A Flight School Update + Thoughts on "The Next Thing"

Happy Friday people! The past few weeks were busy, and I have wanted to spent as much time as possible with John when we are both off because it has seemed like we have been on opposite schedules a bit, hence the lack of blogging. I am getting back in a groove though, and am so excited to share some recent adventures! First off, though, in accordance with one of my blogging goals for 2015, a general update and some thoughts about where we are in the flight school pipeline.

The past few months have flown by, and a couple of exciting things have happened in terms of our flight school journey: John finished Primary, selected Helicopters, started Advanced training for Helos, and promoted to LTJG! Luckily, Advanced for Helos is in Pensacola (Milton actually) so we didn’t have to move. We were so excited to get Helicopters because John has been pretty sure that is what he wanted to fly since day one of flight school.

While it seemed like API and Primary dragged on a bit a times due to cancelations,  since John started Advanced he has been flying through (see what I did there?) and we have started talking about potential winging dates. Crazy, right? We have been in Pensacola for almost a year and a half, and even though we have about four to five more months here it is starting to feel like our Pensy time is winding down. We have grown to love Pensacola so much and will miss it hugely, but with winging comes moving, (we won’t know where until John wings,) and recently it’s been hard not to obsess a little over what is next.

There are so many unknowns in the military, and flight school is just a little microcosm of that: Where will one go through API? What aircraft will one select? Where will one be stationed after they wing? There is a tendency to constantly be looking ahead, to the "next thing.” Before I go any further I want to say...it is ok to talk about the possibilities of what is next, and we often do, but the point is that it is tempting to talk about it all the time, and we have to balance that with the healthy perspective that we simply aren't there yet and our life doesn't begin then--it is happening now, right now, this very second, here.

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I have been trying, and at times wrestling, to be present through this. I have been frequently reminded of my last semester of college, when I was simultaneously preparing to graduate, nannying, planning a wedding, and wrapping up my time leading Younglife. I had never been so busy in my life, and it was a temptation to put my head down, chug through school, and just focus on the future:  our wedding and moving to Pensacola. Early on in the semester, though, I realized that God was doing so much in those last few months of school—in my friendships, my ministry, and even my relationship with John, and I needed to be present in order to experience that. In the midst of so much transition and a grueling schedule, I needed to seek Jesus in the morning and claim Him as my peace. I had to take in one day at a time. The future would work itself out, and if I had spent all of my time worrying and dwelling on it I would have missed the joy and growth and deepened friendships that were such a sweet part of that season.

I am feeling similarly now, in another season of huge growth. It is easy to make “the next thing” the topic of every conversation, with both our Navy and civilian friends and loved ones. It is so tempting for John and I to spend all of our (sometimes hard-won) time together weighing the pros and cons of each possible location and the available aircraft. (More on that in a later post, but in a nutshell: we have five different options for locations and three different possible types of helicopter.) Too often we find ourselves talking about moving dates, and possible job options. I even catch myself asking friends in the Navy community what their thoughts are, whether students pilots or significant others, because sometimes it seems like the easiest way to start conversation.

None of these things are inspiring presentness.

The problem is that when we aren't present we miss it, we miss what is here, we miss time and the infinite things that could happen in that time. We miss people. We miss learning about our friends. In the hours we spend talking with them about “the next thing” we miss learning how our friends are now, what they have been up to, what is inspiring them, what they are learning, what keeps them up at night. I don’t want to miss that, and I don’t want the remainder of our time here to morph into a waiting game, because that doesn’t feel like it will honor the time we have spent in Pensacola and the way we have grown here, both individually and as a couple. I don’t want to miss what the Lord is doing in this place. I want to finish well here, and as gracefully as possible.

The truth is, though, sometimes the future is the thing that is keeping us up at night. I know I am not alone in that. And yet again, it seems as though so often my life is an exercise in giving up control, in recognizing that I am not actually the “captain of my ship,” but that the One who is in control, who does steer our fate, is immeasurably better at it than I am. Our job is to pray and wait, to be patient and present, focusing on what is right in front of us. “The next thing” will come, that is certain. And I do believe it will be good.

Obviously, I will post updates here as we get closer to the Fall and John’s winging date. I am also looking forward to sharing a little bit about what the second half of flight school has been like, as well as our favorite places and things to do in Pensacola. Also, we have a jam-packed summer ahead, full of exciting travels, weddings, and time spent exploring more of the Gulf before we head to our next destination, so stay tuned! 

Hope that everyone has a lovely weekend! If you would like to see what we are up to than follow along on instagram @evr_thegallivant ! As always, thank you so much for reading. 

xoxo,

Emily

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