Many years ago when I was starting my journey as an Army mom, I harbored much anger towards people not connected to the military. When my son was deployed, many well-intentioned friends or co-workers asked me questions or made comments that hurt me. I know they didn’t mean to hurt me, but I took it all so personally.
Anger welled up inside me with comments like, “He’ll be OK” or people asking me why I let him join the Army. I didn’t like how the way that anger felt and those friends didn’t like me much either.
Have you ever felt that anger towards another person when they ask questions about your military service member or comment about the war?
Being angry at others felt awful. I had to ask myself: Who was I becoming?
That was then. This is now. I gained a different perspective through hard work on me and a determined effort to change.
Ephesians 4:32 teaches us: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
As an Army mom, I want to be a good example for others in the same way that my son is a good example as a defender of freedom for our great nation. I strive to be kind and gracious to others regardless of what questions they ask or comments made.
If my son knew how angry I had been at people, he would certainly be embarassed by my behavior. And we can remember something we all learned as children, that is “do unto others.”
In a world where there is already so much anger and hatred, I don’t need to contribute to it.
I used to compare the mom whose heart was missing her child away at college to my own child fighting a war on the other side of the world, thinking she had no right to have an aching heart.
Boy, was I wrong! No matter where our children are or what they are doing, any mother’s heart will ache and her pain is not less than mine regardless of where her child is. Lesson learned!
I strive to be an example to others, letting them see my kindness and strength.
William Penn said it best: “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”
I no longer have any angry feelings towards others. They can ask me anything they want about my son. It’s a chance for me to happily educate them about what’s happening in the world, the type of job my son does and how important our military is to this country.
People don’t understand and so I love when they ask questions of me. It’s a chance to spread awareness about the military community and help others to understand it better.
For that I am so thankful!
“Be All You Can Be” was the Army’s slogan for 21 years. It inspired a nation of young people to become their best by entering into military service.
As an Army mom, I will continue to “be all I can be.” Let’s be a shining example to others through kindness and grace, and be our best!