Tuesday, September 4, 2012

a weekend to remember

I don't even know even know where to start. 
My thoughts are so jumbled yet clear. 
I have a peace deep within me as I felt the Lord's presence this weekend. In an overwhelming way.
A little background will help explain the significance of this weekend.
A few weeks ago I suffered a miscarriage (which is another blog) that has left me literally and mentally feeling empty. Spiritually I felt at peace yet still longing for more. 
Around that same time we felt we had to start making decisions in regards to Aaron's future. 
We feel strongly that God is calling us back into the Navy. 
For a while that is all we knew but we are getting to the point where we have to start making decisions in regards to which job route to go. 
We prayed and prayed and kept knocking on doors so to say to see where God was leading. 
We had our top three options that were prayed over the most. 
Pilot, Nuclear or Intel.
None of which we knew anything about so researching began. 
A little bit after the miscarriage Aaron started getting Nuc stuck in his head. 
I was still in grief and I kept pushing the idea of him even going back in away.
At times angry that I would have to say goodbye to him as he is my rock so I refused to pray which direction he would go.
As I came out of grieving I knew that Navy was still our calling and the Lord would help me through all my tangled emotions, so I began praying that people would be brought into our life to answer our questions in regard to which job path. 
Fast forward to this past week.
Aaron went back to school (his last fall semester of under-grad!) and started talking to one of his professors. The professor prayed with him and then gave him the name of an acquaintance that was in the Navy as a Nuclear engineer. 
Aaron emailed him and when I read the response I had this tug in my heart. 
The stranger was so supportive and encouraged by Aaron's vision and also had some great things to say about the Nuclear route. 
I felt a tug but brushed it aside. 
The next day our friends Dave and Anna invited us to go camping with them over Labor Day.
We agreed and told the kids. 
They were beyond excited for their first camping experience. 
The day we were supposed to leave I almost backed out because I was a little drained and feeling anxious. 
But seeing the kids excitement pushed me through.
The first night snuggled into our tent was the coldest night but all kids, including Madde slept all night.
Saturday the kids played all day and we just relaxed and enjoyed being in a new place.
Aaron went on a hike with Dave to a friend's house near a lake. They chatted with him for a while and then threw rocks into a ravine thing.
The place we camped at was a campground inside of a Navy radio base. We camped there once when Aaron was in the Navy. 
Being there brought back all the good memories from being in the Navy and I started feeling an overwhelming excitement to go back in that I couldn't explain. 
That evening a sweet little boy kept running by our tent, waving and saying HI!
Brayden instantly befriended him and they played all they could.
The cabin the little boy and his family stayed in was right next to our tent.
So the Dad kept walking by us and also waving, super friendly and I had a feeling by the way he carried himself he was high ranked. I kept having an urge inside me that I needed to talk to him more. But i felt weird thinking that as I am a Mother and didn't know why I would need to talk to him. I prayed that if it was true that Aaron would get the same feeling and do the talking.
We chit chatted lightly here and there but mostly about the kids.
Sunday we woke up, made coffee and then packed up to leave as we wanted to get back. I was starting to get anxious for no reason and got crabby at Aaron for kicking a ball around when he was supposed to be putting the kids in the car. 
We got the kids all buckled in and Anna's dad walked over to our window to say goodbye.
Well it was definitely a Midwest goodbye as it turned into a conversation. 
I was still anxious so I was a little irked that we were still sitting there just talking but I got this calm and a voice in my head to Be Still and hear what the Lord wanted me to hear. 
Her Dad had some great encouragement and specific things we have been praying over he spoke over us. 
I instantly felt all anxiety leave and thanked the Lord for this divine encounter and encouragement.
We said goodbye and started to back out and leave the campground. 
We get to the gate (since it is a military base the access is guarded in and out) and instead of it opening the guard comes running out with a VERY worried look on his face and said the base was on lock down due to an incident. He told us to check back in an hour.
We drove back to the campsite so confused because it has to be a pretty big incident for lockdown and we were running through every scenario.
At the campsite, a group was gathered around a car.
With bullet holes.
The same guy who Aaron had just visited at the cabin the day before.
I don't remember his name but he said as he was driving into base bullets ripped through his car and they heard more as they were speeding up to base.
A base guard kept coming to update us and we were told there was a gunman on the loose now and the base was locked until they could kind him. 
The SWAT team was called and they were fired on as well so we figured this would go on a long time and we were spending another night.
Aaron and I were shocked.
What ifs started running through my head.
what if Anna's Dad hadn't come talk to us?!
I literally just sat there overwhelmed.
I looked up at the sky, took a deep breath and felt the Lord's hand was right with us.
We were kind bored and didn't know how to process so we took the crabby tired Madde for a walk to the little general store. 
Bubba came too and was thrilled to get a ring pop and play on Daddy's phone. 
We talked and dreamed and talked some more as we were walking.
On our way back, our Pleasant camping neighbor with the adorable boy was playing with his dog.
We stopped and talked a little bit about what was going on with the shooting situation and such.
The conversation kept flowing and before I knew it we found out the he was an Executive Officer on a Submarine, wait for it.... as a NUCLEAR ENGINEER. 
We talked and asked every single question we had and he cheerfully answered every single one.
I asked if he would recommend  it taking in consideration family.
He looked at me, smiled and kinda chuckled and said that after hearing Aaron's history it would be the best decision.
After that look, I knew.
This was again, The Lord's hand and He had just given us an answer.
Completely NOT the answer were thinking.
Completely NOT in the way that we were just answered.
We walked away to take Bubba potty and as we did we looked at each other and also knew, 
we just had our answer spoken to us.
We could not believe what was going on.
A shooter was on the loose.
The man Aaron met yesterday had his car shot up with NO injuries. HIs wife later said they were supposed to bring a friend along. If that friend would have come she would have gotten injured or worse because of where the bullets went.
We had prayed to meet people to learn about the Navy.
He brought us the XO of the USS Maine.
He gave us the answer we have been praying over.
He spared us from being shot at.
He gave me a peace that passes all understanding.
He gave me a fervor to keep letting the LORD plan my life.
I felt HIS presence and HIs hand in a way I have never felt before.
I felt HIs say, "I AM"
I felt HIs peace and a joy that made every ounce of grief or sadness I carried disappear.
The XO helped us set up our tent again and we kept chatting and asking questions.
They invited us for s'mores that night which thrilled the kids because the one thing I forgot was all the fixings for s'mores. (another divine intervention!)
We were going to exchange contact information as they are station here in WA.
But the next morning we had to leave VERY quickly as they were only opening the gate for a15 minutes and then locking it down again. 
We left the tent and beds for Anna's parents to take down as they were going to stay.
It was a blurry rush but again it worked out beautifully because we got home and had the whole day to relax, do homework, REJOICE and spend time together before Aaron went back to class today.
Today I have a migraine but I have never been this overwhelmed with thankfulness and excitement.
We are now praying and preparing to start pursuing the Nuclear program.
We don't have hopes set as we know that we need to keep being humble and asking the Lord which path to go on. 
But this was the first exciting step to the rest of our lives as a Navy family.
The Lord GIVETH!
and the the Lord taketh, 
BLESSED be the name of the Lord!!

"As the dew refreshes grass and glowers during the stillness of the night, so MY presence revitalizes you!" -Jesus Calling


~ Tandis ~ said...

The amazing love and perfect care the Lord Jesus gives is awesome. I am so thankful for you guys.
What an incredible weekend of events though. Wow!

Leslie Stinchfield said...

Rebekah told me about your blog yesterday but I was traveling and just got to read it now. So blessed by the testimony of God's goodness to answer your prayers, give you confirmations, provide safety and fill you with comfort and peace. Looking forward to hearing more about the program Aaron will go into :)