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Inspiration

How to Cope When Someone You Care About Joins the Military, By PI Girl Kelley

Last May, my best friend Matt made the decision to join the Air Force and attend a military academy in Marion, Alabama. We had been friends for almost three and a half years at that point, and it was such a shock to me when I found out about this, especially since he was planning to go to CU Boulder (which is where I am), and I would get to continue to spend time with him as we had been doing for years. Needless to say, I was not very happy with God at this point in my life.

So, lovely ladies, I want to share this experience with you because I know a lot of us have people we care about decide to join the military (friends, family, etc.), and it’s usually really hard to deal with at first. Hopefully, if any of you are experiencing this, or will experience it in the future, my story will help you learn how to handle it without ever losing your faith.

My biggest problem at first was that I couldn’t understand how he (or God) could do this to me, because, quite honestly, I was really beginning to fall for him. But as time went on, and as we talked about it day in and day out, I realized that this was a somewhat selfish notion. Nobody was out to get me, and God has his own plan for Matt that has nothing to do with trying to ruin my life or taking my best friend away from me. And quite honestly, the distance has made us better friends than ever as we continue to stay in touch and share stories of our now very different lifestyles. It took a little while to get used to not talking every day, but the time constraint just made every conversation all the more special.

Distance doesn’t have to mean that you’re never allowed to see your loved ones again. Remember that no matter how much you miss somebody, God will get you through it. It may hinder your relationship at first, but in the long run, if you choose to stay in touch, it will bring you closer, because you both will have to make an effort to reach out to each other. Skype, email, phone calls and even letters are amazing communication tools for those far away from you. God’s plan for your loved one to join the military won’t be easy for either one of you, and can be a real test of faith (it sure was for me!).

Now, I have grown closer to Matt, and closer to God, because through struggle, He has allowed our friendship to grow. I’ve moved away from a lot of best friends (and vice versa), but this one was special, and I still miss him daily, even though we’ve been apart since August. Ladies, allow God to work in your lives even in hard times, because these are the times that he grows us the most. Of course this applies to any long-distance friendship or relationship, but the military ones are always the hardest because you have to entrust their safety to God and no one else.

My biggest piece of advice is to pick something to focus on. For me, it was school and work. I am a freshman at CU Boulder and had a brand-new job at Cabela’s that I loved (and still do), and that focus really helped me through the first couple of months. Besides that, pray (a lot!), read your Bible, join a youth group and don’t be afraid to admit how you feel. Talking to people can go a long way toward cheering you up! Making new friends doesn’t mean you have to replace your old ones, but it can help fill the gap. And then just try to stay in touch as much as you can. Matt and I made a deal to try to talk on the phone about once a week, and we also occasionally exchange texts and emails when time allows.

To end on a happy note, I will get to see him over Christmas break, and I am SO excited! It will be hard in January when he leaves again, and I know I won’t get to see him for a few months, but now I know that my true inner strength comes from God, and that with Him, I can handle anything, and so can you!

Written by PI Girl Kelley

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Image: iStockphoto | ThinkStock

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10 Comments

  1. ChloeJones

    Posted by ChloeJones on May 25, 2017 at 17:04

    Thank you so much. My boyfriend is in a military cadet program currently and will be joining the military in about 2 years. While I am so proud of him and know that is God’s calling on his life to serve for a while, it’s still hard and frankly, very (A LOT lol) scary! I always try to focus on doing other things I may not do when we’re together (catch up on reading and homework, listen to music he doesn’t like much, write letters). It’s very difficult to know that I may one day lose my best friend in the world, but I always pray for him and trust God will take care of him as He promises in the Bible.
    Speaking of which, any military girlfriends or wives out there? I’d love to hear from you– we’re kind of on the same boat! <3

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Emquinn on January 31, 2014 at 05:59

    My brother left for the Navy Reserves, and I STILL can’t get over it!

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by GodsSoldierGirl on December 27, 2013 at 18:26

    My grandfather served in the Korean war and when he was over seas no one knew where he was and my father was in the Army and was deployed when I was six, thankfully the boat that was supposed to take him overseas was late so he didn’t have to go. Having some one you love and care about join the military is very hard on both you and them.
    Currently a guy friend of mine and my best friend’s boyfriend are both in the Army one is still in AIT and the other is training to be a Green Beret. It’s hard because, we don’t get to talk as much as we used to and get to see each other a lot either. It takes a lot of patience on both ends. Believe me it does.

  4. supergirl55

    Posted by supergirl55 on December 19, 2013 at 11:38

    I need to know how to cope when someone I love doesn’t want ME to join the military!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by GodsSoldierGirl on December 27, 2013 at 18:19

      If God wants you to join the military then you need to follow Him. Sit down with the person and talk to them about it. Tell them why you want to join and that you know that they’re worried about you, but that God’s got your back and He’ll never let you down.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by on December 11, 2013 at 08:35

    Thank you for posting this article Kelley! I have a friend who’s boyfriend is in the military and I will make sure to show this to her. I understand what you have gone through by seeing my friend. Have fun seeing your friend Kelley, and tell him thanks for his service. GOD BLESS ALL OF OUR MEN/WOMEN IN UNIFORM. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR US.

  6. Paris

    Posted by Paris on December 10, 2013 at 15:20

    My uncle was in the army,and I was scared for him because as soon as his plane landed,it was attacked. He has had to kill people and that made me worry about his mental safety because he doesn’t talk about it. Now,he’s out of the army and he has no mental health issues. That’s what prayer does!

  7. Lilian121

    Posted by Lilian121 on December 10, 2013 at 11:20

    When my cousin was deployed for 10 months I was living in fear everyday. I would always sleep with my phone in case I were to get a midnight phone call from my aunt or my cousins wife. Now he is home safe and is such a great father to his girls and I couldn’t b happier.

  8. TrustingThroughTrials

    Posted by TrustingThroughTrials on December 8, 2013 at 15:16

    Thanks for that, it is so true. I have gone through several situations with very special people leaving me, and its been hard. It hasn’t yet been to the military, but it is something that could happen. The parts that touched me most were how you said that you wondered how God could do that to you. I struggled with that one so much, and it took a long time to get over. And I also like how you said to look for something to be thankful for through the pain of missing them, that is still something I need to start doing, thanks for writing this!

  9. endlessfaith66

    Posted by endlessfaith66 on December 8, 2013 at 09:39

    Very, very truthful and touching words Kelley! Thanks so much for sharing! (: Really touched my heart today. I think I needed to read these words, and God meant for me to find them through your story <3 xoxo, Blessings to you (: