For those of you who are friends with me, you then know that our two oldest kids recently enlisted and our serving in our country’s military. And for those of you who don’t, you may have been spared because I am THAT Mom. I never thought I would be but I am and it is my mother’s fault. Her endless championing and cheering me on is in my DNA. She always showed up to everything and was proud…REGARDLESS. I hope I can be even half of who she is.
When our son went to bot camp for the Marines, he was lucky enough to leave on the same day as three other boys from our town…all the same age and all from the same school. And because he was lucky, as his mother that made me lucky too because I instantly had three new friends. MoM’s, or now known as Mother of Marines. The day they all left for Parris Island, we exchanged phone numbers and instantly began a text group where we cried together and asked questions and shared what we knew. The first month, maybe two of boot campy was the worst for me. I remember crying all the time and praying more than that. I knew what the Drill Instructors were most likely having to do to make a Marine out of my son and thought of it made my heart sink on a regular basis. My but MoM’s…they were my lifeline.
During this time, I also joined a Facebook group specifically for family and friends of young men and women at Parris Island all graduating on the same date and in the same Company. It was such a helpful group, the administrators were all MoM’s or Marine Veterans themselves and they shared so much helpful information. Another lifeline.
There was this one MoM. I just couldn’t even…
Friends, it was painful.
Every time her face came through my feed, my brain hurt. I’m just being honest. I did not want to think ill thoughts of her but I did. AND I LOVE MOST ALL PEOPLE.
She talked about her life. She made videos about what she learned at Church. She shared the most ridiculous Meme’s and talked incessantly about nothing to do with The Marines. It drove me crazy because this was a support group/information page to help families through boot camp and here she was using this page as her own personal platform.
Long story short, it ended sort of badly for a bit. I posted and asked publicly for clarification on the group’s purpose and I became to some the party pooper of the group. Militant? Yes, I can be obviously but she was majorly breaking the rules!!!! So in the end, TO SURVIVE, I blocked her after she made fun of our boys going through the gas chamber. She thought it was hilarious that they would get sick and wig out and was CONVINCED they would ALL laugh one day.
Can I just tell you how much I prayed THAT day?
The whole thing has never really sat well with me till recently. First off, I do not enjoy blocking people and making them nonexistent to me. It actually bothers me quite a bit and I am not quite sure why but it does. Second, I needed to better understand, besides being ANNOYED, why this woman rubbed me the wrong way. Seriously folks, the other 900 members of this group all kept it professional. It was about our recruits, our questions, needing help, wanting prayer or having a bad day because we missed our kids. It was not about US and about OUR HAIR or about the WEEKEND TRIP WITH OUR HUSBANDS.
One day last week I was washing dishes. My hands were in the sink and all of a sudden THIS dropped into my consciousness, “She wanted friendship. You had friendship and wanted information but she wanted friendship.”
I have stared with a blank look before, many a time, but never have I felt I stared so blankly. Like a street pigeon at the sink blinking a way, that was me.
It was true. I had my MoM’s. I had my family and my friends who were amazing. I literally got on that page to get as much information as I could since I was new to this whole thing and I was terrified and excited and I was like a sponge absorbing it all. I did not NEED anything more than what I wanted, at least not from that page and the people in it. However, her need was different.
Sometimes our prayers don’t really get answered right away. Sometimes the revelation we seek comes to us at the most random times, like at the sink when your hand are immersed in hot, soapy water. But they always do and that day I prayed when my son was experiencing the gas chamber, I prayed to see her heart because I was so frustrated at the sight of it. I had stopped long ago seeing her for WHO she was because she became a thorn in my flesh that I could not quite get out. I didn’t really want to see her heart, but I knew with my head it was the right thing to pray and obviously now looking back, this was a me thing and had nothing to do with poor !^%&#)! *(**%@
(Names have been change to protect the innocent or maybe characters have replaced letters to mask my swear words. Take your pick).
I am convinced Jesus showed me heart, that she longed for friendship and a family and lo and behold, the Marine Corps is just that. Did she go a little too far? Yes. Unquestionably. But her heart longed, it craved to be seen and to be heard. When I saw all of this last week, I became softer around the edges where I had been a little rough.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
It is easy to get caught up in what people say or do, sometimes I even get tripped up over words never spoken…things I THINK should be said but aren’t. I know not to focus on what I see and hear but my flesh often burns if I don’t so I give in to make myself temporarily feel better. But is a temporary band-aid because heart knows better.
I know what I was looking for by joining that group in that particular season of my life and here I am, walking along without any other military Mom’s to cry with or text or ask questions as our daughter is at boot camp for the Navy. She left all alone almost two weeks ago so Navy support groups ARE my lifeline for connection. I find myself being a bit more friendlier, a bit more personal and not so information focused. There is a purpose and a season for both. I know what I need and I hope in the future, I can remember to look at the heart of person I just don’t get, that I would seek to understand them better, even if we are both looking for different things.