Home is Behind, the World is Ahead

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As a (retired) military child, this quote has a lot of meaning. The majority of kids growing up in America might move houses a few times, but more than likely won’t move out of the state, let alone the country! But I have lived in over 10 houses, soon to be 5 states, and two countries. I have visited many of the main 48 states, and road tripped across most of them. I’ve been to many major cities: Washington DC (numerous times), St Louis, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento, to name a few. Most of my life so far has been spent in the U.S., but I got to experience living in Europe for three years – in Germany! Germany was amazing. It was such a beautiful country, and it had such rich history! One of our favorite places to visit was a city originally built by Romans. It had bath house ruins, and even a colosseum! We were able to visit Paris (yes, PARIS!) and the Austrian Alps. There are some amazing things about military life, but there are some not so great things as well. All military kids have to be constantly prepared to hear that their daddy or mommy is going to be gone from anywhere between a week and two years. During my dads military career he was deployed a total of over 20 months. And I remember every deployment. Counting TDY’s and training, it’s probably closer to 30 months. That’s a long time, and a lot of kids have had it worse. You can imagine how we fume when other people complain that their dad or husband is leaving on a business trip for three days. Or when movies portray kids that are depressed because they switched neighborhoods and schools for the first and only time in their lives. Military kids have to be prepared to get three months notice that they’re moving to Spain. And it’s rough! You leave behind your church, friends, grandparents, cousins, and even your country! You move into a different culture, a different way of life. A sad military truth is that most of us are scared of making close friends. You might end up being like a sister to someone, and then find out you’re moving to the other side of the world. So instead of going through that heartbreak, you chose not to get close to anyone new. It’s hard to be a part of a community with a mind set like that! But God has given us good friends everywhere we’ve lived, with people we normally wouldn’t’ve been friends with. In Germany I didn’t know many girls my age, but I became friends with girls several years younger than me, and adults, too! I also acquired a pen pal who lived in the States, who is still one of my dearest, dearest friends. We’ve had to leave behind some beautiful homes, but God has always provided a new home to love, and a new place to explore.

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien

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