Prior to Josh returning home, a day out with the girls consisted of going shopping with a definite trip to Bath and Body Works. Now, we still go shopping, but there is a definite trip to either Bass Pro Shop or Canfields. I actually like Bass Pro, but Canfields, well, that is a military surplus shop and is heavy laden with testosterone. Not exactly my favorite place....for more than one reason.
Josh is a Senior this year, so over the past year we have talked a lot about his future. When he arrived in Iowa last August he was unsure of what he wanted to do. He began to work for a friend of ours who has a farm and for a bit he toyed with the idea of becoming a farmer. I couldn't have been happier. Not just because that profession would keep my son close to home, but because when Josh was little I was sure he was going to be a farmer. He loved tractors, country music, and cornbread--all the ingredients needed to become one. But......it seems that God may have other plans for him.
Since returning to Iowa Josh became involved in C.A.P. (Civil Air Patrol), which is an auxiliary of the Air Force. Josh has always been fascinated by planes, guns, tanks--you know, all the loud things that boys like and he had definitely talked about going in the military for a brief time when he was really young and wanted to be an astronaut--before he realized that rollercoasters scared the tar out of him. However, going to C.A.P. seemed to have set off a spark that ignited a passion to serve in our armed forces. Suddenly, joining the military was back on the table as a possibility after graduation. I was glad he was keeping his mind open and exploring different options. Then, about two months ago, while on a mother/son date, we were walking through Canfields and I saw a sweatshirt that said "Marine Mom". I jokingly said "If you join the military I am definitely getting a sweatshirt!". My son's response left me speechless: "Mom, it's not a matter of if I join--it's just a matter of which branch I join." Suddenly, my heart soared and sank at the same time.
I have always been very proud of the country I live in. I get emotional when patriotic songs are played and understand that this country has always maintained its freedom with the cost of the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of those who fight for it. I do not take their sacrifice lightly and I pray for them often. I have seen parents who are upset because their children want to go into the military and I could never understand it--what an honor it is to have your son choose to go and fight for the country he loves. Yet, as I think about my own son joining the military I feel sick to my stomach.
Perhaps I would feel better if he would go into the Nuke program the Navy has offered him, but my son does not want to be trapped on an aircraft carrier 6 months out of the year--and I understand that. What I don't understand and probably never will is--my son wants to go to combat. He wants to fight--whether it is for the Marines or a special ops team like the Navy Seals or S.W.C.C. (Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman)--he wants to fight. And, my heart hurts just thinking about it!
Lord- I know that this boy was never mine. You loaned Him to me to raise, but He has always belonged to You. Please guide Him as he makes a decision that will forever change his life. Please illuminate the road of the path that leads to You and Your will for his life. And please help me to let go. In the name of Christ Jesus I pray. Amen.....
Soli Deo Gloria