Honoring Military Wives

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

It was a crisp fall day as I tried to balance my cup of tea and my girl in my arms. I nudged open the door with my foot and dropped my purse on the counter. The trees were in full bloom out my kitchen window which normally brought me such joy, but today everything just felt heavy. Seeing the beautiful trees reminded me of all we would be missing and moments I wanted to share with my husband. My sweet girl was heavy in my arms as she slept and her tears were still wet on her cheek. I slumped onto the coach and thought about what this year would bring and how many milestones her daddy would be missing. As a military wife, I was used to time apart, but this felt much harder since it was the first deployment as a mama.

Comforting my sweet girl and trying to help her navigate this new journey without her Daddy home, made my heart ache. I felt so alone in our new home and wondered how we were going to get through this deployment. The phone interrupted my thoughts. It was my dear friend Dawn on the other line. She was not a military wife, but a friend from church. She called to check on me and, more importantly, to pray for me.

Her call was such a relief to this lonely wife and mama, and her prayers slowly started to lift the burdens from my heart.

I could even feel my daughter relax in my arms. A feeling of peace in the middle of heartbreak swept over us. When we hung up, my girl and I went to the backyard to play in those beautiful leaves. Joy returned.

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. Psalm 29:11 (NIV)

There are so many moments just like this, that I remember God’s peace coming over me in a situation that was anything but peaceful. I know you can think of some too. What relief to know that He can carry us through the storms of our lives. When we are weak, He is strong and we have the perfect gift of prayer to call out to Him and create relationship.

What is your heart heavy with sweet mama? We are walking through a very unprecedented season and together have been through a global pandemic and lockdowns. We have been isolated. I don’t know about you, but I am really missing hugs and smiles.

But, while this season has been one of constant change, one thing has remained and that is our God and the hope He gives us through the gift of His grace.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

The other gift we’ve been given is prayer. It wasn’t until that moment with Dawn, that I truly appreciated just how special it was to have someone pray for me as a mom and help me carry that burden to the Lord. I felt extra special when she prayed for my child.

After that connection, Dawn invited me to link arms with other moms through prayer. She was my first introduction to Moms in Prayer. What a blessing it has been to be part of this ministry, especially during our dozen moves and a lot of change over the years. Once I joined Moms in Prayer, I made sure to find a group before we moved because I knew I was going to need the support.

Prayer became the key to helping me through the chaos of military life and Moms in Prayer became the community that I was already connected to before we moved.

Motherhood can be lonely at times, can’t it? We need community. This is especially true for us military wives. During times of deployment or separation, our community becomes our family.

Throughout this first deployment with our girl, my faith grew as I relied on God and prayed through hard times. As the deployment came to a close, I realized through praying with other moms, we had walked through really hard times together and witnessed victory and hope in the middle of a very difficult season.

At the airport, I remember the excitement of our 3-year-old girl jumping up as she spotted her Daddy. He is 6’2” so could be seen coming down the runway. She dropped my hand, zigzagged between people, and leapt into his arms. What joy we felt as we were reunited. The deployment was another reminder that with God we can do anything.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

How You Can Bless Military Wives/Moms

Veteran’s Day should be a reminder of the sacrifices that our military families make and a time to honor them. Will you join me to surround our military community with the love of Jesus and to show we care.

  • Consider finding a few military families in your community and pray for their specific needs.
  • Invite a military wife to join your Moms in Prayer group if you are part of one. And if you aren’t part of one, ask a military wife to join you and you will have a group because it only takes two moms to come together to pray.
  • Mail a card to a military family to let them know you’re praying for them and include a scripture. You can do this individually or as a group.
  • Have a meal delivered or make a meal for a military spouse, send flowers, give an inspirational book, or leave a thoughtful gift on the doorstep. A lot of military wives are lonely and without family so these small gestures really do go a long way.
  • Offer childcare or a playdate. Have your kids create something for a child whose parent is deployed.
  • Invite them to tea/coffee. Get to know them and spend time with them.

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2 (NASB)

Chantel Mathson serves as the Moms in Prayer International Ministry Development Coordinator and was the Military Families Liaison. She is an inspiring communicator who shares hope and ignites joy in others. Chantel is an International speaker, best-selling author, coach, college professor, military spouse mentor, community builder and tea enthusiast. Her international ministry, Tea With Chantel, helps women follow their God-given purpose, find connection and create community centered on Christ. She shares her heart and home with her husband, three kids and two dogs! Connect with Chantel at:  teawithchantel.com or facebook.com/teawithchantel Instagram.com/teawithchantel MilSpouse community: @ instagram.com/teawithmilitarywives

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