Sunday, July 20, 2014

When His Dreams Became My Dreams

Looking back, I know exactly when it happened. I know the day...the experience that changed my heart (and my head) from not wanting Hubby to be a military pilot to wanting that for him more than I can express.

As family legend goes...Hubby was just five years old when he announced he wanted to be a pilot and an astronaut when he grew up. And just like that...the plan was set. In true Hubby-fashion, he had set his goal and the next step was to start working toward it. And that's exactly what he did from that day forward.

Hubby never once wavered from this dream. Not once.  

He spent the next seventeen years focused on doing what needed to be done to help him become a pilot and an astronaut. True story.

So on the very same day Hubby earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, his parents and I pinned on his USAF Second Lieutenant "Butter Bars" during his commissioning ceremony. And he had received his first active duty assignment: He was going to Undergraduate Pilot Training. 

Hubby was well on his way to making his dreams come true.

The only glitch was that pilot training was a little backed up, and he was going to have to wait for his slot in the program. We would have to wait an entire year for Hubby to be put on active duty status and begin his career in the United States Air Force.

We both settled into local jobs...I continued with school...and we waited for the big day when we would pack our bags and finally start our very own Air Force Adventure. Nearly a year had passed when one day a thin white envelope from the Air Force arrived in the mail.

Before Hubby opened it, he told me he thought it was bad news. He was expecting a thick packet of information...not a single letter. Sadly, he was correct. It was very disappointing news. It rocked our happy little newlywed life. The letter stated that congress had made some cuts to the Air Force budget and Hubby's pilot training class was one of the cuts. 

It was not happening. He was not going to pilot training. The goal he had set for himself all those years before...after all his hard work and determination was over. It wasn't happening. Through no fault of his own, he had lost his pilot training slot and there was nothing he could do to change it. 

It was such a sad day. The saddest one we had experienced in our young marriage. 

And that was the day Hubby's dreams became mine.

On a day when I could have felt such relief that what I didn't want to be would not be...I only found myself in complete disappointment with Hubby. His pain was my pain. I was heartbroken with him.

In the midst of our great sorrow...strangely...something beautiful happened. It changed our marriage. It grew us up a little. It was the beginning of something that would sustain us and bind our marriage bond even stronger. This was the first real test of our marriage. It was the first real life issue we had been given to deal with on our own. 

Although our parents were nearby and loved us through it...this was a change to our future...our plans...our life... And it was our problem to figure out. How were we going to deal with this? What were we going to do next?

I remember laying across our bed, holding hands, praying through tears for God to guide and direct us. Although this was the first time this happened...it certainly wasn't the last. 

We turned to God and each other to get through this life changing moment. And that day not only changed everything in Hubby's career path, it also changed everything in our marriage. We set a foundation that day that we would stand on throughout our marriage.

The plan was changed...and choices had to be made...thankfully, Hubby didn't shut me out. We sat down and discussed it...we went over all of our options. We talked it out and together we made the decision. Hubby would go into the Air Force as a Physicist.  

It wasn't what Hubby had planned. And it wasn't what I thought I wanted...but we felt God directing us on this path and we trusted in God's plan for our lives. And to this day I am sure that it was the right decision. We both are.

It's amazing how things can change so quickly. A girl who thought she would never want to marry a military pilot...would cry out tears to God when the pilot part was taken away...and then voluntarily agree to move forward with becoming a military wife.

Trust me when I say...that's a God thing!

Yes...that was the day Hubby's dreams really did become my dreams.

And as you have probably guessed by now...God worked it out. He rewarded our faithfulness and trust in His plan...and three years after Hubby had settled into his Physicist Lab...God opened the door for pilot training once more. 

Now...you have to understand...after all the disappointment...Hubby had come to love his "unplanned" job. He actually said to me, "I really like what I am doing, should I go to pilot training?" And because his dreams had become my dreams...I actually said, "Yes, you have to give it a try." Can you believe that? 

I loved my husband so much I wanted to help him make his dream comes true, and in return, he lovingly did the same for me. 

No matter what crazy "Lucille Ball" scheme I came up with...making wreaths and rugs for a craft booth....setting up a scrapbooking classroom in our home...selling beauty products...part-time teaching that turned into full time teaching...or taking on a variety of volunteer projects that invaded our time, home, and lives...he completely supported me. 

Even when it was an "investment" that he might never see a monetary return on...even if it required extra effort on his part...because my dreams had also become his dreams. We are a team. We have approached our entire twenty-five years of marriage this way.

As I Celebrate Our Air Force Adventure this month...I can look back on that sad sad day and know without a doubt that as difficult and disappointing as that experience was...it was necessary. It was an important part of God's plan for our future. It set our marriage on the strong foundation we enjoy today. 

We became true partners. We know we can count on each other. We know we support each other's dreams. We know we can survive disappointments when they come. We know we can go with a new plan and it will be okay.

Today we can look back and see how God set Hubby up to have so many more wonderful experiences in the Air Force due to his time being a Physicist. He most certainly would have missed out on them if he had went straight to pilot training. And Hubby retired a few weeks ago with an amazing resume of opportunity that would not have come his way had he spent his entire career in the cockpit. 

Just as I shared in yesterday's post, God's plan was so much better than our plan. As I continue to share our Air Force Adventures...you just might see a theme here...ahem...we certainly do... 

As you know, Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my very favorite verses:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

Today's story might explain why the verses that follow it (Jeremiah 29:12-14) also mean a great deal to me:
"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.

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