Happy Monday everyone! We had the most wonderful weekend exploring, relaxing, and enjoying being outside. I have some exciting posts coming up, but first wanted to share a little bit about the past few weeks…
Last friday was a really exciting day for John because he celebrated his Flight Suit Friday! Flight Suit Friday signifies the end of the academic portion of API (Aviation Pre-Flight Indoctrination,) and is the first day that flight students get to wear their flight suits to work. API is a grind, such a grind in fact that some students don't make it through. Though you can have up to 2 fails, the passing mark is intentionally high, and the material is being thrown at these brilliant men and women at a mile a minute.
To be honest, the past few weeks have not been the easiest. In fact, they have been hard. Hard in ways that I didn't think we would feel so early in our marriage. I would never want anyone who reads the Gallivant to make the mistake of thinking that our lives are easy all of the time, and marriage is a breeze. I know you don't think that, but I also don't want to seem like I am hiding or glossing over the hard parts. I have always been so grateful when people in my life have been honest with me about hard things, real things, and so I hope to be completely honest with you, my dear readers, and when appropriate--share our struggles, and more importantly, what we are being taught through them.
I have this bad habit of looking into the future and setting expectations. I could call them goals, or dreams, but what they truly boil down to are expectations. As John and I approached our wedding in the fall, our future looked like this to me: We would get married, move to Pensacola where John would go through IFS, API, Primary, potentially Advanced, and then we would move to wherever the Navy sends us next once he has his wings.
In short, we both realized over the course of API, as things didn't go exactly to plan, that we had been holding far too tightly to our expectations. Neither John nor I seriously entertained the idea that the progression we imagined for our immediate future may not unfold so smoothly. But the truth is that sometimes the way our God works is entirely unexpected. API turned out to be much more challenging than we had imagined, and for the past few weeks I have hardly seen John, as he has been studying pretty much 24-7. Every fiber of his being was focused on getting through this phase, and every fiber of my being was focused on supporting him and taking care of him. This has been stressful, and exhausting, but it also brought us to a place of surrender that I don't think we would have been to if not for the trial. We realized that we needed to let go of our expectations, and ask God what His plan entailed for us, even if the answer may not have been what we expected or wanted. We also realized that in order to make it through the remainder of API we needed to fully rely on the Lord for strength, wisdom, and perseverance. We remembered that Jesus is our peace, and we also remembered how quick we are to forget that.
In the past three weeks, I have learned so much about being a wife, especially in terms of supporting my husband through a situation that I have no control over. I am learning that an inevitable part of marriage is that there will be times in our life where one of us will be going through something that has the potential to radically affect both of us, and yet the other will be completely helpless in the situation. It's terrifying, the ugly parts of us call it unfair, and yet thats marriage. That is truly cleaving to each other, sharing a life, and choosing to love.
Friday was a wonderful day and I was overwhelmed with gratefulness as well as pride. I could not be more proud of my husband, as well as relieved to have him back for a few weeks! One of the best parts was that one of my best friends, Emily, was with us to share in the excitement and experience this neat Navy tradition.
At the end of last week we received the preview to our wedding film, which I am so excited to share with you guys! Our film was done by the incredible Jim Greene of Boston Wedding Films, and we seriously cannot recommend Jim and his team enough. They were wonderful to work with, and truly captured our day in the most thoughtful way.
In light of the past few weeks, I especially love what our Pastor, Dori, says at the end of our wedding video: "A husband and a wife meeting one another's needs as they look to God for His help--that's a real beauty."
I just want to quickly say thank you to everyone who called, texted, emailed, and visited in the past month. Your words and presence were so encouraging, probably in ways you didn't even realize.
P.S. Navy lingo throwing you off? Check back into The Gallivant this week for a Flight School crash course!
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