In the military, it’s not unheard of for families to move every few years. There are those families that rarely move, which I know quite a few of, but my family is not that family. We are approaching 11 years since my husband joined, and we are currently on our seventh move. The moves, in and of themselves, are a lot to go through as a family and a couple. Then throw in a growing family, moving overseas, and doing it alone while your spouse is deployed. I have been fortunate to have my husband with me every time, but I have experienced two moves while eight months pregnant, and three different moves with a newborn and very young children. Five of these moves were cross-country, and two were overseas. 

Between never knowing if your items are going to get to you in one piece, in a timely manner, or at all; it can be stressful! It can be heartbreaking saying goodbye to all the great friends you made and scary heading to a new location. You may love the new place, hate it, have no clue what you are about to move into, etc. You may even not have a destination set on the other end. You may be trying to sell the house you’re in currently. I mean, honestly, ALL the variables really could send you to a looney bin. As I was packing up our house this last week to hit the road, I had piles of things to give away, piles of things to go with us, bags that needed to go in a specific car, and piles that needed to go to the other car, piles that were going to friends…. you get the idea. Then I had to clean a house while all five of my kids were in it!!! Don’t let me forget that one child broke his ankle and another has his hand splinted up. Military families are only too familiar with the concept, “when it rains, it pours.” We have been no strangers to the “pour.” BUT, man, are we resilient and strong. Shedding tears doesn’t take away from that. 

Can I tell you something, though? I oddly love the chaos. It’s a new adventure all the time. That’s how I like to look at it. Here are my moving takeaways:

  1. It ALWAYS gets done. No matter how bad my house looks, it never fails that we leave it empty and clean. Sure, there are extra spots on the carpet and patched up areas on the walls, but it always gets done. The morning we left, we had a friend come over at 5:30 am, and he helped vacuum our house before we rolled out at 7 am. Another friend came and wiped down my kitchen while I focused on my room. One thing I know about military friends is that we get it, and we are there for each other. 
  2. There is always something good about the next duty station. No matter how much you don’t want to go to the new destination, there is always something good about it. It could be the people, location, opportunities, and so on. We lived in one area that I did not like at all, but the places I got to see because we lived near so much was worth it! Our home was awful; no one that came and visited could honestly say otherwise, haha. There’s good everywhere; you just need to be open to seeing it. 
  3. Goodbyes never get easier. I cry every time. I love people, and it hurts when I have to say goodbye, BUT luckily with all our moving, I get to see so many of these friends all over the world. It’s been amazing how we have met up with friends again and again. The best part is that when you meet up, it feels like no time has passed at all. 
  4. You get to see new places. 
  5. You become resilient. Listen, we can get through anything. There have been many times over the years that I truly believed I couldn’t get through it. I would cry out to God that it was too much, but with Him, I continued to take a step forward—and, man, oh man, I would eventually see the light again. I loved seeing the memes this last year about Covid just being another day in military life. It has given us a leg up. We are some of the toughest families I know!

I encourage you to read Psalm 27. Here is just one verse from it:

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord” -Psalm 27:14).

I encourage you to look up and pray for more verses that can encourage you in your military life.

Written By: Tayler Cathrine

**To be continued….(look out for Part 2 coming next!)