That Holy Feeling 13 (Can You Give Us Directions?)

So everyone who reads my blog probably knows that we are a military family. James is in the National Guard, currently deployed to Iraq, and so on. Some of you may know that in the 5.75 years we've been married James has had five careers and a couple I talked him out of. In order, they have been:

Correctional Officer: didn't like working nights out of town.
Sheet Metal Operator Person: don't really know on this one. Came home with a new job one day.
City Water Repair Dude: didn't pay enough, insurance sucked.
Re-Enlist in Marines: didn't go through. Too much red tape.
Firefighter: volunteered; guess that got it out of his system.
National Guard: still doing this, though I figure it's because he HAS to.
Electrician: same as the water dept. Plus, I had to do our own taxes.

We have been discussing our options when he gets back from Iraq, since his contract in the NG will be expired. We weighed the pros and cons of staying in the military:

might get to see the world
good, dependable pay
great insurance
retire in his 40's
the uniform
(c'mon, you know I had to put that in there!)

probable deployments

We also surveyed the pros and cons of civilian life:

no chance of deployment
staying close to the family
um.... no deployments

lower paychecks
questionable insurance
retire in his 60's
no uniform :(

I've always kind of been the leader in our relationship, unless James goes off and spontaneously joins the military or some such shenanigans. For a while there I really thought we were supposed to stay in the military. If we had faith, I reasoned, even another deployment would end up being beneficial to us. We'd done it twice already. This would also be an opportune time to strengthen our faith in believing God would keep James at home.

At the same time, I've been working on handing James the proverbial reigns because for one, the Bible says the husband should drive. It's also exhausting making most of the big decisions. So I encouraged both of us to keep our minds open to God's voice and instruction.
Well, I kept running across the Proverb that says "Man makes his plans, but the LORD guides his footsteps." I mean everywhere. Bible study, group study, daily Bible verse emails, normal conversations, you name it. I was like, Okay God, what are you trying to say?

Then, after watching all the goodbyes on James' last day of leave, I decided that no amount of money, insurance, or sight-seeing could compensate for having to tell your children goodbye for a year. Maybe three or four times in their lifetime. So I said something to James about it, and he said, "Yeah, I've been thinking about that too."
"Why didn't you SAY anything?!"
"Well, you just seemed so stuck on me doing the military thing."

Note to men: it helps if you TAKE the reigns when your wife OFFERS them to you.
So I went on ranting that if he had never said anything, we might have gone off on the wrong path and that he needed to speak up often. Then I had promise I wouldn't get mad every time he spoke up. Which kind of makes me wonder....
Then the powers that be signed a new Post 9/11 GI Bill that is completely better than the old one. So I think when James gets back he is going to start school to become who knows what. But God will decide that.
Unless he watches a documentary about astronauts.
Oy vie.

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