ep. 52 | Military Life with Megan Arnold
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with my friend, Megan Arnold, a fellow military spouse who has been navigating the lifestyle for almost 19 years through 9 deployments. Megan follows her husband, Bo, as he follows Jesus in his career as an Army soldier in the special operations community. I know many of you are military spouses, but I also want to take the opportunity to welcome those of you who aren’t familiar with the lifestyle into our world in light of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday!
Megan and I talked about things we can all relate to, like the challenges we face navigating a transient lifestyle, dealing with unmet expectations, and pursuing oneness with our spouses who have very demanding schedules. Whether you are part of a military family or if you’re like I was about eight years ago and don’t know much about the military at all, I think you’ll find this conversation encourages you in your walk with Jesus.
Can you tell us a little about who you are and what your experience in the military has been like?
What is your great hope in the midst of such transition and real hardship?
What are some of the struggles you face as a military spouse? How does the Gospel meet you in the midst of these hardships?
How do you develop deep, intimate friendships in such a transient lifestyle? What motivates you to continue pursuing real friendships/community even though you know you’ll be leaving them soon? What does intimacy look like in the friendships you're cultivating, despite knowing you will only be with them a short time? How does the Gospel enable you to befriend other women whom you might not naturally be drawn to?
How do you and your husband pursue oneness when you're separate in proximity? Emotionally? Physically?
What are some of the unforeseen blessings of the military lifestyle? What are your favorite things about being a military spouse?
What are your top priorities when you arrive at a new duty station?
What has the importance of the local church been for you as a military spouse? What are some resources you'd recommend for someone looking for a solid, Gospel-centered church?
How do you navigate/balance serving in the military and serving in the local church? How does the local church enable you to love other military families?
How do you go about finding a mentor when you're moving so frequently? Is it difficult to find women that you can learn from so quickly? Where do you find them? What are you looking for?
How can civilians come alongside, serve, and love military families?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What are 3 resources for those of us who wants to better understand the military lifestyle?
What are your 3 simple joys?
Who has had the greatest impact on your own journey with Jesus?
"The only answer to all questions is Jesus. That can be really challenging to live out in the midst of transitions."
"A lot of times it’s tempting to let circumstances rule how you respond in life."
"God always provides for our needs. He is always there and he is always working for his children. We don’t have to be burdened with undue anxiety and worry amidst life transitions."
"We can trust him because our deepest need is for God to be God. Our natural tendency is to try to be our own god. He will not turn away from anyone who seeks him. You don’t have to wonder if he will accept you and love you."
"Faith is believing what we can’t see. He proves himself over and over."
"Hardships reveal where our heart’s are. They are testing grounds, a proving ground, for what are my idols right now."
"My suffering and hardship are ways to know him better."
"Every move we make, finding a church is the first thing we do."
"We are commanded to love your neighbor as yourself."
"Moving towards people is the life of Christ. There is never an excuse not to do that regardless of how long you will be somewhere."
"I see how God proves through community how quickly I can make a deep friend."
"He wants us to move outside of our comfort zones because then we are truly loving as he does."
"When you love the unlovable, you really see Christ growing in you."
"There is blessing that occurs by getting inside other people’s lives. When you understand more of someone’s life your impression of them may change with time and effort."
"Having difficulties and having God provide the person to help me in that difficulty is a blessing of the military life."
"Communication is the thing we [Megan and her husband] work the most on, both frequency and the how-to."
"I have to be willing to not expect anything from my husband in conversation."
Otherness - looking to others and away from self
"There are many times that through praying for my husband and I feel closer to him and connected to him."
"Praying is always the first thing that will alleviate the emotions of distance."
"I try not to think so much about what I’m missing out on, but look forward to what I have coming home to me eventually."
"I find the Psalms to be the most comforting things [for dealing with fear]."
"The more Scripture you can put in your head the better off you will be when moments of anxiety come, and they will come."
"Take the time to observe when you get to a new duty station. You can tell a lot about a community just by the types of churches that are in the community."
"I get to know people by having people over for a cup of tea."
"Start looking for people to build relationships with."
"For civilians, be willing to open up your heart to military friends or family. Military spouses aren’t that different from you. It takes intention to notice what their needs are."
RESOURCES FOR THE MILITARY LIFE
Get to know the people in the military
Word of God
MEGAN'S SIMPLE JOYS
OakTree is the local neighborhood gig network for the military spouse community. On the OakTree website and Android app, military spouses can hire and be hired by local spouses for in-person service gigs. Because of the platform, users can cultivate a stellar mobile reputation that will relocate with every PCS. It's the place where you can find and hire a local pet sitter, schedule a house cleaner, and secure a caterer all within your own local MilSpouse community. Named after the mighty oak, official tree of the US, OakTree Network represents our diverse, skilled, and neighborly military spouse community. OakTree is where local gigs connect MilSpouse neighbors. Find OakTree on Facebook @OakTreeNetwork and Instagram @OakTree_Brit, online at oaktreenetwork.com or download the free app in the Google Play Store - iPhone app coming soon!
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