Monday, July 30, 2012

Two Weeks of Hell, or Not

For whatever reason, I sat down with my teenage daughter, to watch a little tv before heading to bed. We don't have regular tv, like I had when I was a kid. No, we have Netflix, and can watch whatever we choose, and there are probably thousands of choices. The selection was a documentary on the (then) two (now three) week selection process to be part of the Army's Green Berets.

Wow, was it intense. Not only have I never been in the military, I can tell you without thinking twice that I DO NOT have what it takes to be a Green Beret, nor have I ever dreamed of anything remotely resembling that kind of , torture, torment, training, experience. A young man we knew survived the selection process (which made watching the program more interesting), but he decided it wasn't what he wanted to do. Even so, my respect for him, and all the soldiers in the Special Forces, has gone up significantly

I realized, watching that documentary on the process by which the Army selects soldiers who can train (for a year!) to wear the coveted Green Beret, that motherhood is also pretty intense. Now don't get me wrong; I'm NOT saying that mothers qualify for the Special Forces, nor am I suggesting that parenting is anything at all like combat, where people (who want to kill you) are shooting real bullets right at you (because they don't just want to kill you, they are actively trying to kill you). It is definitely not comparable on so many levels.

But, in some ways, it is. Mothers understand sleep deprivation. Mothers understand stress, being pushed to (and beyond) their limits. Just when you think you can't go on another step, someone is crying, or someone is puking (on you), or the washing machine dumps gallons of water all over your floor, and you have to take care of it. Mothering is an exercise in endurance, if ever there was one. And, at the end of all your efforts, your children (until they become parents themselves) have no clue what it has taken for you to get them to that point alive.

The last sixteen (plus) months have been pretty intense. If I had a choice, I certainly wouldn't volunteer for what I've been through (unlike the amazing men who volunteer for the Special Forces selection process), but, as I look back, I'm thankful for what God has done in my life. It has been good (though miserable), and life-changing.

I do not have what it takes to serve in the Special Forces of the US Army. I have great admiration for each and every person who does; even more so after watching that documentary. What I do have is the confidence that God will give me what I need, even if that means dealing with crying children until the early hours of the morning, cleaning up puke (again), or taking one more step in this journey through the desert. I know, because He has, and that is a very good thing.

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