times. WAIT? I know what you’re thinking. I thought you hated change! YEP. And yet we found ourselves thinking that the next place would be the “One”. We have moved seven times in the last 10 years since joining the Coast Guard. At least moving regularly in the military is expected . But in the first years we kept saying that we had faith God had a plan for our life, but we really didn’t do much to try and find out what that was. We just kept bouncing from place to place, trying to find something better, but we weren’t sure what that “something” was. We had no plan or direction for our life.
Then, after a lot of praying and seeking wise counsel from family and friends, we felt lead to join the Coast Guard. Here, I could pursue a career and it would allow my wife to stay at home once we started having kids. Well, there have been some bumps along the way but I can honestly look back at these last 10 years and say that they have been the best years of my life. My marriage has been strengthened beyond belief, we have three beautiful children, and our finances are in better shape than they’ve ever been in 13 years of marriage. I’ve learned so much more about myself. I’ve grown in my spiritual life and my self-confidence has increased a bunch. And yet, I still have a long way to go. I’m a work in progress.
So with all that, what’s the number one lesson I’ve learned? WAIT FOR IT… It’s going to be ground breaking… It’s that faith isn’t always easy. In fact, most of the time it’s hard. And for me, it’s the fear of the unknown and of failing that paralyze me from taking chances. From stepping out in faith and trying something new (like blogging maybe)! Fear of change. But what I’ve found throughout the years is that if I had all the answers before I started something, then I wouldn’t be acting on faith now would I? Will every situation turn out the way you expect it to? Hardly. But if you equip yourself with God’s word, wise people around you, and seek counsel from your spouse (Proverbs 31:10), then I believe God will bless you in ways you never thought possible. I’m so excited about next 10 years of my life. It’s an on-going adventure. Bring it on!
Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (NIV)