The Waiting Game

How Waiting for Military Orders is Like Waiting for a Baby | Life of a Navy Wife

Waiting for military orders is a lot like waiting for a baby. As a momma who had to wait two weeks past her due date with both her babies, I know this feeling well.

Waiting for a baby that has decided they are just fine in your cozy belly (thank you very much), brings a slow-swirling storm of emotions with it. A momma waiting for a baby is bursting at the seams with anticipation of that little face, yet dreading the painful process it will take to see it. She has grown tired of her home as it is, ready to shake things up with this new precious life, the new adventures this little one will bring, yet a small space in her heart is jealous over the life she has woven with her husband, just the two of them together. Things won’t be the same.

A momma waiting for a baby wants to meet that child now, come what may. Minutes later she grows fearful in her already insurmountable weariness, suddenly unsure whether she is ready to tackle the sleepless nights before her.

A momma waiting for a baby has never been more ready, yet she has never been more unsure of what lies ahead. What lies ahead is a mystery, all except one thing: it will come, it will happen.

She just doesn’t know when, how, or with how much pain. She cannot fathom the depth of the experience, the way it will stretch and tear her, and she cannot fathom the joy.

I am not waiting for a baby right now, but the turmoil of emotions I have experienced in the last two weeks while LTJG Husband has been negotiating his orders has mirrored so similarly the exhilaration and fear that I experienced while waiting for Kai and Rafe, tucked away, hesitant to enter the great, wide world. One day we think we know where we are going, the next it has changed completely. False start after false start, we are excited, exhausted, curious, and wary all at once.

In so many ways, this sea tour has been brutal on our family, and we are so ready to fall into this shore tour for the rest and family time we’ve been told it will bring. At the same time, we have been home these last few years: a rare and beautiful thing in military life. Our boys have spent countless hours in the actual arms of our family here, instead of scheduled FaceTime chats and expensive visits. We have fallen in love with our church, deeply grateful for the community that has loved on and invested in us. Our neighborhood is beautiful, safe, and comfortable. There are 100,000 reasons it will be so hard to leave here.

But then, there is the adventure of the new.

The thrill of exploration, the opportunity to grow and see more of the world. It will be so hard to leave this place, so inconvenient and painful to move, and there will be many moments when we will wonder: Is this all worth it? The best thing I can hope is that along with the mirrored experience of stress and strangeness and unknown, that at the end of it, we will find that all is better than expected; that even in the hard we see it was worth the strain.

I hope at the end of this waiting we find ourselves more alive than ever before, ready for the challenges and adventures God has in store for us wherever Jake’s military orders take us: near or far, easy or hard, beautiful or gut-wrenchingly opposite. There is just one prayer I have right now and that is this: Let us know soon…oh, and let it be somewhere without snow! 

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12 thoughts on “The Waiting Game

  1. I can TOTALLY relate to this! It’s always so funny to me how similar the life of a military wife is to the life of a basketball wife. This is EXACTLY how I feel waiting to find out where my husband will play this season.

    LiveLifeWell,
    Allison Jones

  2. My husband’s window for orders opened in November … of 2014. Two great sets of orders came and disappeared again. The third, the best set is still on the table. We were supposed to have hard copies in July … then in August … then in October … and now he’s making “just one more” submarine patrol. The waiting is never ending it seems.

  3. I’m the queen of being impatient. I hate waiting on orders. Zack should be getting his orders to come back to the U.S. in (or around) February and I’m already getting impatient haha I just want to know where we’re moving next summer. It’s already killing me. And those who don’t understand the military lifestyle keep asking me where we’re moving to and they look at me like it’s super strange that we have no clue yet haha

    1. Right? And the comments like “How can they do that??” when something changes at the last minute…well, they can do anything they want to us unfortunately! Hopefully we’ll both know soon ;)

  4. So frustrating…! I feel your pain…! B has been waiting to find out where his orders will be for months now! And it’s still not decided yet, but now it’s between two places, so I guess that’s a relief? And the new adventure will be that – an adventure! Embrace it, lady!!

    1. It’s such a process! I’ve almost wanted to say “Don’t tell me anything until we know for sure” but of course I don’t because the control freak in me wants to know every little detail every day, haha.

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