Are you afraid?
So am I.
I’m afraid of the fact that we live in a time where truth belongs to the highest bidder.
I’m more afraid of the fact that most of us know this, but we still let headlines and sensational news get the best of our emotions.
And I’m afraid of the stock we put in our emotions, because increased emotions generally means decrease in good judgement and reason.
I’m afraid of our hopelessness, the type that comes from believing nobody is doing anything.
Because even in our hopelessness, my husband still suits up, willing to put his life on the line.
Because in all areas of desperation, there are nameless people gritting their teeth and fighting the clock to reverse unspeakable pain.
And in scary times I admire him, his sense of dedication and leadership, but sometimes I’m afraid of what the suit means.
The suit means that despite any fear we are feeling about the world around us, opposition is coming for the women and men in the suits first. My husband is one among them.
Anything scary in the world will touch our life, long before it touches yours.
And I’ll be honest, sometimes I wonder to myself whether or not the people of our nation are worth him putting the suit on, when I see so frequently the use of free speech to slander those in service, to complain about life’s circumstances without taking action, and when most of the people reap (even demand) the rewards of freedom that they may have done nothing to earn or protect.
Our demand for freedom is paid for in the bloodshed of those who put the suit on, but my God I pray it’s not my husbands bloodshed, but I also know what freedom costs, and there’s a good chance it won’t be your blood, sweet reader.
It won’t be mine either.
I’d love to live in a time where freedom and bloodshed weren’t synonymous, but that’s not where we are today, and we won’t be there tomorrow either.
And sometimes sweet reader, that makes me resentful, because you read my words and you watch our life unfold and you add us to your prayer lists but then so many of you continue to go about your day talking about how nobody is doing anything.
And that makes me upset.
But then I remember that freedom of speech and freedom of choice let’s me write this to you today.
I remember all the good our people are doing as a result of having freedom, so I do the laundry and make sure the suit is ready for another day.
My God, in the times I am fearful I really hope that you are using your freedom well. I know not everyone is called to serve, but my God I hope if you are not serving your country, you are using your time and abilities to improve the lives of others in some way or another.
Because I hate fear.
And I hate laundry.
But someone’s got to do both.
At least until the scary things are conquered.
Sweet reader, everyday, especially on days like today, I worry that the call will come and my husband will leave, and I will sit and worry, and the world will unfold as it will, and my husband will defend your right to say that nobody is doing anything.
And that lack of awareness makes me resentful.
It makes me resentful because my husband misses his mom.
And I miss mine.
But we choose this life anyway.
Over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong, we love this life deeply most days out of the week.
But we are here taking beautiful travel pictures and loving our life while so many of you forget the first reason we are here, is because we are here for you.
And though I know what we both signed up for, I pray to God every night that despite the madness, neither of us have to do what we are called to do.
My husband to put his suit on.
Me to keep up the home front, to conduct my research and write my papers and keep up the laundry while I worry and wait, wait and worry…for days on end.
And I’m afraid of the part of myself that hopes that if people are taken to war, that the husbands of the wives down the block go first.
This is the deepest human admission I can make and my god I hate to speak my selfishness out loud…but so do the rest of the spouses.
But the truth is, we cannot all pray for others to do what we cannot, because then we all will have to do it.
So we must say thank you.
We want to be on your prayer lists, but while we sit on your prayers lists, we also want to be standing beside you.
I’m also afraid of what we do with uncertain information.
Let me be very clear, as a/n (nearly) expert in policy, it’s extremely difficult to govern cyber warfare.
And our media is about to get flooded with information chaos, propaganda designed to make us believe our own people are against us.
Disturbing the peace of a nations people, creating terror and pitting people against each other is an unlegislated, and highly effective tactic in times of national and international disturbance.
I’m afraid we aren’t going to be responsible consumers of information, careful to question before we believe and promote.
I’m afraid when we do that, my mother-in-law will be stricken with unnecessary stress and heartache.
I’m afraid of the facts we so easily forget.
So many of you are reading news headlines that US forces are under attack this week, forgetting this is a fresh headline, with a story that has been on rerun every week for the last decade.
We forget we have been under attack for years.
This isn’t new.
It’s just revived coverage given the nature of the current climate.
Sometimes I feel afraid for today.
Sometimes I feel afraid for tomorrow.
So instead I hold my husband tight, and I take my fear up with my God.
I pray like hell for you even when I’m afraid of what you will do with the world and freedom around you.
And I pray like hell for my husband, because of what he is willing to do for you.
Then I thank God fiercely for courage, and the beautiful moments in beautiful cities he has placed in this sometimes fear stricken adventure, reprieve from the knowledge of what we are truly here to do.
I pray, because prayer is the best place to be in times of fear.
But mostly I pray that if I show you enough loveliness, the beauty and adventure and transformation that is military life, you will join us.
Because this life is deeply beautiful…a mix of adventure and God and adrenaline and fear and anger sometimes too.
And because our country needs you.
Because citizens of other countries who need our protection, need you.
Because even in times where we are afraid, we are hopeful.
We are hopeful because we are empowered to do something.
We are hopeful because we are of the world and among the world and know the world, and it’s people better than those who have never left their comfort zone.
I will be honest, sometimes God and I exchange angry words.
Sometimes I wonder why the world has so much terror.
Sometimes I’m angry about our role in it, or our inability to prevent it.
But then I remember that God has put my husband here to fight it, and he has put me here to help the people when it’s over.
A love of people is what puts us here.
I’m afraid you forget this.
I know you are afraid.
I’m afraid too.
Afraid of the world around me.
Afraid of what tomorrow has in store.
Afraid of how simultaneously fast and slow time moves.
In these times I pray.
I listen to the stories of others fear, so that I can learn and so I can help.
I honor my fear and the role it plays in revealing what I love most about life.
I thank it.
I write about it, so that you know you aren’t alone in it.
And then I tell it to sit the f**k down because there is good work we need to do.
I tell it to sit down because I know in all of my fear and uncertainty, God is seeking me.
He is calling my fear forth, another thing to conquer.
I have a job to do.
And so do you.
Because the world right now needs all of us. Regardless of our belief systems, our differences that deserve no recognition at all, the world needs us to work together.
It needs us to speak kindly to one another even when we are afraid…and even when it comes to politics.
Hi, did you hear me? Even when it comes to politics.
It needs us to serve eachother, however we can.
It needs us to remain informed by reliable sources, and vote for effective policy and leaders.
It needs us to treat each other like we just met God in each other, above any other human thing.
It needs us to seek truth and speak truth and live truthfully.
It needs us to be active participants rather than simply active Facebook posters.
Are you afraid?
So am I.
Embrace your calling anyway.
Please kindly remember that your country, and the people it serves, need you. If you don’t want to join the fight, that’s okay. It’s not everyone’s calling. It’s not even mine – I married the suit and do other forms of humanitarian work. Remember that regardless of what you think of the leadership, and/or the decisions they made, the American G.I, and their families, serves (for) you.