Defining Moments in Military Life

Written By: Hope N. Griffin

Military life brings with it a number of defining moments. Here are a few my family has experienced over the last ten years:

  • Enlistment

  • Moving to our first duty station

  • Deployments

  • Volunteer work within the community

  • Death of close friends

  • Caregiving following combat injuries

  • Medical Retirement

Not every defining moment is a choice. Often it feels like the farther we get into military life the less control we have over the defining moments. Most are natural results of the very first decision to enlist.

The Big Defining Moment

Choosing to follow Jesus is a little like enlistment. We sign up knowing that it will be life changing. It is an intentional moment in time where we say this is who I am and who I want to become. Defining moments occur as we journey through the Christian faith, establish relationships with other Christians, and become a part of the larger community.

Placing your faith in Jesus instead of yourself for the forgiveness of sins is a choice you make to become a part of something bigger. God’s grace enables you to live your life in a new way. Life is made up of defining moments that affect how we live base on but big and small decisions made in faith.

Jesus had a defining moment that affected everyone who ever lived. This choice was not an easy one to make, but He submitted to follow God’s plan even to the Cross.

Before Jesus was betrayed and crucified, He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.

“Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. ‘Abba, Father,’ He said, ‘everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will’” (Mark 14:35-36, New International Version).

It’s not always easy to choose to follow God. Like Jesus, we are often asked to do what feels impossible.

Today’s Defining Moment

Have you ever felt God nudging you towards what felt uncomfortable or even impossible? Is God calling you away from a harmful habit or situation in your life? Is God calling you toward something new and unfamiliar? If you sense God nudging you towards the uncomfortable explore it and hold it up to Scripture. Find advice from a Christian mentor, a Battle Buddy, or Chaplain. Don’t walk away from the possibility that God has a mission for you.

The next step you take could be today’s defining moment.

Read “Are You Spiritually Sleeping?” and ask yourself if you’re avoiding the next step because it’s uncomfortable.

Q: Is here something or someone God has placed on your heart that requires you to take a leap of faith today? How can we pray for you as you are obedient to God’s nudging?