The Great Exchange

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Veterans Day has become a special day since we became a military family. We have been active duty for 3.5 years now and anticipate our first deployment this time next year.

Back when we had no clue what we were getting into!

In honor of the holiday, there have been many videos and television specials about the military and deployment homecomings. Yesterday, we saw a video about a young man enlisting in the Marines and the impact it had on his family, friends and other relationships. I cried. Being part of the Air Force is a challenge and the video had a quote that summed up why:

Active duty people and their families sacrifice their freedom to protect ours. (Paraphrase)


Military families give up the freedom to choose where to live and work; time to travel to see family is limited and you are often separated from each other. It’s hard, but not without pride and reward. There is special bond of camaraderie with other families experiencing the same, often transient life.

It’s the great exchange: giving up the freedom to live as we’d like in order for everyone else to be free to make those choices. Not sure what that really means: check out 50 Reasons Why You the Military Wife Deserve a Standing Ovation and Medals over at Chasing Blue Skies.

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All this reminds me that the freedom we experience as a nation as a result of the sacrifice of military members and their families is a striking allegory for the freedom I experience from sadness, grief, loneliness, burdens, circumstances, fear, addiction, anger, bad habits, etc. because of Jesus. He was willing to leave the comfort of Heaven to come to a world full of people who do ugly, messed up things; he was willing to die in order to clean up our mess. He made the ultimate sacrifice so we could live in freedom daily.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

Because I have been freed of all my fears, I am not afraid to give up control of my life. I may be nervous to get out of my comfort zone, but I know life is bigger than me.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)

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This Veterans Day, would you consider two things?

1) What are you looking for freedom from? Where are you going to find it?

2) Serving one another is not just for military families. What will you do to love on your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers today?

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