Before I get too far into things, I do want to say that if faith isn’t one of your guiding forces, one of those things that helps guide your personal GPS, that is OK!
I understand that faith is very personal and everyone’s views on it are going to differ a little bit. Heck, growing up my parents were sure I was going to come home and tell them I’d decided I wanted to be Jewish because I was going to temple more than I was going to Christian churches. I believe in exploring faiths and religion and finding what truly feels like the right fit. It took me a long time to find the church that was right for me. To find somewhere that was home.
My pastor often says, “if you knew everything about me you might not like me, but if I knew everything about you I might not care what you think.” How often have you felt like you were being judged by someone you hardly know? How often have you worried that you might be judged based on mistakes of your past? And how often have you maybe judged someone based on what little you know about them rather than getting to know them for who they really are? I’m guilty of it. I know I am. I’m pretty sure we’re all done it at one point in our lives. We let other people’s expectations of us limit what we are willing to do. Why not let go of our past instead and try to be a little fearless? Don’t be afraid to step away from your past and move forward. Take risks! Do the things you’ve always dreamed of doing. For me that meant taking a huge leap of faith and joining the Navy. Doesn’t matter that I wasn’t your typical Sailor, it was something I knew I was supposed to do.
When I started my Navy enlistment process I somehow saw it going like it does on TV. I’d walk into the recruiter’s office, take the ASVAB, and be off to boot camp before the end of the week. But it didn’t work that way. Instead I struggled for two years and four days to convince a recruiter that I was serious about enlisting, to talk the big wigs at MEPS into giving me the job that I really wanted, and to finally pack my bags and ship off to Chicago. The whole time I kept thinking, “hat the heck is taking so long?” and “maybe I’m not supposed to be doing this.” I spent a lot of time questioning if all the steps I was taking were really worth it and praying for some answers. Hindsight being what it is I now realize that while I was being impatient, God was trying to tell me to slow down; that something was coming that would be worth it. You see, if I’d shipped off as soon as I was hoping to I never would have met my husband. I didn’t meet him until three months before I left for boot camp and now I don’t know what I would do without him in my life. When I have those moments of wondering why the heck I have to go through rough moments I try to remember that there is a reason for everything, even if I can’t see it yet.