*This is the first of the Modern-Day Camp Follower Blog Series. These women have found their calling as military wives and are blazing a trail – leaving a legacy – of grace and faith in their path. They are women who have challenged and inspired me. God has used them each to mold me into more of what He would have me to be. This is Barbara:
“My car was no kidding packed with boxes when our friends introduced us.” My goodness the adventure God takes us on! Six months after this introduction, my friend Barbara married her best friend and became a military spouse.
Her plan? To be a microbiologist and work for the CDC or World Health Organization as an Air Force Officer. Eight years later, God’s plan has brought her to the wonderful roles of wife, mom, volunteer and student. Additionally, Barbara has some wonderful Korean heritage and carries the roles of daughter and oldest sister as well. (She also makes yummy food!)
Crazy where life takes us sometimes, but God has used Barbara in wonderful ways. She has a compassion that is not found in many. Her heart knows how to love with grace. She would even tell you that one of her favorite things about military life is meeting new people. Not in a “jump into the crowd” kind of way, but the sitting down to “hear what grows in their hearts.” Her heart reaches out and feels like it wraps around you.
Barbara has come to love military life – she and Nick always look forward to new places and new adventures. Wisely, she pointed out that the second month after you move is many times the hardest. All the stuff is put away and now you start to remember the friends you left behind and the friends you have yet to make. It is this moment that you realize you are starting over again – not anyone’s favorite thing. Through these moves, she has learned to be thankful for skype and telephones that reach across thousands of miles. These moments alone also draw us closer to our Savior because sometimes He is the only one to talk to – a wonderful benefit to this life.
What else has she learned over the years?
1. Find a church or group of women to grow and worship with.
2. Learn to be content in the adventure God chose for you.
3. Aim everyday to display your thankfulness to God for the gifts He has given.
4. Hardships are opportunities God gives for spiritual growth.
5. Cherish every moment you have to interact with your family, friends and strangers!
6. Pray and Listen to what He has to say!
Like many of us, Barbara still struggles with that crazy question of what is God calling me to do in this life. She has come to the conclusion that she will just wake up every day and do what He called her to for that day. Ministering to her family and having a gift of compassion for people, Barbara never lacks a place to serve. Losing her father when she was young and walking through multiple miscarriages as an adult, she has had her challenges, but God has showered her with His mercy and she has learned to love others differently and better because of these things. Taking the experiences of life and using them to love others – just what God called us to do.
Barbara is certainly the picture of loving with grace to me from the moment I met her. Sitting next to her, you just feel loved. Do you have someone like this in your life? Someone who has a gift of compassion that has learned to see others as Christ does and love them just that way?
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).