Several people have asked me to share more about my thoughts on my husband being a chaplain so I thought I'd post two of my old journal entries that I now treasure.
9:00 AM Tuesday, October 17, 2006:
We're at a chaplain and wife's retreat. The BGCT invited us, even though we are just exploring what we feel the Lord is speaking to us. I have about three hours to myself while Kevin is being certified in a marriage counseling class, so I'm about to head out to this little pond that has a gazebo in the middle of it to spend time with the Lord. It's so peaceful and sits just about 30 steps outside our hotel room.
We are having a really good time. We met a couple that is going into the army in January. They are really nice and it's been good to get to talk to others who feel the same type of calling on their lives. I can't help but wonder if we will end up on the same base some day...
Last night was totally a God-thing. The man who was going to speak didn't show up! It was so funny...he had it on his calendar for next Monday and Tuesday. After we all laughed about it for a good while, one of the men in charge said, "Well...does anyone have this burning desire to preach, or share what God has been doing in your life?" To which one chaplain replied, "I just got back from Iraq and would love to share about that - I even have pictures!" I told Bobby, the one who has been working so closely with us, that it wasn't an accident the preacher didn't show up - God had something else he wanted Kevin and I to hear!
Before leaving for the worship service, I laid down on the bed in our hotel room and began to pray. I asked the Lord to show us more of his plan, to lead and guide and reveal more of himself to us. As this chaplain spoke, and showed us pictures of how he ministered to the men in his camp (picture after picture of him sharing the gospel with them, baptizing them, and pictures of their chapel -which was an old train on the outside but benches full of men on the inside, and pictures of outside chapels in the middle of the night because that was the only time these men could have church) I was completely overwhelmed by God's still small voice that said so softly to me, "This is what it's all about."
Then, other men shared of their experiences, one in which I will never forget. He told of a Muslim family (a mom and her daughter and her baby boy) that had been shot and how he was in the hospital ministering to people when this family came in. The mother couldn't hold the baby - who was fine - because she was injured, and the sister couldn't either because she had been injured, but all he could think was he needed to pick up this crying baby. So, he motioned to the mom, asking her with his body language if he could pick her baby up. She motioned back yes, so he walked around the hospital, bouncing the baby until he fell asleep, and then continued to minister to other people with this baby asleep on his shoulder. He said he just couldn't put him down.
He said it hit him that here he was, an American, Christian chaplain, holding a baby from a Muslim family, wondering if one day that child would know that when he was a baby his family was injured in a war and an American, Christian chaplain picked him up and cared for him. We never know the impact we could be having on others - just by showing love to them...Christ's love which compels us to do things we would never think about doing ourselves. Touching people in the midst of their pain in ways that we cannot do if we aren't faithful to do whatever it is God calls us to do.
I am in awe of God's power this morning. I know that no matter what...if he calls us to go this route, or if he tells us to stay, we are going to be faithful to whatever HE leads us to do. I don't know what the future holds for us, but I am excited about the possibilities!
We've seen growth at New Life, and we've experienced wonderful things with this body of believers, and whatever God's will is for us is okay. I felt God had begun to bend our hearts to this crazy idea, but I also told Kevin it's not about where we go or what we are doing because it's not about US, it's about HIM (God)! He agreed! God is good and I just praise Him for this opportunity to experience Him in a new way this week.
4:30 PM Tuesday, October 17, 2006:
God has a real sense of humor! When I was spending time with him, out at the pond this morning, I ended up in 2 Corinthians and I just laughed out loud when I read 2 Corinthians 5:13 where Paul said, "If we are out of our minds, it's for the sake of God..." I told Kevin about it later and said, "I'm going to make that my motto for this whole adventure! When someone doesn't understand why in the world we would do this, I can just reply with scripture!"