Looking back, I can see how God has prepared me throughout my entire life for becoming a military wife. I was the little girl that cried singing the national anthem. I was the teenager that loved all things red, white, and blue. I was the young mama that volunteered with the Red Cross on 9/11. And today I’m the wife of a wounded warrior, trying my best to raise 5 young patriots.
I love America.
But it wasn’t until this year that I realized the emotional trifecta that is this important holiday for me.
I was a Midwest girl raised by southern standards. We believe in “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am”, sweet tea, and apple pie. We wave the flag, we wear the flag, we honor the flag.
We say the Pledge of Allegiance loudly and proudly. We grow up playing with sparklers and catching lightening bugs and always eating BBQ on the 4th of July. It’s just what we do.
We take long road trips, winding our way across this great land, from sea to shining sea. We stop at battlefields and read up on national monuments. We teach our kids to memorize the Preamble of the Constitution and the names of all 45 US presidents, in order.
We love America. We are America. We are raising America.
I also grew up going to church every Sunday, memorizing all the verses to America the Beautiful, and proudly embracing my Christian heritage. I know the faith of the pilgrims, the sacrifice of the Revolutionary soldiers, and the importance of religious freedom.
I make it a habit to pray for our military, to thank God for our freedoms in this nation, and to teach my kids of the great heroes of our faith. I pray for our leaders, vote my conscious, and encourage others to do the same. I back candidates that support biblical principles and take my right to vote for godly leaders very seriously.
However, the one single factor that binds my heart most tightly with the love of our great country is my husband. He is my hero. He is a patriot, a warrior, and a Veteran. He embodies the attributes of every great soldier- leadership, duty, responsibility, selfless-service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
I thank God that he lived through battles that others did not. I thank God that he is here. I thank God for making heroes like him who willingly run towards the things the rest of us run away from.
So, this 4th of July, while I wave my little flag, watch my children draw pictures in the air with their sparklers, and “oooh” and “ahhhh” over the fireworks above, I will thank God once again for this country. I will thank Him for freedom. I will thank Him for our rich history as a blessed nation. And I will thank Him for the countless men and women who have sacrificed so much for me to even be able to pen these words.
I thank God for America.