I was in the army for a very short time; I joined when I was 19 years old. I had no idea what the real world was like or how hard training to fight for our country would be. I don’t believe that it was necessarily the Lord’s will for me to join the military, but back then I didn’t care what anyone said except myself. I was impatient, spontaneous, and selfish to be honest. But praise God, won’t He use everything we go through for His Glory and our gain?
I tell you all this to say that I joined out of what I thought was honor and service. I truly joined because I wanted to fight for our country. I wanted to make a difference and change the world. I had big plans for myself. I saw the recruits graduating from basic training and thought “that’s going to be me soon.” What I didn’t see was the intense, long 9 weeks it took to walk that graduation stage. I wanted all the feelings of accomplishment without the guts and hard work it took to get there. Those 9 weeks were the hardest I’ve ever been through. I had but 3-4 hours of sleep at night, I cried while doing pushups thinking what had I done, and I wanted to quit almost everyday. I had blisters so large on my heels that I had to cover them in duck tape just to continue ruck marching for miles. I felt like I was going through hell. But the only way out was to graduate.
See, many soldiers quit before the finish line. They didn’t have enough guts and grit to get the glory. Quitting has never been an option for me in the big stuff in life. Sure, I’d give up on things that seemed insignificant to me, but I couldn’t quit this. I had signed that dotted line saying I’d surrender all to protect the freedom of my country and that’s what I planned to do. I wanted to deploy more than anything but God had other plans and fortunately I was never able to leave the states.
I made a lot of sinful mistakes in my 3 short years of service. The Lord restored and redeemed them all. I got my beautiful daughter out of it along with many other painful things. But the Lord has used it all. You see, the reason I longed to fight and be a soldier is because I was meant to go to war… but only the one with our spiritual enemies. The Lord recently told me that my time in the Army wasn’t wasted. God said He would use it for training ground for the Lord’s army I was really supposed to be in all along.
I learned how to fight until the finish line, I learned what it means to be so physically exhausted you can’t keep your eyes open, I learned how to eat in less than 3 minutes, and I learned honor, grit, and hard work. Ultimately, at the end of those 9 weeks when I graduated, I experienced a small taste of what it will be like when I get to Heaven and hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” The Lord uses my experience in the army to teach and show me a lot of things, but most of all He reminds me I was meant to be a solider all along, and that if I will fight strong and finish the race, the reward on the other side will be indescribable!
We will not experience the Glory of eternity with our King Jesus if we don’t have the guts and grit to run the race set before us on earth, and continue to fight the good fight of faith from the place of victory the Lord gave us. So when you see someone doing something for the Kingdom that you aspire to do, I encourage you to ask them the battles they faced to get there. The oil isn’t cheap or free. None of us start at the top. We have to prove ourselves faithful over the small in order to receive the large. Each time we level up in the Kingdom, it’s like we have to go through basic training all over again and defeat the enemy to conquer new land and promotion. Most of all, these last days are going to require more grit and assurance of our place in Jesus than ever before. Become a person of character and strength through Christ Jesus. Get in the Word, pray, fast, seek and find. Now is not the time to retreat Soldier, armor up and get to marching. Because the victory is worth the fight!!!
Hannah Smith, author of the Moving Mountains blog, is a woman who feels she has experienced a lot of life in her 30 years.
At 19 years old, Hannah joined the Army. After moving around the country, getting a divorce and losing what seemed like everything, she landed back where God wanted her in Ohio, even though she fought the whole way. She is now in charge of the prayer team at her church and seeks the Lord with all she’s got.
Hannah is married and a RN, but works as a stay-at-home mom to her daughter, Isabella, and her son, Grayson.
She loves to hike, travel, drink coffee, and talk about Jesus. Hannah also has a heart to create a home and life in which she can be a safe place for the hurting and the broken.
To her readers, Hannah says, “I believe that God set every single one of you reading this apart, for such a time as this. It is my hope and prayer that God would use the words I say to change your life in a way you and I never thought possible!”