by Erin Kent
I love my Marine Corps family! I’ll shout it from the rooftops. I am beyond thankful that in the line of duty my husband serves, we members of the “Silent Ranks” can band together as a support system when the going gets tough. As military members, we have been blessed with the opportunity to enjoy two families during our lifetime; both our God-given, blood family and our “government-issued” family, who we share the bloodline of the fallen with.
Even though my husband and I have moved on to a B-Billet, away from our home in North Carolina and my husband’s first duty station, the military family that we built while on the East Coast has remained. Many friends have come and gone throughout my lifetime, but I know that no matter where I am, if I need a helping hand, a word of encouragement or even a good reprimanding, my fellow military wives are where it’s at! We share something that many Civilians may never understand. We are sisters. We are family.
I can’t help but think of “The Family of God” when I reminisce about the welcoming that I received upon marrying my husband. Isn’t that how God is?
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are members of God’s family.” Ephesians 2:19
How wonderful! Upon our decision to accept Christ Jesus in our lives, He openly welcomes us into His family. We have no immediate relation to Him. His Son, Jesus Christ, is the direct bloodline. We admit our need for salvation, believe Christ died on the cross for our sins and then confess our sins before our Heavenly Father and we’re accepted! No matter what we’ve done, no matter where we’ve been; we become a family member.
I remember feeling dismayed and absolutely scared to death when I learned that only a mere two months after Pat and I wed, he would deploy to Afghanistan to play his part in “Operation Enduring Freedom.” Sure, he had deployed before, but this was different; he was now married to me. This was my first deployment.
Patrick’s time for deployment was swiftly approaching and with each passing day, my nerves wreaked havoc on my body, causing me to lose my appetite and control of my emotions. I remember sitting in the living room floor, crying, as my husband packed his bags. With each check on his packing list, the realization of his departure became clearer to me.
It was my Marine Corps family who pushed me through this and helped me muster the strength, before his departure, to become the confident, supportive wife on the home front that I needed to be. One of my military sisters played a huge role in this.
Allison’s husband had left with the “Advanced Party” and had been “in country” for a few weeks at the time of Patrick’s departure. Had it not been for her acceptance of me and her encouragement that everything would be just fine, I’m not sure I could have taken on the role of independence that I needed to.
Without even knowing me personally, without understanding my background, knowing if I was trustworthy or if we even had anything in common, I was accepted into Allison’s Marine Corps family. Here she was, a wife, with a one year old and another on the way, who had just bid farewell to her own husband, encouraging me! I can’t express how grateful I was for her companionship.
We endured that deployment together, sharing many laughs and tears together. Recruiting Duty and new orders have taken us in different directions, but one thing is for certain, we share a lifelong bond. To this day we remain in contact.
The Family of God is so similar. No matter where I go, I am able to identify those who are affiliated with Christ. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been approached by strangers and asked the question, “Are you a Christian?” How do they know? It’s just something we share; a love for Christ.
Have you been welcomed into God’s family? Maybe you have lovingly accepted your military family and enjoy the warm welcome that’s been extended to you, but you still know something is missing. Just like you and your military sisters share a love for your husbands and your country, sisters in Christ share a love for their Heavenly Father. How wonderful to know that not only am I a part of my blood family and military family, but I’m also a part of The Family of God! Will you trust Him today? Will you allow Him to welcome you into His family?
I’m so glad I’m a part
of the family of God-
I’ve been washed in the fountain,
cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus
as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
the family of God.
About the Author:
My name is Erin Kent. My husband is in his second enlistment and seventh year with the Marine Corps. I am currently completing a degree in Radiography/Sonography, and I have around a year left before I graduate. We live in Clarksville, TN. I am the daughter of a pastor and I was raised singing and playing the piano in church. I was saved and established a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at a young age but re-dedicated my life when I was around thirteen years old. We currently have no children but plan to build a family soon after recruiting duty. We have one “fur-child”, Theodore. Visit my blog at Dog-tags and Pearls, and stay connected with me through my Dog-tags and Pearls Facebook community.